Children have been described as precious gift from God and should be treated with love, respect and honour at all times.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Community Development, Chief (Mrs.) Betty Efekodha, stated this in Okpanam during a sensitization and educational support programme, specially packaged for orphans and vulnerable children by the Best Sister’s Association for Health, Nigeria (BSAN).
Chief Efekodha called for love, care and support for one another, mostly for the Orphans and vulnerable children in the society and highlighted on some of the State Government health care programmes like the free education and free medical health scheme emphasizing that such programmes were geared at enhancing the lives of children, saying that such gesture goes a long way to show that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan had great love and support for the child Right law.
She advised parents and guidance not to take offence if their wards and children are being corrected in school and outside the home because the moulding of any child is a collective responsibility.
Commissioner Efekodha commended the association for organising the programme and promised to partner with it at all times.
Earlier in an address, the project co-ordinator (BSAHN), Mrs. P. A. Ideh commended Her Excellency, Mrs. Roli Uduaghan for her I Care Project and the campaign on early detection of cancer, HIV/AIDS and for the care of the widows, noting that the main aim of the association was to create awareness on the increase of orphans and vulnerable children in the society and find solutions to checkmate the trend which she said could be traced to premature deaths among Parents.
She noted that seven of the children in the orphanage had educational support in 2008 with assistant from World Bank projects, adding that such educational support programmes should be a regular event so as to make the children have a sense of belonging and settle down early in their various schools, stressing that it would also satisfy their psychosocial needs.
Mrs. Ideh appealed to the state government to allocate and approve skill acquisition and development centres in Okpanam community to prepare the beneficiaries for self-reliance, empowerment, poverty alleviation, dignity to labour which she said would add more values to their lives.
She listed the challenges of the association to include empowerment of widows, girl child sex education and others.
Lecture on the Right of the child was presented by the executive director of International Centre for Women Empowerment and Child Development (ICWECD), Barr. Bridget Anyafulu.
About fifty four (54) children from different schools were given educational materials during the lecture.
High point of the occasion was the formal decoration of the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Community Development with the native “akwa-ocha”, white cloth.