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State Govts. Urged to review the Childs right law to Provide quality care for vulnerable children in the country

A group of Journalists have called on the government to urgently re- examine the system of care given to vulnerable children by reviewing the Childs right law in the states.

This appeal was made during a two-day media engagement and capacity building workshop organized by the SOS Children’s Villages in Lagos recently.

According to the Journalists drawn from the print and electronic media from across the country, the government should ensure the best and suitable environment is created for the Nigerian child by reviewing the Childs right law in the states.

While noting that it was not encouraging that in Nigeria,  ten out of the thirty six states have not domesticated the child rights act, the Journalists maintained that the conversation in Nigeria now should be around how alternative care services are being provided and how critical stakeholders are supported to provide these services to improve the way it is been provided.

“What is the plan for the Nigerian Child who is without parental care, what is the plan for that child who stops you on the road asking you for alms? If the child had a better option, he would never be on the road, what is the plan for the family that is about to get disintegrated because they do not have the capacity to stay together and provide care for their children, how do we create the enabling environment for families to thrive, for families to stay together because where families stay together that is where they are able to bring up the children,”  were some of the issues raised during the workshop

In his opening remarks, the National Director, SOS Children’s Villages, Mr. Eghosa Erhumwunse who was represented by the Regional Manager, South,  Mr. Ayodeji Adelopo disclosed  that every help vulnerable children can get will be very important.

Also while delivering his lecture, “ Who we are”  Mr. Chuba Ezeigwe  said that the objective of the media engagement was to foster a better working relationship with the media as critical stakeholders and more importantly to generate conversations that will lead to the improvement of the conditions of children without parental care and children at the verge of losing parental care.

According to him, “the SOS Children’s Villages have been active since 1973 and offers a number of services, such as alternative care for children, family strengthening and partnership for quality care. As part of the alternative care we offer direct care to children without parental care, using our family care option and we do this in Lagos, Ogun state, FCT and in Plateau state.

“But away from offering alternative care services to children, we also strengthen families in as many as eight locations across the country and currently we have over sixteen thousand families that have been elevated from our family strengthening programme.

“Our strengthening programme support families on the verge of disintegration. We support these families to stay together so that their children can benefit from the care from their parents or wards. Usually, one of the reasons why families break away could be conflict, it could be poverty, it could be socio-economic issues, there are numbers of reasons,” he noted

He said  the SOS Children’s Villages  identify the reason peculiar to each family and support them to surmount their challenges to become reliant and to become able to take care of their children, adding that,  “It actually means that our priority is to strengthen families because it is best for a child to have a family.”

While stressing on the need to understand that every child has his or her unique needs and to design systems that attend to these unique needs Mr. Chuba Ezeigwe disclosed that already,  SOS Children’s Villages is supporting the federal government of Nigeria to develop a National guideline on alternative care for children.

“We are doing this as members of National Committee on alternative care which was inaugurated by the Minister for women affairs domiciled at the women affairs ministry in Abuja. The core mandate of this subcommittee is to develop National guideline on alternative care as one of the procedures that will help in the implementation of the child acts right.

“We are also doing this in a number of states where we work. In Lagos state, the alternative care guideline has been developed and validated by the state government through the support of SOS children’s Villages and other partners. The document is due for unveiling in a couple of weeks after which it will be pushed in for the approval of the state executive council and it will be put to use,” he added.

The two day workshop also featured panel discussions, lectures by the brand and Communications coordinator, Abasiama Ifeoma and tour of the  SOS Children’s Village,  Lagos.