Comfort, a caregiver at a partnering children’s home, noticed early on in lockdown teens were trying to find new rhythms while being stuck inside. It started slowly – energy was high from lack of activity, and then became disruptive. Fits of frustration and lashing out were regular occurrences, and Comfort knew something was needed to release energy and recenter the teens.
They started with daily aerobics classes during lockdown. “It was a great release of energy and got the teen girls outside,” shared Comfort. “Then something magical happened – they started talking and sharing after working out.” The teens would complete their aerobics and play games together, leading to conversation, and times of praying over one another. “It was such a beautiful and organic thing, I wanted to open it up to all the teen girls we serve,” shared Comfort.
Now, all the teens gather together – either at the education center or a nearby location big enough to host the large group size, quarterly. Each time they gather, they share a different experience and most importantly, it strengthens bonds between them. In their most recent time together, they took self-defense training with a local teacher. “The training ensured the teens know how to defend themselves in emergency situations when a safe adult is not present,” explained Comfort. “I want the teens to have the tools to help them remain safe, alert, and able to take care of themselves.” The teens enjoyed the training and have since spent time practicing what they learned with each other.
Together, Comfort, along with other staff, is fostering environments of growth and connection for teen girls in Nigeria. We are excited to see the strong and capable women developing from such powerful experiences.