I am Generation Equality: Asmau Naphatiti Aliyu, Nigeria Guides Association

Girl Guiding has moved from the confinement of educational intuitions towards the community especially during COVID-19 response

Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Asmau Aliyu. Photo: UN Women/ Marian Roberts
Asmau Aliyu. Photo: UN Women/ Marian Roberts

From her early primary school days, Asmau was a brilliant girl, performing well both academically and socially. She had a strong passion for community work, which led her to join the Nigerian Girl Guides Association, a platform that would enable her to give back to both her school and community.

She joined the club in primary school, with a hope not only to give back to her school through various activities, but also to mentor other younger upcoming guides: brownies (aged 5–10), guides (aged 11–14), rangers (aged 15–18) and young leaders (aged 18+).

Now a graduate of computer science, Asmau says, “Our mission as an association is to ensure that girls and young girls and women achieve their full potential as responsible citizens of their communities, country and world at large. In the recent years, we have seen the impact of guiding move from the school into the community.”

As the largest voluntary association of young women in the world, the Girl Guides Association aims to reach out to every girl. It has membership across tribe, religion, class and race, with members in over 150 countries.

Being in a leadership position in the Nigerian Chapter has enabled Asmau and her peers to conduct non-formal education activities, including workshops, camps, leadership training and door-to-door sensitization.

According to Asmau, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the cases of gender-based violence soared, the guides knew that this was their chance to step up for their community. Hence, the association was able to carry out community sensitizations on COVID-19 protocols, including proper hand washing and social distancing. They were also able to distribute relief items, including sanitary materials for girls and young women. The Nigerian Girl Guides Association played a crucial role in reaching communities through various advocacy campaigns and messaging.

“We are now working on issues related to girls’ empowerment and are the channel through which solutions reach girls and women at the grass-roots level. I look forward to a future where various stakeholders come together and enhance efforts towards addressing and preventing issues of gender-based violence against women and girls,” says Asmau.

Asmau Aliyu is currently National Youth Commissioner of the Nigerian Girl Guides Association. She works closely with the UN Women Risk Communication and Community Engagement project for COVID-19 response. Through her role in the organization, she works to ensure that the voices of young people are included in decision making within the association and communities.