Ukorebi Ukorebi|6 April 2017
In 2005 United Nations stated that there more than 10.3 million Nigerian children of school age who were not in schools. The ugly statistic has its grave social consequences, including the spiraling rate of illiteracy and the dramatic rise in crimes committed by homeless street kids in Nigeria’s major towns and cities.
Across Nigeria, there are millions of children who are neither cared for nor have the prospects of personal fulfillment for the future.
Their forlorn outlook paints a graphic portrait of their state of helplessness. Bereft of hope and cut off from the sustenance of family ties, these children roam the streets in a daze. They appear unkempt, emaciated, a picture of innocence defiled. Speak to them and they reveal a total absence of hope regarding their future. They make their “homes” in some of the filthiest, most dangerous parts of cities and towns, including abandoned buildings, underneath overhead bridges, and near refuse dumps which they scavenge for food.
They usually retire to their dangerous “abodes” at dusk and dash out early in the morning before they are seen by the prying eyes of the police( Operation Skolumbo) or rightful owners of some of the structures that serve as haven.
In a country where the vast majority of the populace is racked by abject poverty, the state of street children is particularly grim.
Calabar the capital city of Cross River State have one of the most dangerous and vulnerable sets of street children in Nigeria. In recent times, these children have been name tagged "Skolumbo boys" and "Lacasera girls". They were branded these names due to the notorious activities of some of them. These names have in turn given even the innocent ones among them a bad image in the eyes of the populace and even those who were given to assisting them have withdrawn their assistance because they don't to be seen as giving assistance to criminals.
The state of Calabar Street Child is very bleak and depressing which is not unconnected to the attitude of the state government and her citizens towards the street children. In the eyes of the Cross River State Government, every street child is a Skolumbo member(i.e., a cultist and a criminal). This has also rubbed off on the citizen of the state who now identify these vulnerable and hungry kids as criminals and witches. These thinking have killed the conscience in the heart of cross riverain who no longer offer to help these kids.
But for us at ACHIEVERS WISDOM HOUSE, we are committed to seeing that the rights and lives of the street child are fully restored. Thus Celebrating the 2017 United Nation’s Day for the street Child is very significant as 2017 will see the publication of the United Nation’s General Comment on children in street situations.
Why is the General Comment So Important to Us?
The UN established the UN Convention on the Rights of Children, which states that every child has rights, whatever their gender, ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, abilities or any other form of distinction might be.
However, every day, millions of street-connected children suffer multiple and repeated violations of their rights. Their numbers are likely to be growing worldwide as a result of conflicts in the Middle East, recession in Europe, natural disasters in Asia and Africa and many other factors.
The General Comment on children in street situations is a set of guidelines that will give Governments around the world the information they need to make sure street children’s rights are recognized.
This is important for street-connected children because it’s the first piece of authoritative UN guidance on street-connected children’s rights, and this is our time to stand with them and make sure Governments around the world implement these guidelines.
ACHIEVERS WISDOM HOUSE uses this medium to invite as many who are willing to join the campaign as we look forward to carrying this innovative approach forward into the next phase of our strategy – working with our members to promote the implementation of the General Comment and make the words a reality for street-connected children around the world.
To this end, we are putting a stage play that tells the story of the Calabar Street Child. A story full of Suspense, Pressure, Pains and Victory. The play is geared towards raising funds to set up the first ever Mobile school for the street Children in Calabar.
I know you don't want to be left out, join us lets partner in adding meaning to living.
Partners, sponsors, volunteers and promoters are welcome.
Achievers Wisdom House