Award-winning poet Theresa Lola recently met with girls from conflict-affected parts of Nigeria for a poetry workshop.

Nigerian-British poet Theresa Lola is holding a workshop in Abuja. As the current Young People’s Laureate for London, she’s trying to give girls from conflict-hit parts of Nigeria a platform to share their views on violence and gender discrimination.

“I thought it was really important to shed a light on what is going on and the issues that are affecting young women particularly conflict, gender inequality, poverty and it was also really important to offer poetry as a tool of expression to empower the young women and to talk about these issues in a different way that they might not have previously.”

Nigeria is one of Africa’s strongest countries, an economic powerhouse for the continent. And yet, in the country’s north, almost half of all girls are married by the age of 15, according to Save the Children. And nationally, around 10.5 million children are out of school.