Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) is a Christian Aid funded programme that aims to improve significantly the choices and opportunities available for adolescent girls in Northern Nigeria to live productive and meaningful lives.
It seeks to change individual and societal behaviours, attitudes and perceptions that hamper the opportunities of girls, using the strong influence of religion through religious leaders as enablers to facilitate this change.
Specifically the issues the project seeks to address:
- Economic empowerment
- Early marriage (time of marriage)
Kaduna State, Nigeria
April, 2016 - December, 2018
- Primary beneficiaries are adolescent girls
- Primary stakeholders are faith leaders
- Other stakeholders involved include traditional leaders, parents of adolescent girls, male champions, larger community members
Funded by Christian Aid - In Their Lifetime (ITL)
Some of the strategies which have been adopted during the project include:
- Working closely with faith leaders and traditional leaders to train and empower them to raise awareness of the issues affecting adolescent girls and influence and reinforce positive behaviours and attitudes.
- Forming male champions group to support the advancement of adolescent girls within their communities.
- Strategically using mass media and other communication technologies to influence change.
- Incorporating Social and Behaviour Change (SBCC) strategies, such as the two-step approach and diffusion of innovation, into the project to shape the communication activities that will be carried out.
- Creating safe spaces for adolescent girls and other community members, which serves as motivation for social dialogue around issues that affect them.
Development of a toolkit
We developed a key toolkit, which was used by the faith leaders for advocacies during the project. This toolkit was developed in a participatory manner by faith actors.
The toolkit simplified and helped to differentiate some religious teachings from deep-rooted cultural practices.
The translation to Hausa language made the toolkit more effective as a greater number of faith actors were able to use the document for sermons and teachings.
Faith leaders at community level, have actively intervened in the cancellation of planned weddings for underage girls in their communities.
Now, these girls are either back in school or learning a skill/trade to improve their choices and opportunities.
Male champions are now supporting adolescent girls to achieve their dreams, either to continue education or learn a trade.
The project bought and distributed economic empowerment/income generating materials for 147 adolescent girls across project communities. These girls have started using these materials and are now making money to support themselves and their families.
Giving girls a voice
Adolescent girls have been trained to on self-awareness, leadership and they are beginning to speak up for themselves on the issues that bother them.
Reports and resources
Download a two page summary document of the CAAGI programme, including case studies of faith leaders advocating for adolescent girls.
This toolkit was designed as a guide for religious leaders of both Christian and Islamic faiths in Nigeria as they address the challenges faced by
'Religion and time of marriage: the role of faith leaders in advancing the cause of adolescent girls - key findings' is a study, which listened to
A study from the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) two-year pilot project funded by Christian Aid in Nigeria.
Adolescent Girls (AGs) in Northern Nigeria have very limited choices and opportunities to reach their full potential.
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