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GIRL SAFETY TOOLKIT: A Holistic Approach to Girl’s Safety.

Photo by Sam Manns on Unsplash

What advice would you give to your younger self? What did you wish you knew earlier in life that you know now?

I have often come across such questions but never really attempted to take a moment to give them further thought or response. Well, that is until today! Let me start off by stating that I believe girls today contend with countless pressures, stresses, and potentially negative influences– poverty, domestic violence, bullying, and sexual harassment, as well as unrealistic standards and expectations to mention but a few.

So, what did I wish I knew earlier? well, I wished I knew of safe spaces or support groups to help me weather all the different storms life has thrown at me. What advice would I give to my younger self? It does not have to be a lonely journey when fighting your battles.

You see, safety of the girl child goes beyond just protecting them against worldly harm. Their health, mind and body, is also a crucial part of a well-rounded upbringing.

This is why in line with its three objectives, SAFIGI is designing a Holistic Safety Analysis and Intervention (HoSAI) program for girls between 15 – 25 years old. This tool can also be used by frontline feminists of any age and organizations working directly or providing services to girls.

The Holistic Safety Analysis and Intervention (HoSAI) is a three-step program that gives girls the tools to solve safety problems in their context. The three steps include:

  1. Analysis: HoSAI identifies whether the primary cause of a safety concern is internal (mental, emotional, or cultural safety) or external (body, societal, or environmental safety)

  2. Education: Once a primary cause(s) is identified, HoSAI will recommend a learning curriculum to address the specific issue through SAFIGIs Safety Education Course.

  3. Intervention: After the customized learning, the program closes with a customized HoSAI safety kit to help alleviate or respond to the safety concern.

HoSAI has three main objectives including:

  1. Give girls the power, autonomy, and tools to solve their safety concerns in dignity.

  2. Set a standard on how to address safety concerns affecting girls in a holistic way.

  3. Improve the health and wellbeing of local communities in order to increase life expectancy and quality of life.

Furthermore, HoSAI contributes to SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities).

The quest for love, acceptance and economic power has often placed women and girls at higher risk of experiencing safety violations.

In comparison to men and boys, women and girls are much more vulnerable and susceptible to harm due to cultural and societal behaviors that are both physically and psychologically unfair or outright harmful. The pressure to live up to such expectations has resulted in a quest for love, acceptance, and economic power which often places women and girls at higher risk of experiencing safety violations.

Such insecurities need to be addressed in an integrative way that digs deep into the roots to comprehensively understand the depth and determine the best possible solution that can be offered.

HoSAI offers women and girls a safe haven to deal with the various safety issues that one may face without the fear of being victim-shamed.

Author Bio

Kabuku Chileshe Kabwela is an embodiment of multiple skills, talents, and interests that seamlessly merge to create her life, work, and career. She is a Zambian-based trained communication and PR specialist with an ability to string words together in the art of creative direction and storytelling.

Her hobbies include writing, traveling, thrilling adventure, crafting, and music.

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