ARC-P’ll protect 9 million unprotected Nigerian children – Uwais
The Children at Risk Project (ARC-P) will provide protection to the more than nine million unprotected children in the country who face violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and abuse on a daily basis. ‘exclusion, said the president’s special adviser on social investments, Ms Maryam Uwais, said.
Ms. Uwais said so recently when unveiling the program, a strategic national response to address the issue of vulnerable children coordinated by her Office to the Organized Private Sector (OPS) in Lagos.
The special advisor explained that the vision of the ARC-P is to respond comprehensively to the cross-cutting concerns of children at risk and to offer them a life of dignity.
“In families and communities, children must be fully protected so that they can survive, grow, learn and develop to their fullest potential,” she said.
The mission of the project, Uwais added, “is to facilitate programs that will ensure the inclusion of children and young adults at risk by creating skills and empowerment opportunities to reduce their vulnerabilities.”
She further revealed that the ARC-P will raise children with dignity and respect, raise fair citizens and close the poverty gap.
“A key objective of the program will be to provide protection and hope
young people and vulnerable children, for a productive life thanks to
learning, combined with improved health outcomes, values and skills.
“It will also provide meaningful, impactful and pragmatic quality
programs that allow children to become productive for themselves,
their families, their communities and society, ”Uwais said.
The program, she further revealed, “would build on proven and proven intensive learning initiatives. Extend, deepen and broaden the reach of other field programs. Coordinate, add value and set baseline standards through trained, in-state sustainability facilitators.
“In addition to existing learning options, literacy and numeracy,
introduce civic education, critical thinking, life skills, entrepreneurship,
sports, creativity, technology, agriculture and vocations, community
police training. Respond to mental and physical health problems, assess
and meet visual, auditory and special needs, improve nutrition through
a feeding program, ”she said.
She revealed that the program would be institutionalized for
continue beyond the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and called for the support of Nigerian companies to implement interventions
including basic literacy and numeracy, health and nutrition, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and job and digital skills.
Uwais said they can sponsor any of the programs and assured that all funds will be accounted for, as good corporate governance is at the heart of ARC-P.
In response, some of the companies, including Lafarge Africa Plc, ANAP Holdings, Airtel Nigeria, International Finance Corporation, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Wema Bank, Aliko Dangote Foundation, FBN Quest Trustees, StanbicIBTC, InterSwitch, Murtala Muhammed Foundation and Accelerex Network, all welcomed the initiative.
They noted that this was an innovation that would help address the issue of out-of-school children and insecurity.
“It’s an exceptional innovation. I’ve been doing this for about seven years, and I never really thought about taking the kids off the streets. We do education, but we’ve never seen it that way, so I think it’s commendable, ”said Chioma Okolie, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Airtel Nigeria.
Femi Akinfolarin, Head of Corporate Strategy, Wema Bank, said the same. He said: “This is the biggest problem in Nigeria, unemployment and these young people coming out with no skills, unable to do anything. So that’s a priority right now.
“We must position this initiative as a solution to an evolving problem and thus create an emergency that will prompt the government and the private sector to accelerate their reaction to what is happening.”
They also advised strengthening the initiative for maximum impact while seeking clarification from both Ms. Uwais and the heads of FBN Quest Trustees, the project fund managers.
The Children at Risk project is domiciled at the Office of the President’s Special Advisor for Social Investment. He reports directly to the National Steering Committee of the National Strategy for Poverty Reduction and Growth (SNRP), chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
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