A United States based advocacy group, Dreams Project for Africa (DPA) declared its readiness to fight sexual assaults and bribery on Nigerian campuses with its 1st annual conference held at the Main auditorium of the University of Lagos recently.
The conference tagged “End Sexual Harassment and Bribery in Nigerian Colleges” is organised in a bid to put an end to the major challenges confronting the youths overtime by organising an awareness campaign and creating platforms to educate students on their rights.
One of such platform is its first international annual conference in partnership with Junior Chamber International (JCI) and UNILAG, themed “End Sexual Harassment and Bribery in Nigerian Colleges” held at the Main auditorium of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos.
One of the keynote speakers who graced the occasion, Fisayo Soyombo, a journalist motivated participants on the basics of journalism and on maintaining one’s integrity while rendering public service.
Soyombo said “The greatest achievement that a person can possess is integrity. We need to renew our decision not to be part of bribery in the society.”
Criminal justice psychologist and sex/Marriage counsellor, Dr. Princess Olufemi-Kayode spoke on ways to tackle sexual harassment. Sexual harassment she said has a psychological, career related and physiological impacts on victims which leads to depression, frustration, shame, weight fluctuations, sleep disturbances, nightmares, phobias, low self esteem amongst others.
She urged tertiary institutions to set up an institute in the school community that will help address the issue and curb the menace. She said students can report cases of such to the institute in assisting the school management tackle sexual harassment and bribery within the school.
She added that “self esteem is the first to be attacked when sexually harassed. We must not accept abnormality as normal. We must take a stand”
Young mentors were also at the venue to train, guide, offer inroads and support participants trained from time to time. Participants shared some of their challenges with the mentors who suggested ways in tackling it.
A participant at the event, Adebola Lawal said “the event has been educative and interactive. The speakers have also given ways to help tackle the issue facing the students.”
Another participant, Johnson Nwaguo said, “I have been empowered and it was nice having the speakers and mentors share their experiences with us. Now is the time to take a stand against bribery and sexual harassment in Nigerian colleges.”