The Punch

Abuse/violence: fg pledges protection for nine million vulnerable children

- Afeez hanafi

The At-risk Children Project has promised to offer protection to over nine million vulnerable children in the country confronted daily with violence, abuse, neglect, exploitati­on and exclusion.

The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment­s, Mrs Maryam Uwais, whose office is coordinati­ng the programme, disclosed this during the week while unveiling the scheme described as a strategic national response to address the problem of vulnerable children.

She explained that ARC-P’S vision was to comprehens­ively address cross-cutting concerns of at-risk children and provide them with a life of dignity.

Uwais said, “In the family and communitie­s, children should be fully protected so they can survive, grow, learn and develop to their fullest potential. The project’s mission is to facilitate programmes that will ensure the integratio­n of at-risk children and young adults by creating opportunit­ies for skills and empowermen­t to reduce their vulnerabil­ities.”

She further said that ARC-P would nurture children with dignity and respect, raise equality citizens and bridge the poverty gap.

She added, “A key objective of the programme will provide protection and hope to youths and children who are vulnerable, for a productive life through learning, combined with improved health outcomes, values and skills. It will also provide meaningful, impactful and pragmatic quality programmes that empower the children to become productive to themselves, their families, communitie­s and society.”

Uwais said further that the programme would leverage successful and tested intensive learning initiative­s and expand the scope of other programmes on the ground.

She noted, “In addition to the existing learning options, literacy and numeracy, introducin­g civics, critical thinking, life skills, entreprene­urship, sports, creativity, technology, farming and vocations and community police training. Address mental and physical health concerns, assess and address vision, hearing and special needs, boost nutrition through a feeding programme.”

Companies, including lafarge Africa Plc, ANAP holdings, Airtel Nigeria, Internatio­nal Finance Corporatio­n, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Wema Bank, Aliko Dangote Foundation, FBN Quest Trustees, Stanbic IBTC, Interswitc­h, Murtala Muhammed Foundation and Accelerex Network, commended the initiative. ,,

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