Written by Ayodele Akintimehin and Ufuoma Emerhor
Christianah Fate Foundation, whose vision is to see children enjoy their childhood free from any form of abuse, organized a training day and valentine special tagged “GETTING IT RIGHT” for children. It was held at the Lekki Conservation Centre on Saturday, the 9th of February 2013, and ten boys from Fair Life Africa Foundation attended.
The program highlighted that children now live in a world full of so many complications, and guardians of the child must visualize what it feels like to cope with peer pressure, homosexuality, lesbianism, drug abuse, rape, child abuse, cyber abuse, sexually transmitted diseases, corruption, educational challenges and other numerous problems in the harsh society, in order to protect their children.
Valentine’s Day is recognized all over the whole world as a day to show love and for some youths, it’s a time to give up their dignity, pride, and future all in the name of love. This has unfortunately led them into contacting sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies (often resulting in abortions) and different health related problems which could be avoided if only they can get their relationships, health and sex life right.
Different topics in relation to children’s rights were discussed by professionals like the Director of Mediacom, the Director of Nigeria Conservation Centre and Dr Maymunah, a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist.
It was noted from Mrs Christianah Akindolie’s (CEO of Christianah Fate Foundation) speech that playing proper parental roles has become more difficult due to economic challenges as both father and mother have to work to augment the financial status of the family. This had led to children taking decisions without appropriate parental supervision or involvement.
The training was child-friendly, and broke down the issues simply for the children. They also interacted in forum discussions to clarify gaps in their understanding. A child asked a poignant question, “Why don’t our parents have time for us? When we want to discuss something bothering us, they are always busy or too tired to listen?”
The message was very clearly drummed in that children need guidance to be protected from the dangers of child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse. Parents have a duty to be available to answer their children’s questions, knowing that if they don’t, they will get their answers from somewhere else, to their detriment.
Other activities like musical statues, aerobics, drama and a raffle draw, were in place to engage the children actively, and prizes were given as incentives and rewards. Five of our boys walked away with prizes, including a N5,000 shopping voucher, a magazine, gift bags and reading books. Another N5,000 shopping voucher was presented to Fair Life Africa Foundation as support from Christianah Fate Foundation.
Fair Life Africa Foundation was truly privileged to attend this training, which was provided freely for our boys. Children who have spent time on the streets have often experienced the abuses discussed, and if not properly trained, may go on to abuse others or continue to suffer the effects of abuse, which include low self esteem. We thank Christianah Fate Foundation for their initiative and wish them continual prosperity and impact in their field.