Metro & Crime

UNICEF: Listen to children, take action to enable them explore potentials

As Nigeria joined other countries in the world to mark the World Children’s Day 2020, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins has urged governments, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders to listen to children with a view to pave the way and enable them explore their potentials.
He made the call at an event in Lagos recently, to commemorate this year’s World Children’s Day/the official unveiling of ‘Lara and Ali, an animation representing children.
The event with theme: “Re-imagining A Better Future For Every Child”, Hawkins said this year’s World Children’s Day was also used to mark the adoption of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).
According to him, against the background of the coronavirus pandemic, this year has posed challenges for children but noted that the recent  #ENDSARS protests have given youths a voice.
In his address, the Lagos State Commissioner for the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Mr. Segun Dawodu, who was represented by Adewunmi Ogunsanya, acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the ministry was passionate about creating an enabling environment for the children.
The event, which was organised by UNICEF, brought together school children who showed outstanding skills through their works, demonstrating excellence, which was evidence that given the enabling environment they would achieve more.
In his address, Hawkins said governments, parents, guardians and relevant agencies must listen to children and young people who are calling for change, adding, “Perhaps, nowhere is this more true than in Nigeria today.”
One of the children who participated in the event, Oseni Abdulmalik, 15, Senior Secondary School student, said that during the COVID-19 lockdown, a lot of children were not able to learn but fortunately for him, he benefited from –Slum to School Africa programme, where he was given a learning tool to help enhance his learning ability at home due to the closure of schools.
“I was then introduced to a robotic dummy camp where I used my innovative ideas to create an App- A Social Distancing Alert device and also a traffic light.
“The alert device helps to notify one-metre proximity of the next person with a red alert beaming.”
He said that the programme was unique as it gave children the needed voice to air their views and assist them to achieve their dreams.




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