IWFI Holds Conference to Strengthen the Family

Mary Nnah

The Institute for Work and Family Integration (IWFI),  recently organised the second edition of its International Family Conference to strengthen families. 
The conference brought together professionals and experts from various fields to discuss the importance of family and explore ways to enhance its significance in society. The event was attended by a diverse group of attendees who shared their views and experiences on the subject matter.

The IWFI conference was organised to highlight the importance of families in society and the need to promote their well-being.
The conference provided a platform for attendees to discuss and deliberate on a range of topics, including family dynamics, parenting, child welfare, and social policies that support families. The conference proceedings were structured to facilitate a collaborative and interactive environment, allowing attendees to learn from each other’s experiences and insights.

Held at the Nigerian Institute Of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos, with the theme,  “Strengthening the Nigerian Family: Building Resilience and Nurturing Future Generations”, the IWFI conference was a resounding success, with participants expressing appreciation for the opportunity to engage with like-minded professionals and experts in the field. The conference provided a valuable forum for exchanging knowledge and ideas, and attendees left with a deeper understanding of the importance of strong and healthy families in society.
The IWFI is committed to continuing its efforts to promote the well-being of families and will continue to organise events and initiatives aimed at strengthening families.

Chairman, the Institute for Work and Family Integration (IWFI), Charles Osezua said, “That the family is challenged is evidenced by the multiplicity of social, economic and political challenges confronting our nations. We are in a period in human history where parents are not sure of their roles in the education of their children. With parental rights and authority challenged by the government, parents are no longer certain, they could educate and raise their children for the sustainability of their family values, history and cultural heritage, without the fear of child abuse.”
“As time passed, we used to say it takes a community of parents or parents in a village to raise a child. Today, we entrust child upbringing to a community of apps, platforms and tablets powered by AI to the upbringing of the child.

Consequently, we are losing our humanness to digital platforms, as more and more families abrogate their responsibilities their responsibilities of parenting to the tablets, we find more and more generations of children accustomed to the digital world of instant gratification, unable to nurture and build relationships, in a world where diversity is being confused with uniformity and the truth and facts become more and more subjective and relative.”
“Closer home in our nation, the family is at a crossroads, as evidenced by the endemic corruption, banditry, immorality and the exodus of the strong and the brightest, in what is rightly called, “Japa” syndrome”, Osezua added.

He explained that the family is the seedbed of care, nurturing society, the cradles of love, support and guidance, where values, traditions, and cultural identities are passed down through the generations; with the powerful forces of poverty and materialism, these values are now challenged.
He said further, “As we become less human and less loving, our society begins to die, and we leave the weak, the vulnerable and the impoverished, abandoned on the sidewalks of the city highways.

He noted therefore that these challenges, amongst so many others, were the reason for this conference, which provided an opportunity for participants to share ideas and listen to experts as they examined and provided insight and perspectives on how we can build resilience and nurture future generations, for the restoration, preservation of family values, for the sustainability of humanity even in a dynamic and challenging environment.”

Speakers at the event spoke on a wide-ranging issue affecting families with emphasis on such critical sub-themes as: “The Family as a Cornerstone of National Unity”, which discussed how socio-economic factors impact family stability and resilience, paving the way for a more unified Nigeria; “Building a Stronger Nigeria Family”, this topic addressed the influence of a changing world while safeguarding the core values that make Nigerian families unique and “Family as a Catalyst for Economic Growth”, which discussed how strong families can propel Nigeria’s economic engine and create a more resilient society.
He expressed confidently that the insights, experiences and expertise shared during the discussion will not only depend on our understanding of the challenges facing Nigerian families but will also inspire concrete actions and initiatives to address them.

With a renewed commitment to strengthening the Nigerian family, he expressed confidence that addressing the benefits of the diverse perspectives represented by each individual will provide concrete actions and initiatives to address the issues confronting our families as a nation, adding, “Let us remember that the strength of our families is inextricably linked to the future of our nation. By working together, we can build a more prosperous Nigeria, one thriving family at a time.” 
Speakers and topics discussed at the event included: “Building a Better Nigerian Family and Safeguarding it from the Influence of Western Culture”, by Mr Peter Obi; “Family a Significant Element of National Unity”, by Mr. and Mrs. Ben Ikeakor and “Family A Major Catalyst to Nigerian Economic”, by Mr.  Tony Oputa.

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