Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria

by The Registered Trustees of the Cece Yara Foundation
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Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria
Help to Stop Child Sexual Abuse in Nigeria

Implementing Cece Yara’s Safe Kids Awareness Training Programme in Lagos State Public Schools

We started off the quarter with a dogged determination to ensure that no child is left behind in accessing child protection 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 non-offending families.

Summer vacation was fast approaching with every horrifying tendency that children will be locked down with their perpetrators with no recourse to community resources which will escalate into a lot of disclosures at school resumption. To reinforce case reporting and access to professional services the Foundation paid a collaboration visit to the Permanent Secretary Lagos State Ministry of Education for approval to implement the Foundation’s Safe Kids Awareness training program in the Lagos state public schools on resumption of the new school session to train children and educators on the dynamics of child sexual abuse to which approval was given. The program is child-friendly, developmentally appropriate, provides clear and positive messages about setting boundaries assertively, and is designed to teach pupils how to stay safe from sexual abuse.

Cece Yara’s Programme Interventions for Children

To date, we have trained over 4000 Change Makers on the best practices of prevention and response to child sexual abuse and have equipped over 48,000 Children with life skills on how to prevent and report abuse. This quarter, we received 1437 calls from our child helpline which culminated in 1298 Cases of abuse, with child sexual abuse being the most prevalent.

The Foundation has provided structured counseling sessions for 317 Clients and general advocacy support for over 832 Clients. Our therapeutic interventions also involve online counseling to which over 3598 individuals have benefited on a number of issues relating to sexual health and reproductive rights, child protection, and harnessing community resources.

Over 160 clients were provided with medical treatment and evaluation this last quarter as a result of health complications arising from child sexual abuse.

The Foundation has blazed the trail in conducting child forensic interviews in Nigeria to facilitate investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases. To date, 54 children have accessed justice through the Foundation’s forensic interview model with more referrals from law enforcement agencies. The legal team has facilitated the arrest of 136 perpetrators and institution 72 cases in court with 2 ending up in the conviction of the perpetrators.

The Cece Yara’s Children’s Shelter with its housing advocacy has accommodated 50 children to date and 6 adults to help them regain their sense of safety while accessing legal, psycho-social, and medical support at the Shelter o get them re-adjusted to living a normal post-abuse life.

Collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Abuja Branch

The NBA Abuja Branch comprising of about 320 legal practitioners held its monthly meeting on the 2nd July 2021 and the Foundation was opportune to sensitize the association on the best practices of a one-stop child-friendly response based on the Foundation’s Child Advocacy Center model with its programme and services all at no cost to survivors, children at risk and their non-offending families with special focus on the prescription and adoption of child forensic interview in the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases to facilitate access to justice for survivors. The foundation received a positive response from the association who agreed to partner with the Foundation for referrals of survivors to the Foundation for child forensic interviewing and to offer their legal services pro bono for the Foundation’s clients. The Association has since forwarded a draft Memorandum of Understanding to be signed by both organizations to consolidate the partnership.

The Area courts in Abuja have also given the Foundation the approval to disseminate its IEC materials within the courts to generate awareness on the Foundation’s one-stop response to child sexual abuse.

National Policy Dialogue on ending violence against children in Nigeria.

At the National Policy Dialogue held on the 17th of July 2021, the Federal Government of Nigeria signed a commitment to end all forms of violence and harmful practices against Children in Nigeria decrying the increasing cases of violence meted on children and reiterated its commitment to protecting children from abuse, exploitation, trafficking, and violence as stated under Goal 16.2 of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Foundation was the only NGO invited to the Dialogue with the Founder/Trustee Mrs. Bola Tinubu as a facilitator to enlighten the country on creating safe communities for children in all settings through prevention and response to cases of violence against children. Among the seven key areas that were adopted and signed by the President at the Dialogue is the continued support to adopt the Child Rights Act in all States of the Federation. The event was attended by international, national, state, and local stakeholders engaged in child protection and aired across the entire nation to reiterate the nation’s commitment to ending violence against children

This was closely followed by the Foundation’s media advocacy programs to equip parents/caregivers and children online on the menace of child sexual abuse.

Voice of Nigeria

On the 30th of July 2021, the Foundation was hosted by the Voice of Nigeria radio station one of the long-standing media houses in Nigeria founded in 1961 with media coverage of over 400,000 listeners in a radio programme on identifying and responding to child sexual abuse and its correlation to SGBV cases. The broadcast was able to win and sustain the attention of listeners worldwide particularly Nigerians and Africans within and in diaspora on the Foundation’s professional service response to child sexual abuse to enhance case reporting, identifying signs of abuse in children, and responding responsibly to harness community resources.

Plus, TV Africa

The Foundation honored the invitation of Plus TV Africa in a recorded show to equip the society on child sexual abuse and the accompanying trauma to keep the society better informed on the dynamics of child sexual abuse. Plus, TV Africa is a Nigerian pan-African news channel owned by General News and Entertainment Company and broadcasts across Africa. The TV station airs in over 30 countries with more than 12 million viewers across Africa.

Out of the Shadow Campaign

The Foundation also impacted the religious world to ensure that no child is left behind. This was carried out on the invitation of the Out of Shadow campaign in collaboration with the Christian Council of Nigeria and the World Council of Churches in a virtual workshop on the church’s responsibility in responding to child sexual abuse and exploitation. Over 120 delegates of the convening organizations were trained on ensuring the safety of children in the church community.

Commemoration of the World Breast Feeding week

In celebrating the 2021 World breastfeeding week as a way of creating awareness on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding to enhance child survival, the Honourable Minister Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA), Dame Pauline K. Tallen alongside key stakeholders hosted the first babies of the year and their parents from 2012 to 2021.

The event, which was held on Thursday, 5th August 2021 featured the presentation of gifts from the Cece Yara Foundation by the Honourable Minister to the first babies of the Year. It was indeed an insightful event as the Director of Child Development, FMWA shared the many benefits of exclusive breastfeeding and the need to imbibe positive nutritional and hygiene practices as well as health-seeking practices to enhance the well-being of their children.

Training of Oyo State Law enforcement agents on Comprehensive Investigation and Response to SGBV

The United Nations Population Fund in partnership with the Oyo State Ministry of Justice and Centre for Population and Reproductive Health organized a three-day capacity building workshop for law enforcement agents on a comprehensive investigation of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and protection of survivors in the State. The 3-day workshop was held from 30th August -1st September 2021.

The Foundation was invited based on its subject expertise in child protection response, policy formulation for response to SGBV, capacity building of various cadres of responders, survivor-centered and multi-sectoral response to facilitate various segments of the training. The Foundation’s Executive Director Bisi Ajayi-Kayode facilitated the sessions on; Guiding principles on responding to SGBV, Survivor centered and multi-Sectoral response, the role of the Gender Desk Units of the Police, best practices of preventing and responding to child sexual abuse, Communication skills, and Psychological First Aid in SGBV response and child forensic interviewing.

About 32 senior law enforcement agents were trained at the workshop including the police, Immigration, and Civil Defense Corps.

Liberia’s National Colloquium on SGBV Advocacy in partnership with UN Spotlight Initiative

The Colloquium was organized by Women Empowerment for Self-Employment (WESE) in collaboration with the Ministries of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Internal Affairs, and Ministry of Justice, and other stakeholders in the administration of the criminal justice system in Liberia. The Cece Yara Foundation was represented by the Executive Director as an international presenter on ‘’ Sharing the best international practices of response to SGBV’’. There were about 122 participants at the colloquium.

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 We began this quarter with renewed zeal and passion to weather the storm of whatever challenges COVID 19 Pandemic had in store, having been committed to our goals of providing support to all children, protecting them from any form of exploitation, including sexual and other forms of abuse. During this period, several children who were victims of abuse and the non-offending family members were assisted to access vital social services and justice systems. In specific terms, we are glad to say that Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre in Lagos and Abuja, in collaboration with its partners, was also able to reach out to not less than 30 vulnerable children, ensured that some of such girls and boys have been placed in alternative care, facilitated the institution of criminal cases proceedings against the perpetrators and thus safeguarding the lives and futures of these children.  

Fortunately, the beginning of 2021 saw approved vaccines to the rampaging COVID 19 pandemics being rolled across countries of the world including Nigeria. As of March 2021, over 300 million vaccine doses had been administered worldwide. The figures give us hope of the world scoring victory against the deadly pandemic. We have also recorded an 18% decrease in the incidence of abuse (January-April 2021) reported compared to the same period last year because the total lockdown measures to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, put a lot of children at risk of being abused because some of the perpetrators were lockdown with the children, the ease of lockdown also gives hope to children who are at risk of being abused.

We look forward to providing more services and intervention during the coming “normalized” period. We appreciate all the support we received from our partners, funders, donors, volunteers, and supporters as we would not have achieved all without their strategic partnership alone. We look forward to consolidating on these modest gains in the coming period.

The Cece Yara Foundation in Collaboration with International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) U.S. Department of State in Community Engagement Programme

On the 26th of March 2021, the Cece Yara Foundation co-facilitated a sensitization program with IVLP in Ejigbo Community themed: “Maintaining a Rape, Child Molestation and Domestic Violence Free Community”. Present at the program was the Executive Director of Cece Yara Foundation, Ms. Grace Ketefe, and Assistant Director Ms. Bisi Ajayi-Kayode, and other team members, the Local Government Chairman of Ejigbo LCDA was also present at the training. The training targeted children and adults separately. The following issues were addressed at the training:

  1. Understanding the Scourge: Rape Child Molestation and Domestic Violence; This session was facilitated by the Assistant Director. The public was enlightened about the causes of abuse, COVID-19 impact on abuse, and child rights, and how children can protect themselves from abuse in schools, homes, and religious institutions, etc. The Foundation and her services to survivors of abuse were also discussed
  2. The strategies for Rape and Sexual Violence Avoidance and Resistance; This session was facilitated by the Executive Director Mrs. Grace Ketefe
  3. Safe Kids Awareness Program (SKAP) Children were trained on body boundaries and enlightened on who their network of a trusted adult is. They were also taught that they can call the child helpline at any time and there is a professional counselor at the other end of the line who is always ready to listen to them.

Also, on the 8th of April 2021, the Cece Yara Foundation co-facilitated a program in Shomolu Community themed: “Achieving a Rape, Child Molestation and Domestic Violence Free Community”. Present at the program was the Assistant Executive Director of Cece Yara Foundation- Mrs. Bisi Ajayi-Kayode, and other team members. The audience was enlightened about the types of child abuse (sexual, physical, and Emotional), the audience was educated on the 5 steps to protecting children and the child rights law. The audience was also enlightened about the Cece Yara Foundation and her services. They were implored to always speak up and break the silence when they know or see anyone who experiences abuse.

Across both communities, over 400 changemakers were trained on how to prevent and react responsibly to the incidence of child sexual abuse, and over 300 children ages 5-17, were trained on body boundaries, assertive skills, and life skills aimed at creating awareness and preventing child sexual abuse.

CYF in Collaboration with British Council

On the 13th of April 2021, the Cece Yara Foundation in company Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) British Council representative - Iyiola Gbadamosi, Assistant Director of The Cece Yara Foundation- Mrs. Bisi Ajayi- Kayode, Communications Coordinator- Ayorinde Ogunlade, and Legal team paid a courtesy visit to Mr. Fayode Adegoke Mustapha, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Panti.   The meeting was geared towards the adoption of Forensic interviews as the best practice for investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases, and the need to review the police training curriculum to include the dynamics of child sexual abuse and forensic interview. The DCP expressed his warmest regards to the Organization and pledge to sustain the support Cece Yara been receiving from them over the years.

Religious Organization Pledges to End Violence against Women and Girls

On the 20th of April 2021, the Cece Yara team also facilitated training for two prominent religious organizations in Nigeria. The Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria also known as NASFAT – A Nigerian Muslim prayer group with a focus on youth, women, and the Christian Council of Nigeria.

The training sessions focused on equipping the participants on understanding their role as Faith-Based Organizations on Ending Violence against Women & Girls (VAWG) respectively. After the training, the groups pledged to strengthen structures within their organizations to End violence against women and girls.

Cece Yara Foundation Facilitates Training for Invictus Africa

On the 27th of March, the Cece Yara Team facilitated a program for parents with children under the age of 18. The program was tagged “A-Z of Sexual Abuse”. They equipped the participants with knowledge on understanding sexual abuse, preventing sexual abuse, seeking accountability, and getting the needed support for survivors.

Cece Yara Multi-Disciplinary Team Responding to our Clients in Need of Child Protection intervention.

The Team has attended to over 35 cases of child sexual abuse during the reporting period.

Our Multi-Disciplinary Team is ever ready to interfaces with child protection stakeholders; and enable a coordinated multi-disciplinary approach by lawyers, forensic interviewers, social workers, child advocates, medical personnel, the police, State Child Welfare Departments, and the Ministry of justice.

CYF Trains more Forensic experts

In child sexual abuse cases, skillful forensic interviews are important to ensure the protection of children and the conviction of perpetrators. We are happy to state that during this period, we trained more staff, representatives from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs Abuja, and the Police on conducting the forensic interviews. Trained participants would be able to obtain information from a children/witness for use in a legal setting, such as a court hearing, and gather information in a legally defensible and developmentally appropriate manner about whether a child (or another person) has been abused. Our Child Advocacy Centers is ever ready to provide a safe, child-friendly atmosphere for children to make disclosures.

Cece Yara Child-Friendly Shelter

Despite the COVID pandemic challenges, our shelter is still providing support for children that need to be moved from an offending environment to a safe space. Although this was quite challenging, the staff had to go the extra mile to ensure all COVID protocols were observed before children and their non-offending family members were admitted into the shelter. During this period children were referred to the Shelter from government agencies, a total number of 12 children were able to access the shelter and our psychosocial support.

Our Child Helpline is a member of Child Helpline International and it is a National Helpline. In line with a child’s fundamental right to be heard as enshrined in the Child Rights Act and laws of Nigeria, the helpline offers help and support for children and their non-offending family members. Children and adults can always talk to our counselors who actively listen to their concerns and link them to resources and emergency assistance whenever the need arises. The child helpline has responded to over 19,000 calls within and outside the country since inception - August 2016 to date and has provided support for over 1048 different cases of abuse reported via the helpline.

One of the things that put a smile on our faces is feedback- a child once called the helpline to say thank you after his sister received support and intervention in a sexual violence case.

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The Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre, Abuja.
The Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre, Abuja.

Cece Yara Foundation Report for September - December 2020

Despite the COVID 19 Pandemic and its resulting challenges, we began this period committed to uphold, protect, and enforce the rights of every child within this nation We worked with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the rights of every child are enforced, albeit, tailored to fit the new crisis context. We were dynamic with some of our activities, providing our Child Protection Training for adults online, equipping them to be responsible adults. We are extremely happy to inform you that we concluded 2020’s activities with the official launch of the Cece Yara Child Advocacy Centre in Abuja. We want to use this opportunity say thank you to all child protection stakeholders and partners who have gone the extra miles to ensure that our children are protected from COVID 19 pandemic.    We cannot but say thank you to all our teeming supporters for making us relevant at this period.

 We appreciate all the support we received from our funders, donors, partners, volunteers, supporters, and clients.

We would not have achieved all this alone; we look forward to the amazing year 2021 with you all right by our sides.

 

The Cece Yara Foundation – Expanding its Child Advocacy Centre and the Northern States

The Foundation officially launched its Abuja Child Advocacy Centre on the 30th of November 2020, making it the second child Advocacy Centre to be established, the first of its Child Advocacy Centre having been established in Lagos about three years ago.

The Honourable Minister for Women Affairs-Dame Pauline K Tallen commissioned the Child Abuja Centre.  The event was graced by the First lady of Ekiti State- Ermelo Bisi Fayemi, First Lady of Kwara State- Dr Mrs Olufalake Abdurazaq, Executive Secretary of the Human Right Commission- Mr Anthony o. Ojukwu, UNICEF child protection specialist- Dr Godwin Odo, and DCP Legal Nigeria Police Force- Mr Abass Ochogwu.

Other activities to commemorate the launch included a visit to an orphanage home and a school where children were equipped with knowledge of their bodies, safe and unsafe touch, and how to report abuse. The second phase was the art exhibition.

 

Tracking the Menace of Gender-Based Violence in Our Society

In response to the rising cases of gender-based violence in Nigeria and across the world, Access Bank’s‘W’Initiative in partnership with the Nigerian Governors Wives against Gender-Based Violence(NGWA-GBV), recently organised a virtual webinar themed ‘Tackling the menace of gender-based violence in our society’ on the 17th November 2020, The Founder Trustee of the Cece Yara Foundation Mrs Bola Tinubu and other speakers Her Excellency First lady of Ekiti State- Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Her Excellency Mrs Olufalake Abdurazaq First Lady of Kwara State, Dr Kemi Dasilva-Ibru, the Founder, Women at Risk Foundation(WARIF) spoke at a webinar organized by Access Bank's W Initiative and the Nigerian Governors Wives Against Gender-Based Violence are working together to stand against Gender-Based violence.

The speakers in their discussion focused on the fact that despite increased awareness and violence prevention programs, social norms and beliefs still pose a major challenge to ending gender-based violence in the society. In line with the vision of the ‘ create a society where sexual and gender-based violence is eradicated, the conversation focused on the meaning and types of gender-based violence, contributing factors as well as how to respond, cope and ultimately put an end to the scourge. Mrs Tinubu stressed the fact that the victim of Gender-based violence should speak out and seek help. She also emphasized that Cece Yara Foundation is committed to ensuring that no child is subjected to any form of sexual abuse.

 

Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy Training for over 700 School Counsellors in Lagos State

The Cece Yara Foundation in partnership with Lagos State Ministry of Education held a virtual training for public schools’ Counsellors in the State on the 12th of August 2020.  The training had in attendance over 700 Counsellors from various local governments. In attendance was also the honourable Commissioner of Education Mrs Folashade Adefisayo. The training was organized to empower Counsellors to handle cases of CSA professionally when schools eventually reopen.  Through this training, the Foundation was able to reach over 200 schools. 

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu swore in Mrs Bola Tinubu as the Chair, Governing Council of the Office of the Public Defender. 

We are happy to announce the appointment of our founder trustee Mrs Bola Tinubu, as the Chairman of the Governing Council of Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD) The Office provides free and qualitative legal services for citizens of Lagos state. This new appointment is a recognition of the impact of the Foundation and her founder trustee are making toward ensuring that citizens of Lagos state get justice irrespective of their socio-economic class. The main objective for the establishment of the OPD was to create an avenue; a forum that will be open to receive and legally deal with issues that affect the socio-economic rights of the indigent residents of Lagos State irrespective of tribal background.

 

EDU-360 Social Media Engagement

 In partnership with Union Bank on the project Edu 360, the Foundation was able to engage people amid the pandemic via the social media platforms on how to prevent sexual abuse. Short stories were developed to illustrate cases of violence that people could easily relate to. The Child Helpline 0800800801 was also published on our social media, informing adults and children to report cases on the line, this led to increasing in the number of calls and cases of abuse that were reported.

 

The Safe kid's Awareness Program

As a result of the Global Health Crisis, we were unable to run our programs physically as originally envisaged. We were, however, able to partner with state governments to leverage on radio and television to create increase awareness in Lagos and Abuja.

Through our Safe Kids, Awareness Prevention Program children were equipped with safety skills, knowledge on recognizing sexual abuse, how to get help, and how to be assertive about body boundaries.

An estimated 10 million Nigerians were indirectly reached. 4 million children and 6 million adults had access to the Radio and Television Programs on child protection facilitated by the Cece Yara team. There was no limitation to the number of people participating in the location.

 

Cece Yara Child-Friendly Shelter

Our shelters are still providing support for children that need to be moved from a hostile environment to a safe space that despite the COVID 19 Pandemic challenges.  The Shelter is still functioning providing the needed interventions for children that need to be urgently moved to a safe space providing them with therapy to help them heal and live a healthy life. During this period, children were referred to the Shelter from the family court and other government agencies. Till date, our child-friendly shelter has provided a temporary home for over 35 children who need to be urgently removed from the offending environment.

 

Child Helpline Till date the child helpline has recorded 25,000 calls from August 2016 till date which include calls by children and adults from all the 36 states of Nigeria and outside the country.

 

Cece Yara Adult Child Protection Awareness Prevention Program

Our Adult Awareness Creation Program, which started in 2019, has empowered additional 611 Stakeholders (i.e., traditional, religious, and community-based organization) during this period this reporting period.

 

Feedback from Our Client

A mother whose child was sexually abused had this to say “I like the way you stood by me all through, the first time I called the child helpline when the matter was documented at the police station and finally charged to court. I do not think I would have stood my ground without your support.  I can now support other women.”

The Cece Yara Child Helpline
The Cece Yara Child Helpline
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We made Impact despite the Pandemic
We made Impact despite the Pandemic

Cece Yara Foundation Report for May-August 2020

We made Impact despite the Pandemic

This reporting period was plagued by total to partial and regulated lock-down as a result of the COVID 19 Pandemic, we recorded an increase in the number of child sexual and physical abuse reported to the Foundation as a result of the lockdown measures imposed by the authorities. An average of 15 child abuse cases was reported per week as against the 2 to 3 cases reported pre-COVID 19. The reason for this could not be far- fetched as children were locked-in with abusers and there is limited access to schools and other safe places.

Nevertheless, the challenges imposed by the COVID 19 could not stop our team from providing a one- stop-response to cases of child sexual abuse, though, at the beginning of the pandemic, we struggled to maintain our standard response to children who had been sexually abused. We had to work with government agencies and partners in other states to try and support the children. Thankfully we have re-established our standard response though with much higher costs. We needed to invest in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) materials to cover our three locations – Gbagada and Ajeromi in Lagos and FCT Abuja Federal Capital Territory. Also, we purchased full PPE outfits for extreme and risky rescues. We are grateful to our partners who worked with us during the strict lockdown, ensuring that children were adequately protected.

 

This period also witnessed a fostered collaboration with governmental and non-governmental organizations in ensuring that the rights of children are adequately protected despite the restriction/lockdown. The Foundation worked with the Ministry of Education, Office of the Public Defender, Ministry of Youths and Social Development, Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team-(DSVRT), National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), and other Civil Society Organizations (CSO) to ensure effective implementation of Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in Lagos State.  We built the capacity of over 1000 school teachers in Lagos State on effective implementation of the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.

 

Cece Yara Awareness Prevention Program

Before the pandemic, we had several prevention and awareness programs targeting professionals, adults, community stakeholders, and children that were being taught physically. Our children’s programs have been taught to over 30,000 children in schools, while Cece Yara adult prevention awareness training for adults has trained over 3000 change-makers in communities. The Foundation, due to shut down of schools, restriction of movement, and social distancing measures put in place, had to remodel the majority of its physical programs to virtual ones. Our first online program in commemoration of the International Children Day’s held on the 27th of May 2020 while our Adult Webinar on Sex Education which held on the 16th of June 2020, equipped parents and educators to engage and empower their children on sexuality so that the children could develop knowledge and skills to interact positively. We are currently developing programs that will work within the pandemic guidelines for communities that do not have access to the internet and phones.

 

Underlisted is highlights of some of the engagements:

  1. Empowering Teachers at the Corona Schools’ Trust Fund - On June 19, 2020, the Corona Schools’ Trust Fund partnered with the Cece Yara Foundation to virtually educate teachers, parents, and caregivers on protecting children from Sexual Predators. Over 100 participants were equipped with the skill to on how to prevent Child Sexual Abuse; how to make choices and establish safety plans and how to respond appropriately to disclosures of CSA.

 Overview of the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy Webinar

On the 12th of August, 2020, a virtual training of over 1000 secondary school teachers and counselors was conducted via Zoom. The topic of the training was “Overview of the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy”. The Chief host of the training was the Lagos State Commissioner for Education (Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo), the co-host was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, and Mrs. Abosede Adelaja.

The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, gave an opening remark on behalf of the Commissioner. In her remarks, she stated that the Lagos State Government, as well as the Ministry of Education, is committed to working with teachers and counselors to ensure that child protection is effectively implemented in schools as it is fundamental to the development of every child.

The Permanent Secretary emphasized the support and commitment of the First Lady, wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, in combating sexual violence, child molestation, and defilement, in schools. Teachers and counselors were mandated to implement the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and report all cases of child protection policy.

 In collaboration with relevant stakeholders within the Ministry of Education, another virtual training titled “Teachers! “Their Role as Mandatory Reporters” was conducted via zoom and YouTube on the 20th of August, 2020. The Permanent Secretary in her opening remarks also emphasized the importance of effective implementation of child protection policy to bring about a reduction in the incidence of child abuse, rape, and maltreatment of children in schools. She emphasized that the Ministry is committed to creating and enforcing a management system that provides a safe environment for children in schools. In attendance were over 1000 secondary school teachers. The training program was tailored towards equipping public school teachers and counselors with the state’s Child Safeguarding and Mandatory reporting policy which will make adequate provision for children to make disclosures on resumption, have a dedicated counseling unit in schools which will provide the children with confidentiality, professional counseling, information and care in case reporting.

 

Lagos State Ministry of Education, Partners Cece Yara on Child Protection  

L-R: Mrs. Bisi Ajayi- Kayode, Assistant Director, Cece Yara Foundation; Oluwatosin Williams, Deputy Director Child Guidance/ Counselling & Special Education; Grace Ketefe Executive Director Cece Yara Foundation;  the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo; Mrs. Olusola Somoye, the Director Child Guidance/ Counselling & Special Education and Mrs. Abosede Adelaja, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education.

 

Sex Health Education Talk by Child Aid and Sponsorship Awareness Foundation on July 14, 2020, Mrs. Bola Tinubu, our founder trustee was a guest on a Webinar training organized by Child Aid and Sponsorship Awareness Foundation titled “Sex Health Education: Steering Effective Communications Between Guardians and Their Children”. The event was aimed at empowering parents with factual information to help prepare their minds and open up channels of communication between both parties. It was indeed an enlightening session.

 

The Cece Yara Chat Foundation’s sexual abuse prevention toolkit mobile App

In commemoration of the 2020 Children’s Day celebration on May 27th, 2020, and in a bid to curb the high rate of child sexual abuse and violence in Nigeria, the Cece Yara Foundation launched an innovative solution to empower children and adults with resources, skills, knowledge and to provide direct access to child protection professionals in form of an App.

The Cece Yara Foundation App is an innovative way to spread awareness of child sexual abuse. The app provides practical information and guidance on how to recognize and prevent sexual abuse and exploitation.

This App also has a chat feature for children to discuss freely with a professionally trained child counselor about issues that bother them and make a disclosure about unsafe touches without fear of being judged or reprimanded. Users can also make a direct report by clicking on the “Make a Report” button”.

Some unique features of the app include; Learning functions that allow users to have access to trivia to test their knowledge of body boundaries, body private parts, assertive skills, safe and unsafe touches as well as whom to report and how to report unsafe touches. It also includes the Cece Yara Safe kids Directory which is the very first child protection service portal in Nigeria. The App users can search for the nearest child protection service providers, including primary health centers, police stations, courts, child-centered NGOs, and Government agencies in Lagos State. Users can find their exact location using Google maps and give step-by-step directions to find the provider navigating from the user’s present location.

Through the App, the Foundation can provide emergency intervention for any child within Lagos State and Abuja, while referral services are provided to reliable partners from our network for children in other parts of the country.

 

Partnership with Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT and Lagos State Judiciary

Immediately the Lagos state government declared a lockdown to reduce the cases of infected persons with the disease, CYF Foundation knew there would be a high rise of sexual abuse cases. Hence the need to protect uninterrupted services to survivors of abuse. This informed the decision to partner with child protection service providers in other states and Lagos State (DSVRT) to respond effectively to cases of abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cece Yara Foundation in partnership with Lagos State Judiciary and Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team provided emergency rescue 40 children and shelter to 19   children aged 6-17 years who experienced sexual violence during the Covid-19 pandemic. The COVID 19 pandemic lockdown resulted in a spike in the incidence of sexual violence amongst children and adolescents in the state.

The spike in sexual violence also resulted in the Lagos State Government declaring a state of emergency, with civil society proposing stricter measures in addressing sexual violence.

 

Children Shelter a Top-notch amongst Others

The Cece Yara shelter is one of the few shelters that provide counseling services with shelter services. This has made the shelter to stand out amongst others. Thereby more children were referred by the government and other non-governmental organizations. The shelter has also been able to reunite children with their non-offending family members.

 

CYF partnering with the Nigeria Communications Commission- While internet opportunities are endless, if not properly handled, it could do a lot of damage, most importantly to our children as they do not understand the social and technical complexities of the internet. This is why the Nigerian Communications Commission and the Cece Yara Foundation are partnering to educate parents caregivers on how to keep children safe online during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Our helpline is also included on the NCC’s website

Read Aloud Lagos

Our Founder Trustee, Mrs. Bola Tinubu, in the company of His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and others was at the virtual Launch of reading Aloud Lagos to celebrate Children’s day on May 27. This event was organized to inspire creative curiosity in children and make them believe that future dreams can become a reality. Mrs. Bola Tinubu inspired children with a book titled “Do you have a secret?”  We appreciate the Lagos State Government for this for the opportunity.

Child Helpline- Inclusivity and multicultural Support

Our trained helpline counselors currently receive an average of 350 calls per month. We are proud of our 10 multicultural and multi-religious counselors who communicate fluently in Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo language, and who are of Christian and Islamic faiths. We ensure that every caller receives help without any language or religious barrier. We added male counselors to support little boys or men who feel more comfortable speaking to the same gender.

Our Multi-Disciplinary Team at work - A Unique Way of Caring for our Clients

Our Multi-Disciplinary Team interfaces with child protection stakeholders; and enable a coordinated multi-disciplinary approach by lawyers, counselors, forensic interviewers, social workers, child advocates, medical personnel, the police, State Child Welfare Departments, and the Ministry of justice. During this reporting, the Team has attended to over 100 cases of child sexual and physical abuse involving children from a year old to 18 years old.

A group photograph of some members of Cece Yara Foundation Staff

We had to Scale-up Staff’s Capacity to effectively respond to Cases during This Pandemic

Staff participated in several national and international Webinars for capacity building and collaboration during the lockdown. Webinar training included those facilitated by Child helpline international (African region), UNICEF, Government agencies, ROLAC roundtable of NGOs, etc. More partnerships were gleaned from these Webinars.

In conclusion, we want to express our profound to all our health workers who are in the frontline of health care delivery to combat this rampaging COVID 19 Pandemic. We hereby state that we are appreciative of the huge sacrifices you are making to protect the health of the populace. We also seize this opportunity to appreciate those who partner with us in our collective bid to rid the society of child abuse even in this unusual period of COVID 19 Pandemic. Our appreciation also goes to all our stakeholders who manage to form a common front with us as we Labour to overcome all the odds, especially these challenging times. Thank you all.

Overview of the Lagos State Webinar
Overview of the Lagos State Webinar
Lagos State Ministry of Education with Staff
Lagos State Ministry of Education with Staff
CYF partnering with the NCC
CYF partnering with the NCC
Mrs. Tinubu
Mrs. Tinubu
A photograph of some members of Cece Yara Team
A photograph of some members of Cece Yara Team
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Our New Abuja Child Advocacy Center
Our New Abuja Child Advocacy Center

Cece Yara Foundation Report for January – April 2020

We began the year 2020 with the setting up of a Child Advocacy Center in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja ensuring that children in the Northern part of Nigeria can access a one-stop response Child Advocacy Centre in dealing with child sexual abuse cases. We also had series of consultative meetings with the police, we hosted them to a learning visit at our Lagos Child Advocacy Centre stressing why it is important the Police adopt child Forensic Interview as best practice in the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases in Nigeria. Plans are ongoing by the police to model our Forensic interview suites at designated police Area Commands and set up a Police statement taking desk at the Child Advocacy Centre. Furthermore, we have received many endorsements for the work we do from our partners - Government organizations. Such as the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) faith-based organization is etc.

 

The advent of COVID 19 pandemic took everyone by surprise with its attendant spate of lockdowns and associated socio-economic constraints. At CYF, we believe that every crisis has its inherent opportunities that may be exploited for beneficial purpose with the appropriate mindset, through due innovation and proper planning, and that the COVID 19 is no exception, hence the resolve to continue to provide our toll- free 24-hour child helpline managed by fully trained staff who all have experience of listening and providing advice to children and young people. Our Child Helpline lines were accessible to everyone who needed help, advice, and information to report or prevent child sexual abuse. We were able to arrange for emergency interventions for children who were at the risk of being abuse within and outside Lagos State. We were able to aid our clients to document the matter and at the police station and facilitated the arrest of alleged perpetrators, albeit were unable to go ahead with criminal proceedings during the lockdown. We shall, however, start these proceedings once the lockdown is lifted. Our Lead Child Therapist provided telephone/video counselling to children and their non-offending family members to help them overcome abuse even as we adhered to the lockdown as imposed by the government. Having incorporated the requisite precautionary measures, we equipped the majority of our staff to work from home, leaving the few who are to be with the children at the Foundation’s Shelter, of which comprehensive protective measures have been incorporated into its operation strategies. During the period We generated awareness that our Child Helpline was, and still, is as functional as ever to ensure hitch-free responses to issues of abuse during the lockdown, 

 

We want to say thank to all child protection and healthcare providers who are on the front lines fighting this pandemic in Nigeria and another part of the world. You are our champions,  true heroes taking care of our communities and saving lives every day.  We cannot but say thank to all our teeming supporters for making us relevant at this period.

 

Engaging the Police to Adopt Child Forensic Interview Our Founder-Trustee, Mrs Bola Tinubu, recently led a high-level team to a meeting with the Commissioner of Police, Lagos Command – Mr Hakeem Odumosu, and the Deputy Commissioner of Police/Head of the Lagos State Criminal Intelligence Investigation Department (SCIID), Panti - Mrs Yetunde Longe, to discuss the adoption of Video-Recorded Child Forensic Interviews as best practice in the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases in Nigeria.  This meeting succeeded in getting the buying in of the Police of the Forensic Interview process as shown by the referral of cases from the police to the Centre for forensic interview of child survivors.

Engaging the Lagos State Ministry of Education  for Effective Child Protection Policy in Lagos State

The Foundation facilitated the setting up of the group - Advocacy Group Technical Group under the Rise up Project. The group held a meeting on the 25th January to review the tools used by the Department of Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education, for ensuring effective implementation of child protection policy in schools.  Members reviewed the tool and were able to produce more checklist that prospective proprietors must put in place before the schools get governmental approval.  As a result of effective collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Foundation was granted approval to conduct the training on prevention of child sexual abuse in schools.

Child Helpline

Till date the child helpline has recorded 14,560 calls from August 2016 till date which include calls by children and adults from all the 36 states of Nigeria.

 

Cece Yara Adult Child Protection Awareness Prevention Program

Our Adult Awareness Creation Program, which started in 2019, has empowered 3000 Adults- community stakeholders (i.e. traditional, religious, and community-based organization’s) and education professionals. During this period, we have empowered above 200 Adults.

 

The Safe kids Awareness Program

Before the lockdown, about 2335 children were trained between January and February 2020.  Till date, the Foundation,


Till date, 32,126 children from 101 child-centred institutions across 14 LGA’s in Lagos State have been empowered by being equipped with safety skills, knowledge on recognizing sexual abuse, how to get help, and how to be assertive about body boundaries. There is no limit to the location of the awareness program; some of the locations included Badagry, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Ikeja, Apapa, Festac and Ikeja

 

 Our Child-Friendly Shelter

We are happy to say that despite the COVID 19 Pandemic, the Shelter is still functioning providing the needed interventions for children that need to be urgently moved to a safe space providing them with therapy to help them heal and live a healthy life. During this period, children were referred to the Shelter from the family court and other government agencies. Till date, our child-friendly shelter has provided a temporary home for over 22 children who need to be urgently removed from offending environments.

 

Feedback from Our Clients

A knight of the Catholic Church said “After undergoing your training and watching the video of the Adults survivors who tell their stories, I have never remained the same. I have told myself that I would take every step to prevent child sexual abuse. I am now a committed Active Bystander”.

 

A pupil, a recipient of our Safe Kid Awareness Prevention Program, called the Cece Yara Child helpline to say, “I want you to go to my sister’s school to teach them about Pant Rules. I learnt from the Mariam video”

 

Staying steadfast in commitment despite COVID 19 challenge

The Foundation is committed to continually innovate to meet up with her schedule of programs and thus ensure that her ever-expanding services to humanity are not unduly checkmated or threatened by the constraints spawned by the ravaging COVID 19 pandemics. The Foundation intends to consolidate on her already robust service by creatively exploring new avenues to expand the scope of her works.

Adult Awareness Program
Adult Awareness Program
Safe Kids Awareness Program
Safe Kids Awareness Program
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Organization Information

The Registered Trustees of the Cece Yara Foundation

Location: Lagos - Nigeria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @cece_yara
Project Leader:
Bola Tinubu
Lagos, Nigeria
$18,441 raised of $35,000 goal
 
251 donations
$16,559 to go
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