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.