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IT IS A CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY TO HAVE A HOUSEHELP THAT IS BELOW 18 – IKWUNNE

In this interview and media chat, Kene C Ikwunne, The founder of Save And Secure The Child Initiative (SASCI), a non-governmental organization (NGO) which is focused in the wellbeing of the Nigerian children through intervention, capacity building and synergy talks about the challenges that the NGO face and how some guardians maltreats children and what they have done to assist. Anthony Emeka Nwosu captures this all.

As an NGO, can you tell us why you choose the child and not something else?

I think I am focusing into children because they are the future of tomorrow. The first law of nature is self-preservation, this means there should be need to survive. We have to ensure that our kids are taken good care of in line with our cultural mandate not global because if we fail to take care of these kids, it means that we are treading in a perilous path where our survival as a people, culture and community would be in jeopardy. I also have a very soft spot for children. Secondly, children are helpless and no voice because of their tenderness. Thirdly, the rate of child abuse in our society today is alarming. The ones that are scattered all over the social media platforms is just few noted cases, lots of cases were never reported or not even captured at all.

Today, we have seen a lot of cases where children are abused, maltreated and manhandled in terms of being houses helps. What would you do about this?

Very important question. First, we as an NGO took the first step to register with cooperate affair commission. (CAC) this is to enable us to have the legal right to handle all these issues. Coming to your question, we will look at laws that have to do with protection of the Nigeria child and where it is not permitted take for instance, a state like Lagos state. I am aware that is not allowed to keep a child under the age of 18 as a house maid. So, we will work with laws available to discourage such act. We will also take up any family we discover that are maltreating or abusing a child under their family care. We will also work with states assembles to introduce or amends laws that has to do with protection and the right of children to be more affective and meet up with today’s kind of child abuses.

As an NGO, can you tell us why you choose the child and not something else?

Apart from my love for kids, children are helpless and they have no voice because of their tenderness. Thirdly, the rate of child abuse in our society today is alarming. The once that are scattered all over the social media platforms is just few noted cases, lots of cases were never reported or not even captured at all. Today, we have seen a lot of cases where children are abused, maltreated and manhandled in terms of being houses helps. Thank lord for social media, issues like this are coming up and we are encouraging people to report and publish these stories, we owe it to humanity and nature to report these bad things ro the nearest police station or any NGO so that we can take it from there.

What would you do about this constant maltreatment to helps and wards?

Very important question. First, we as an NGO took the first step to register with cooperate affair commission. (CAC) this is to enable us to have the legal right to handle all this issues. Coming to your question, we will look at laws that has to do with protection of the Nigeria child and where it is not permitted like in Lagos state am aware that is not allowed to keep a child under the age of 18 as a house maid. So, we will work with laws available to discourage such act. We will also take up any family we discover that are maltreating or abusing a child under their family care. We will also work with states assembles to introduce or amends laws that has to do with protection and the right of children to be more affective and meet up with today’s kind of child abuses.

Are you of the opinion that kids can be valued as it is done elsewhere?

For kids to be valued is an understatement, it is imperative and a must do thing. Like I said earlier. Children are heritage from God. We must treat them as such as Precious gift from God to mankind. If we beginning to nurture, cares and secure every child in Nigeria the hope for a better Nigeria will be achieved and we will also be in peace with God.

Tell us more about yourself and Nikky’s foundation?

Nikky foundation is foundation that shares some interest on the care of the Nigeria child, like her feeding program for children on the street of lagos. So, we are looking forward to a partnership with her. She has done a lot in the area of child welfare especially that of girl child and we look forward to a great synergy with the foundation.

Tell us your challenges?

I would not say we have any challenges. I will only say that Save And Secure the Child Initiative is a platform for anyone that have passion for children can freely demonstrate that. that have plan as part of her social cooperate responsibilities to care for children can partner with us to effectively deliver on that purpose. We are open to welcome any Nigeria who share the same passion for the Nigeria child like us. All our operations will be based on world best practice. Our operations are based on this

  1. RECOGNIZE The Child Abuse.
  2. RESPOND to The Child Abuse.
  3. REPORT The Child Abuse.
    All the states have their emergency call numbers for reporting child abuse cases and our response will be immediate.

You did something in Anambra State, can we know a bit of that?

In Anambra state which is my home state. We are having very much attention and reception from the good people of Anambra state. Example of that is our partnership with Rotary club of Awka. Various assistance from Anambra broadcasting service (ABS) in term of our official inauguration which is coming on the 26th of September this 2020 at the premises of ABS Awka and also interview
section they granted to us. The Governor’s wife in the person of Her excellency Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme) having accepted to be in attendance on our official inauguration. Her love for children and the indigent people in the Anambra state is exceptional hence she is supporting us. Radio station like Kpakpando Fm also supporting us. So, we are having the best supports from the government and the people of Anambra state.

What should we anticipate from your NGO this latter part of the year?

We have 2020 Roadmap for the NGO. We are on the way to building the largest community of volunteers in Nigeria, this is just to raise a strong and deafening voice for the Nigeria child. We are already presence in 21 states including the FCT Abuja. Handling child abuse cases already. Like the child in Kaduna that was maltreated by a deaconess, has been taking up by this initiative for her school
bills to university level, done through our volunteer based outside Nigeria. So as this last quarter of the year elapse, Nigeria will see a massive campaign and strong voice Against Child Abuse.

Are you looking at intervention and capacity building or are you looking at intervention alone?

We are looking at first, SAVE the Nigeria child, which has to do with stopping all manner of abuse. Secondly, SECURE the child, which has to do with total child care and its relations. Hence our name is SAFE AND SECURE THE CHILD INITIATIVE.


Would you work with various levels of government to ensure that there is policy statement to this regard?


Yes. Definitely we shall be working with all level of governments to deliver on this mandate. Federal and state governments, and mostly the ministry of women affair, who’s this responsibility fall women affair, who’s this responsibility fall on their laps, the National Assembly and state assemblies for the laws that will further the proper care and protection of the Nigeria children. And definitely the local government who are closer to people in the area of identifying child abuse in our localities.

The issue of households having helps as kids, what do you think can be done to change this narrative?

For me there is an international best practice for keeping a child under your care. As a caregiver I think governments should have a process of documentation in that regard. Let government be aware that you a caregiver to so Child. There nothing like house maid of an underage person. You simple employ a househelp who is above the age of 18 and pay for the service. It is time we basin understand that children are heritage from God and we must take care and nurture them ok for a better nation tomorrow. In most cases from research a child abused today is likely to be an abuser of child or children tomorrow.

Baby factory, this is a disturbing trend in Nigeria especially in East. What are you doing about this?

It is unfortunate that we are trying to reduce humans especially babies to product. We call baby factory etc. where some elements that are terrible and misfit not only to Eastern people but the country general get young girls get them sired and they have baby which after nine months, these beautiful babies are sold to the highest bidder. This is just too gross, pathetic and despicable, I must say the least. Babies are not an industrial output or an end product of industries. I know is an offense in Nigeria laws ok. So, it must be vehemently discouraged and make people who engage in this act to be made to face the rat of the law. There is lay down process to legitimately adopt a child. So, people should follow the right process to adopt a child.

Today, we have seen a lot of cases where children are abused, maltreated and manhandled in terms of being houses helps. What would you do about this?

Very important question. First, we as an NGO took the first step to register with cooperate affair commission. (CAC) this is to enable us to have the legal right to handle all this issues. Coming to your question, we will look at laws that has to do with protection of the Nigeria child and where it is not permitted like in Lagos state am aware that is not allowed to keep a child under the age of 18 as a house maid. So, we will work with laws available to discourage such act. We will also take up any family we discover that are maltreating or abusing a child under their family care. We will also work with states assembles to introduce or amends laws that has to do with protection and the right of children to be more affective and meet up with today’s kind of child abuses. Up with today’s kind of child abuses.

It takes a lot to run such an NGO, with such an ambitious vision, how do you hope to find this?

If you mean funding, there is no amount of money that will be enough to fund this kind of project in Nigeria considering the size and nature of our dear nation. And also, there is no amount we can say is too small for us to contribute to this project. For now, we are not looking at funding, we are just looking out for people with passion for the Nigeria child. We did not have any heavy cash anywhere to fund this initiative. The passion driving us and any member of the public that would like to support us will actually provide the funding. There is no limit to which passion cannot provide. In a nutshell passion and zeal will provide the needed funds.

I am aware that is not allowed to keep a child under the age of 18 as a house maid. So, we will work with laws available to discourage such act. We will also take up any family we discover that are maltreating or abusing a child under their family care.

3 Comments
  1. Nkechi Nwosu 2 years ago
    Reply

    This is the way to go,I believe that with this effort,a loud one for that matter,a lot would change on the way we do this househelp of a thing…it’s just sickening

  2. Funmi Abayomi 2 years ago
    Reply

    This is great…we have to ensure that we out heads together to ensure the kids are well

  3. Aminat Ibrahim Aliyu 2 years ago
    Reply

    As a matter of fact, please look at North where we have child marriage and a cultural orientation is needed here

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