Total E&P Cooperative Nigeria has donated the sum of one million naira to the Cece Yara Foundation and the Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre Shelter to provide intervention for children experiencing sexual abuse, as well as aid initiatives to prevent the practice.
This, the organisation said, was in line with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports confirming one in four girls, and one in 10 boys in Nigeria were victims of sexual violence, leaving them with long lasting problems like low self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicidal thoughts, learning difficulties, anti-social behavior and sometimes death.
Speaking to journalists recently in Lagos, the President, Total E&P Cooperative Nigeria, Mr. Olawale Olasoji, disclosed that drivers of violence against children (VAC) were rooted in social norms, adding that the use of violent discipline, violence against women and community beliefs about witchcraft ultimately increases the vulnerability of children in our society.
He said that Nigeria has the largest number of child brides in Africa with more than 23 million girls and women married as children, most of which are from poor and rural communities with Child’s right Act providing that every child deserves a safe and healthy childhood, free from sexual abuse, adding that to change the narrative, corporate entities must come into play to assist government.
Olasoji noted that “every adult, parent and responsible organisation must play a key role in the prevention of child sexual abuse, because Nigeria has the largest number of child brides in Africa with more than 23 million girls and women married as children, most of which are from poor and rural communities.
“With the donation of One Million Naira, Children who have experienced sexual abuse can continue to have direct access to free investigative, prosecutorial, psychological, medical, mental health and emergency intervention services on-site at the Cece Yara Centre,” he explained.
On why Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre Shelter was chosen, the president stated foundation created a safe and healthy environment where children that have suffered from sexual abuse with their non-offending family members, who remain at risk can be accommodated temporarily while they are provided with legal, psycho-social, medical and emotional help.
“The shelter will provide a safe temporary environment for children for up to 12 weeks, giving them enough time to heal and continue with life. The shelter conveniently houses 28 children at a time and consists of a sitting and dining room, a kitchen, two female dormitories, one male dormitory and a family room.
“Every child has access to psycho – social assessment, case management, group and supportive counseling session, interactive play, legal advocacy, food, clothing, referrals and supportive assistance from other affiliated agencies.”