Recent reports have shown a rise in child sexual abuse with 1 in 4 girls, as well as 1 in 10 boys experiencing before they reach the age of 18. To further provide community information and access to hundreds of child protection services, the Cece Yara Foundation, which has been the light at the end of the tunnel for sexual abuse cases for a while now, recently launched SafeKids Directory, an online portal which provides information on police stations, state child protection units, medical services, sexual assault referral centres, free legal services and mental health care at a click of a button.
Being the first of its kind in Nigeria, the online portal will serve as a vital information hub for individuals or organisations seeking child protection services offered by the police, medical practitioners, mental health care providers, legal advocates, shelter providers and other credible child focused organisations in the country. Founder Trustee of the Foundation, Mrs. Bola Tinubu, noted that the foundation has been committed to building the most complete and accurate database of Child Protection Service Providers in Nigeria right from day one. This, she said has taken a lot of hard work, and research hours to verify all entries.
“This Directory will go a long way to support speedy reporting and response to child sexual abuse and other cases of abuse. This portal will be regularly updated by a team of dedicated data volunteers”, Tinubu noted.
On the functionality of the directory, the Foundation’s Research and Data Analyst, Mr. David Adeleke, who also is the brain behind the design and development of the directory, said, “The web directory is user-friendly, and with the understanding that majority of the end-users will be accessing these services from their mobile devices, the directory offers maximum compatibility with mobile devices”.
“It is important to know that the impact of child sexual abuse can be profound and last a lifetime. However, easy access to help will drastically reduce the risk factors and promote protective factors that will ensure the well-being of children and families.
The directory can be accessed on the Foundations website (www.ceceyara.org) and currently has close to 200 listings of child specific service providers in Lagos state. It is being expanded daily and will eventually serve other states of the federation. Listings can be filtered by Local Government Area, service categories and keywords. Phone can be dialed automatically from the web page, while addresses can also be searched using Google Maps”, he added..
The Cece Yara Foundation is a child-centred non-profit organization established to prevent child sexual abuse and provide access to care, information, protection and emergency intervention for children who are sexually abused or at risk, and their family. It provides the ideal response to children through a 24-hour free child telephone helpline (08008008001). Its child-friendly Child Advocacy Centre based in Lagos, which provides free professional counselling, medical, legal and psycho-social support, as well as referral services as well as conducts prevention programs for adults to raise the awareness of sexual abuse and to educate adults on how to protect children from sexual abuse.