The Federal Government has said that children who show acts of bravery, be it intellectual, physical or socially and thus impacting the lives of others, should be acknowledged and rewarded so that they will continue to do more. Minister of Women Affairs, Barrister Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, stated this at the conferment of a one million naira scholarship award by Dufil Prima Foods Limited to three Nigerian children in recognition of their social, physical and intellectual bravery.
She said that this award is worthy of emulation as it is capable of spurring others in the country, not only into heroic acts but also in developing social consciousness about acceptable norms and values that shape the culture, religious, ethnic and diversity of the Nigerian people. In a communiqué made public by the Head of Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Grace Njoku, Barrister Kennedy-Ohanenye said that the Tinubu-led administration is fully committed to the welfare and the development of the Nigerian child, women and persons living with disabilities in the society with a view to giving them a sense of belonging.
Three children were awarded at the 2023 ceremony.
She informed the public that the ministry under her watch will continue to collaborate and join hands with relevant stakeholders towards the realization of this policy objective of the government. While commending the Dufil Prima Foods for their consistency in recognizing exceptional Nigerian children since 2008, she called on other corporate bodies, non-governmental organizations (NGO), as well as well-meaning Nigerians to key into such lofty initiatives and join hands with the Federal government in the development of the Nigerian child.
Moreover, the 2023 edition of the Dufil Prima Foods Limited awards ceremony saw Helen Emmanuel from Ikot Usong, Akwa Ibom State, receiving the Social Bravery award for standing up and fighting for a 13-year-old girl that was molested and impregnated by her father in the State. Happiness Bassey, also from Ikot Usong, Akwa Ibom State, was awarded the Physical Bravery award for stopping her mother from selling her younger brother. Also, Ferdinand Maumo, from Makoko, Lagos State, a physically challenged person with spastic cerebral palsy, was conferred with the Intellectual Bravery award for demonstrating an exceptional understanding of chess through pattern recognition.
Save the Children initiative works in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, another child initiative that has been working in Nigeria is Save the Children. It has been working in Nigeria since 2001 to ensure all children survive, learn and are protected. The organisation protects those from all forms of violence, especially girls, orphans, the vulnerable and children affected by conflict. Their programs work from the community to the national level to promote child’s rights and protection. They also campaign to ensure that girls have equal access to education and are protected from child marriage.
Additionally, they are building the capacity of health workers and the health system in Nigeria to treat and prevent malnutrition, and deliver low cost interventions that save new-born lives. The organization is also part of a consortium working to ensure that all are immunized, and it advocates for increased government investment in health and nutrition. According to the organization, they are increasing access to and the quality of education (including early childhood care) and they also work to address the causes of poverty and mitigate their impact, by strengthening the livelihoods and resilience of households.
Minister hopes that this kind of initiative can be replicated.
Finally, their humanitarian work provides child-friendly spaces where children can learn, plan and receive the support that they need to recover from trauma. The initiative also sets up temporary learning spaces and supports the re-enrollment of out of school children so that all of them can have an education. The minister hopes that this kind of initiative be emulated by others. Apart from this organization, there are several others doing work to impact children in the country.
Save the Children: Website