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
Ceceyara's organisational sustainability programme
Ceceyara's organisational sustainability programme

 

Cece Yara’s GlobalGiving Report for January-March 2022 - Making Impact in Ensuring Child Protection

 

1. Cece Yara’s Organisation Sustainability Plan

The performance of every organization depends on the efficiency of its human capital and as such it is important for management of organizations to invest in constant training and development to improve the work proficiencies of their staff. This the Cece Yara Foundation has done by kicking the ground running for 2022 in holding its Strategic meeting on Thursday, January 13 2022.

The guest speaker at the meeting was no other person than Mrs. Ndifreke Okwuegbunam, Director Programs and Grants, Act Foundation, who facilitated a session on Organizational Sustainability – for Non-profits. She gave deep insights in to a step by step organizational strategy for viable sustainability which had given the Cece Yara team more motivation to make impact.





2. Lagos State Governments Approval to Operate the Cece Yara Clinic

Global evidence has shown that when responding to child sexual abuse, the overriding priority is always the health and welfare of the child necessitating the need for high quality care provided at a site where there is optimal access to the full range of services and facilities required to ensure a safe, survivor centered approach to sexual violence while ensuring the utmost privacy. In some jurisdictions, the health and medico-legal components of the service response to sexual violence are provided at different times, in different places and by different people making the process duplicative, fragmented   and re-traumatizing for the survivor. The global recommendation to this problem has always being a one-stop response which the Cece Yara Foundation has successfully accomplished with the approval of the Lagos State Government Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMMA) on 14th January, 2022 to operate its medical clinic as a WARIF Satellite clinic located within its center to relieve the burden on survivors from travelling from one agency to the other. This will increase the bar for victim support services as the Foundation’s clients will be able to access medical, legal, forensic interview, psycho-social services at no cost at the same venue.

 

 

 

 

3. Adoption by Grange Group of School as the Charity Organisation of the Year

The Foundation was privileged to host delegates of the Grange Group of Schools Charity Club who visited the Foundation on a collaborative visit on the 14th of January having benefited from the Foundation’s Child Safeguarding and Protection training (Safe Kids Awareness Prevention Programme) and have now adopted the Foundation as its Charity organisation for the year 2022 with the School educators participating  in the Foundation’s UNICEF funded empowerment programme for educators Programme for Educators in 2019 .

The Charity Club students of the School further engaged the Foundation on the 31st of March via an online interview in the conduct of their research on global perspectives on SGBV as it affects children to empower the students’ response to SGBV.

The School has also taken further steps to message the Foundation’s vision and mission in ensuring child protection from sexual abuse during its Bake –sale and T-shirt day of the school to generate awareness about the Foundation’s programme services.

 

 

 

4. Judgement Obtained in the Case of Child Defilement

The Foundation obtained judgement in the case of defilement of a 14year old girl it institted at the Sexual offences court of Lagos state on the 31st of January, 2022.

The case was reported to the foundation through our toll-free Child Helpline - 08008008001, in respect of the 34 year old security guard of the survivor’s parent’s house, who had been serially defiling the 14 years old survivor since she was 9 years old. The Cece Yara Foundation facilitated access to justice for the survivor by documenting the case with the police, institution of the case in court and also providing medical and psychosocial services for the survivor.

The judge believed that the prosecution had been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the offence of defilement having proved all three ingredients of defilement provided under section 137 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State 2015. The judge, therefore, sentenced the defendant to life imprisonment without an option of a fine and further ordered that the defendants' name be documented in the Lagos State Sexual Offences Register.

 

 

5. Safe Kids Awareness Prevention Training Programme at Setraphy International Academy

The Foundation implemented its Safe Kids Awareness Prevention Training Programme for pupils of Setraphy Academy in Lugbe FCT Abuja on the 16th of February wherein the children were empowered on body boundaries, case reporting, the concept of trusted adults and coping skills. About 60 children benefited from the training.

6. Participation in the Launch of the Standard Operating Procedure for SGBV/VAWG/HP Integrated Service Provision for Persons Living with Disabilities

The Foundation has worked hard alongside the Centre for Women’s Health and Information (CEWHIN) as part of its EU-UN Spotlight Initiative in collaboration with the Lagos State Office of Disability Affairs (LASODA) and the Centre for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) to ensure that support for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) is being mainstreamed into the efforts towards prevention and response to SGBV in the state. This climaxed into a consultative workshop and peer review meeting on developing a Standard Operating procedure (SOP) for VAWG/SGBV/HP Integrated Service Provision for Persons with Disabilities in Lagos State. Based on recommendations during the peer review meeting, the SOP was finalized and launched on the 25th of February, 2022 to prioritize service provisions for Persons Living with Disabilities (PWLD).

 

 

7. Collaboration with the Children’s Parliament

The Nigerian Children’s Parliament who paid a collaborative visit to the Foundation on the 16th of March, 2022 to glean more support for its advocacy for the domestication of the Child Rights Act by all states of the Federation with effective implementation, advocacy for a nationwide study to understand the current dynamics of child sexual abuse, addressing the power imbalance structure of the society that condones abuse and the need for a viable witness protection programme while ensuring child participation about issues that concerns them all of which align with Cece Yara’s strategic objectives in ensuring child protection from sexual abuse.

This was followed by a radio programme by both organisation titled ‘’the Child’s View of Sexual Abuse’’ to sensitise adults on the impact of child sexual abuse and the urgent need for child participation in formulating policies in issues that concerns them.

 

8. Legislative Advocacy for Child Forensic Interview as the Best Practice of Investigating and Prosecuting Child Sexual Abuse Cases

The Foundation in fulfillment of its strategic objectives for legislative advocacy paid a courtesy visit to the Attorney General of Lagos state on the 25th of March, 2022 to glean the establishment and implementation of a standard child sexual abuse investigation and interview protocol and a Multi-Disciplinary Team approach which will ultimately escalate in to a legal framework for admissibility of evidence procured through forensic interview to facilitate quicker and more effective investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases.

This succeeded in obtaining the buy-in of the Attorney General of Lagos State who set up a Steering Committee to develop and implement a Standardized Child Investigative and Interview Protocol to facilitate quicker and more effective investigative and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases.

9. HIVE ADVOCACY MIXER

The Foundation participated at the #BreakTheBias Brainstorm & Brunch, hive advocacy mixer on the 31st of March, 2022. The event was a unique opportunity to bring together influencer champions and advocates to connect, share ideas, align on synergies to maximize advocacy for Gender Equality and Family Planning causes in Nigeria. There was a fluid and informative presentation of the Foundation’s programme services which created intimacy with the audience of influencer champions and fellow advocates to increase awareness on the best practices of professional service response deployed by the Foundation.

 

10. Scholarship for an Infant Survivor of Human Trafficking

The Cece Yara Foundation facilitated the emergency rescue of a baby that was abducted within 24 hours of delivery in 2019 and also placed the biological mother in a rehabilitation center to get healed and adjusted to live a normal post-abusive life. The Foundation has also facilitated scholarship for the infant who is now 2years plus for pre-school education.

Ceceyara's organisational sustainability programme
Ceceyara's organisational sustainability programme
With Grange School students as the Charity organis
With Grange School students as the Charity organis
Grange school students messaging Cece Yara's child
Grange school students messaging Cece Yara's child
Training for Setraphy Academy pupils
Training for Setraphy Academy pupils
Launching of Standard Operating Procedures  for PL
Launching of Standard Operating Procedures for PL
SOP for PLWDS
SOP for PLWDS
Cece Yara's medical clinic
Cece Yara's medical clinic
Cece Yara's medical clinic
Cece Yara's medical clinic
Cece Yara's  with children's parliament
Cece Yara's with children's parliament
Cece Yara with Children's parliament photo 2
Cece Yara with Children's parliament photo 2
Legislative advocacy for forensic interview
Legislative advocacy for forensic interview
Hive Advocacy Mixer
Hive Advocacy Mixer

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Empowering Communities on Child Protection

30th September 2021 - Award as the Best NGO on Sexual Violence by the Lagos State Government

On the 30th of September, 2021, the Foundation received the award as the leading NGO on SGBV with a letter of commendation from Governor Lagos State H.E. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the end of the year award and commendation night of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Agency of the State Government. The Foundation was commended for demonstrating absolute commitment in ending SGBV with the provision of its services and further described as having demonstrated dedication to public education in engaging with communities to reduce the incidence of SGBV.

The event was graced by eminent personalities including the representatives of the Governor of Lagos State and his deputy, the Secretary to the State Government, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, the First Lady of Lagos State, the Commissioners from the Lagos State Ministries of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Youths and Social Development, Education, the State’s Commissioner of Police, Special Adviser to the Government on Civic Engagements, Traditional rulers, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor the University of Lagos and heads of Agencies all reiterating their firm commitment to put an end to SGBV.

4th November – Safe Kids Awareness Prevention Training (SKAP) at Redeemers International School

The Foundation implemented its child Safeguarding and Protection programme (Safe Kids Awareness Prevention Programme –SKAP) to 200 college students (12-18years) of the Redeemers International School, Maryland, Lagos.

The Redeemer's International Secondary School (Eden Place) is a co-educational secondary school; with a strong bias for Christian education, high moral values, the spirit of excellence and international relevance but never the less has its concern about the high rate of child sexual abuse in the country mores on its damaging impact on survivors’ academic performance and mental health. The School, therefore, reached out to the Foundation to empower its students on body safety, case reporting and professional service response.

 The children were empowered in a structured child-friendly developmentally appropriate training that provides clear and positive messages about setting boundaries assertively, how to stay safe from sexual abuse and understanding the concept of a trusted adult in case reporting. The students asked questions with a special focus on pseudo incestuous abuses as the society practices a culture of silence on such issues. They were enlightened on the criminality of child sexual abuse as a criminal offence which is acceptable regardless of the survivor’s relationship with the perpetrator.

The School authorities were quite impressed with the training which they described as an eye-opener and a professional guide to support children who have been sexually abused or at risk. They further requested that the Foundation implement its adult Awareness prevention training programme for the school staff and the other Redeemers International School outlets as they have a large populace of over a 1.5million children in Lagos State.

15th November 2021 – Deparadise Nursery and Primary School

The Deparadise Nursery and Primary School is located in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State which is notorious for high rates of crime, especially child sexual abuse and exploitation. The Parents Teachers Association of the School had been quite concerned about ensuring body safety for the pupils especially as the population range of the students ranged between 3 -11years in asserting body boundaries against perpetrators.

The Safe Kids Awareness Training Team of the Foundation implemented the child protection training for the pupils on the 15th of November, 2021  in an age-appropriate and developmentally sensitive manner using animated cartoons, drawings of body parts to teach the children about their private parts being exclusive to them, the stop power to resist unsafe touches, not to keep secrets about being abused from their trusted adults and continuous speaking out in case reporting until they receive help.

 51 children participated in the training and were given child-friendly pre-tests and post-test to ascertain that they understood the values inculcated during the training to glean life skills on body safety.

 

22nd and 23rd November 2021 - SKAP Trainings in Public Schools in Ikorodu

The SKAP pieces of training were further extended to public Schools to reach indigent and marginalized children on the 22nd and 23rd November respectively in Ikorodu which is a city and Local Government Area in Lagos State. Ikorodu is a large community and the largest local government area in Lagos State fraught with under-development, low-income, low literacy and the children lacking access to child protection services including access to justice, health services, recreation, good nutrition etc.

The SKAP team of the Foundation conducted pieces of training for 2,040 children in 3 largely populated public primary schools in Ikorodu L.G.A. of Lagos State. The pupils of the schools - Oga Primary School, Anyagburen Primary School and Model Primary School were taken through sessions of training to identify which parts of the body are private, understand safe and unsafe touches, improve their understanding of body safety, increase their capacity to prevent abuse of any kind especially sexual abuse, strengthen their skills to recognize diverse child protection issues and understand their vulnerability and grooming strategies of perpetrators appropriately.

The children were also given the Foundation’s IEC materials documented with the Foundation’s 24-hour toll-free child helpline to facilitate case reporting, professional counselling, care, emergency interventions and referrals to child protection agencies in Ikorodu.

14th November –Awareness Prevention Trainings for Church Community

The Foundation implemented itsAdult awareness training Programme for the members of the Redeemed Christian church of God at Sparklight Estate in Ojodu LCDA wherein 100 church members including church officials were trained on child protection and further guided to harness the State’s child protection system.

The children’s department of the church were also trained in asserting life skills to maintain body boundaries and to avoid being vulnerable to abuse within and outside the church community.

Media Advocacy - Empowerment against bullying of children

 7th December, the Lead Therapist of the Foundation Dr Rosemary Ogedengbe was on TVC news to give further insights into the effects of bullying on children and the society at a large and appropriate response.

TVC News is a Nigerian news 24-hour television news channel based in Lagos.[ The channel airs on British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSKYb) in the UK, Naspers Ltd. (NPN)’s DStv and Startimes in Nigeria, and Multi TV in Ghana.

16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM ON GBV

Live Webinar on Creating  Safe Spaces for Children AND WOMEN IN A VIOLENT SOCIETY

25th November 2021, the Foundation’s representative was invited as a speaker by the Women’s Wing of the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN) to speak on creating safe spaces for women and children in a violent society. The Webinar had about 122 participants representing children departments and women organizations of various churches under the CCN.

30th November – Awareness  Campaign  Walk

The Foundation commemorate the 16 days of Activism on GBV for the year 2022  by implementing an awareness campaign walk to increase the visibility of the Center’s mission of preventing child sexual abuse through community empowerment and support. The campaign walk was specifically targeted at the residents and school children of the Gbagada Phase 2 Estate in Shomolu Local Government Area of Lagos State to sensitise them on the Child Advocacy Center model of a one-stop response to child sexual abuse which will mitigate the trauma of survivors travelling to different child protection agencies to access services which are all provided on-site by the Cece Yara Foundation Child Advocacy Center. This it is envisaged will create a stronger base of support to drive our mission forward.

The residents were sensitized on the dynamics of child sexual abuse; knowing the statistics of the prevalence, Minimising the opportunity for it to occur, having healthy conversations with children around the issue, identifying the short and long term signs that a child has been abused and responding responsibly. This was done to influence their attitudes, behaviours and beliefs towards the prevention and response to child sexual abuse.

A total estimate of 1200 adults and 750 children were reached out to during the Campaign.

2nd December Market  Community  Outreach

Children live within communities and the patterns of everyday life and the norms and values such as local power structures that shape community life can have a very strong positive or negative impact on how children are treated.

Also, the primary duty of community and religious organisations is to protect the children within their vicinity. Communities are vital in ensuring child protection, as they have a role in finding solutions to child protection issues. It is therefore important for all sections of society to actively contribute towards the protection of children from harm and abuse and help to ensure that their rights are respected and promoted.

It is on this note that the Cece Yara Foundation implemented its Adult Prevention Awareness Training in a Market Community Empowerment Programme as part of its activities to commemorate the 16 Days Activism on GBV. The host Community was the popular Ile-Epo Foodstuff Market with a targeted population of 5000 adults including 200 community gate-keepers who were trained on Child Protection and Safeguarding and introduced to key contacts from the Lagos State Government and other child protection agencies within the Community.

The Foundation deployed a culturally competent entertainment-education strategy at the outreach to increase awareness to end negative socio-cultural norms that condone CSA, create the necessary conditions in the market environment for social change to influence public policy initiatives on child sexual abuse.

Technical Working Group on ENVAC

Nigeria is home to 17.5 million OVC. Although civil society organizations (CSOs) and child protection committees (CPCs) provide support at the community level, and ministries of social women affairs and social development (SMWASD) oversee state-level interventions, coordination is often a problem. Insufficient communication and collaboration between the two levels have often left state-level leaders with a poor understanding of the causes and conditions of vulnerability among children in their states, and community leaders with inadequate resources and support from their state-level counterparts.

The Cece Yara Foundation was inaugurated into the National Technical Working Group (TWG) on ending violence against children by the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and UNICEF  to end violence against children in Nigeria which will include strengthening inter-agency collaboration, fostering accountability, fundraising and technical assistance, ending negative socio-cultural norms that condone violence against children, a viable case management system, harnessing survivors to community resources through effective referral pathways.

 

SGBV Multi - sectoral Coordination Forum

The Cece Yara Foundation was officially inaugurated as a partner on the USAID Nigeria Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project implemented by Palladium to support the efforts of CSOs in the development and implementation of key democratic reforms at local, state, and national levels across any of the SCALE key sectors, paying attention to issues affecting marginalized populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, and other minority groups.


Child Protection Network Election

The Cece Yara Foundation was elected the State Treasurer of the FCT chapter of the Child Protection network. Child Protection Network (CPN) FCT Chapter, is a consortium of Child-Focused Organizations, Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a vision of a Nigerian society where children are free from all forms of abuse, exploitation, neglect and violence. The Network mission is to prevent and respond to abuse, exploitation, violence and other issues affecting children, thus ensuring the rights of children are protected.

Behavioral Insight Workshop

The Foundation participated in a Behavioral Insight Workshop Organized by The Policy Innovation Centre (PIC); an initiative within the National Economic Summit Group (NESG) sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Workshop seeks to deepen the impact of Nigeria’s Medium-Term National Development Plan to aid policymakers and program implementers with the design of more effective solutions for development using Behavioral Insights.

Nigerian Bar Association Collaboration –Abuja Branch

 The Cece Yara Foundation is in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association Abuja which has escalated to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to support professional service response to child sexual abuse by providing pro bono legal services to survivors, awareness creation, branding of courthouses, police stations with IEC materials printed in local languages, adoption of the child forensic interview process and Media advocacy.

Collaboration approval from FCT Social Development Secretariat

The Cece Yara Child Advocacy Center, FCT got provisional approval from the FCT Social Development Secretariat (SDS) to operate as an NGO in FCT. This serves as an authorization to carry out rescue and provide interventions for survivors of Child Sexual Abuse in FCT.

Collaboration approval from the FCT Ministry of Education

The Cece Yara Child Advocacy Center, FCT has obtained the State’s Administration of Education Secretariat’s approval to collaborate with the Gender Unit of FCT Education Secretariat to implement its Safe Kids Awareness Creation Programme in all the State’s government primary and secondary schools. With the approval, over 10,000 public school children (between 5-18 years old) have been empowered on how to stay safe from abuse and set boundaries assertively in a child-friendly and developmentally appropriate manner.

WODDI Talk That Talk (TTT) Show- Mental Health Conversation- A Personal Hack to Productivity

The Foundation participated at the Woddi’s panel of discussion on Mental Health titled ‘’ A Hack to Productivity at their monthly Talk That Talk Show. The panellists include a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Founder of Mindshaven, Cece Yara’s child Therapist, a Mental Health First Aider, a Grief Support Counselor and an author on Mental Health with conversations on identifying one's addiction and accepting help; sensitization about workplace productivity and how employers should avoid stressors of overwhelming work to their employees. 

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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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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
$19,712 raised of $35,000 goal
 
293 donations
$15,288 to go
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