CHESTRAD Targets Women, Girls in New Initiative - SME Finance

CHESTRAD Targets Women, Girls in New Initiative

The Center for Health Sciences Training Research and Development (CHESTRAD) Global, an African-led non-state social enterprise, has introduced an initiative in Lagos State geared towards bringing hope to women and children.
The CEO, Lola Dare, who spoke during a press briefing on Tuesday, said the project named Tariro, will target 500,000 women in the space of two and a half years.

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She revealed that the rate of domestic violence against women spiked during the lockdown.
“One of the things we have observed during COVID-19 is an increase in gender and domestic violence. In motor parks and market areas, the rate of gender-based violence against women increased during COVID-19 by 58 per cent.”

She continued: “The plight of women is worse now in the pandemic. COVID-19 is actually gender-blind and has ignored women. And so, women have had their small SMEs totally collapsed, a woman cannot afford to purchase health care for herself or children. She cannot put them in school or contribute to household income.”

Under Tariro, 500,000 women in urban slums in Lagos will have access to qualitative services in health, nutrition, and early learning. Through these women, an additional two million children can have access to these services.
To achieve these goals, Dare noted that multi-service Tariro Centres (TC) will be established in urban slums in Lagos, starting with Ikota (Eti-Osa), Iba (Ojo) and Olowogbowo (Lagos island) communities.

‘Tariro’, is a South African word for ‘hope’. The programme is “a health and financial inclusion programme, which gives and expands the access of children, girls and women to financial and health products and services,”

The chairman of the African led non-profit organisation, Mr Bimbola Ogunkelu said that Tariro is motivated by the visible economic inequalities between men and women.

He observed that women in Nigeria have lesser job opportunities, earn less and save less, thus “limiting their capacity to support themselves, children and families.”

National statistics show that Nigeria loses 145 women of childbearing age every day due to pregnancy-related complications and an estimated 20 per cent (10 million) of the world’s out-of-school children are in Nigeria, 60 per cent (six million) of who are girls. Also, women represent between 60-79 per cent of Nigeria’s rural labour force.

CHESTRAD hopes to achieve all its set goals by 2023 through its sustainability plans that include impact investment and philanthropic giving.

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