Support 50 Vulnerable Children in Calabar

by Charles Edet Effiong Foundation
Support 50 Vulnerable Children in Calabar

SUPPORT 50 VULNERABLE CHILDREN JULY, 2021 REPORT

In pursuance of our vision, The Charles Edet Effiong Foundation has continued to support the education of vulnerable children in schools. In the quarter under review, the Foundation provided educational support to thirty (30) children across primary and secondary schools in the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State.

 

These children were provided with educational support in the form of payment of school fees provision of school materials, psychosocial support (in forms of recreation and counseling for children), and academic performance assessments during routine school visits paid to the schools by the Foundation’s staff.

The aim of the support was to bring an increase in school attendance and improved academic performance amongst our children. To buttress efforts to ensure this, caregivers of children during home visits were counseled on the importance of parental involvement in children’s academics, the team plans to continue this counseling until there is a sustained behavior change of parents’ involvement in their children’s academics.

As part of our objectives to provide educational support to children especially girls, The Professor Charles Effiong Foundation joined the government, local partners, and the international community to celebrate this year’s World menstrual hygiene day on the 28th of May every year, with the theme Action and Investment in Menstrual Hygiene and Health Now. This event was done in collaboration with the Old Students Association of Government Science School, Mayne Avenue (Class of 2008), and AtyCare Initiative. Key activities during the event were an education and sensitization Champaign for over 50 girls on menstrual hygiene and also training on how to make hygienic reusable pads. Other highlights of the activity were a quiz competition on sexual and reproductive health and the distribution of reusable pads to these girls.

The Foundation's Quarterly Caregivers Forum is a platform designed to improve the parenting skills and caring abilities of the caregivers of children on our program. During the meeting in this preceding period, as evidenced in the high rate of reported cases of child abuse in Calabar with domestic violence ranking top on the list, the caregivers identified violent disciplinary measures for children commonly practiced in their communities. During these fora, PCEF staff provided caregivers with information on alternative nonviolent disciplinary measures for their children and also stressed the need for them as caregivers to understand their children’s personality traits and the changes that come with each developmental milestone of the child which the most difficult is the adolescent stage which they affirmed that their children tend to more difficult at this stage. At the end of the session, caregivers made commitment statements to put into practice key learnings gathered in the course of the meeting.

The current COVID-19 pandemic affecting nearly all nations of the world has had a profound impact on education. In Nigeria, as the cases of infection continue to increase and the extension of measures to curb the spread of the virus as schools and students are not left out, this has been seen to affect the mental health and psychosocial lives of the children as they have to observe social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols in school which are all alien to them.

 

OUR NEXT STEPS

While we continue with our routine support for our beneficiaries, we plan to increase the number of children we are supporting.

We shall carry one sensitization exercise each during the Parent Teachers Association meeting - on child abuse, the commonest being corporal punishment in schools where children on our program are enrolled to support a safe school space conducive for learning and growth.

Depending on the funding we would get, we shall also work with schools and other civil society organizations to provide counseling and information on career counseling, goal setting, values clarification, and communication skills for 300 children from selected schools in both junior and senior secondary schools in Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State.

The Foundation remains grateful for your continuous support in enabling her to achieve her goal of providing care and support for vulnerable households thereby restoring the hopes of many in society.

Regards,

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PROJECT REPORT

BY EDIDIONG DAVID- PROGRAM MANAGER

STRENGTHEN 100 VULNERABLE HOUSEHOLDS IN CALABAR

In pursuing our vision, the Professor Charles Effiong Foundation has continued to support the education of vulnerable children in school. In the quarter under review, the Foundation provided educational support to thirty (30) children across primary and secondary schools in the Southern District of Cross River State.

 

These children were provided with support in forms of school/tuition fees payment, provision of school materials, psychosocial support (in forms of recreation and counselling for children), and academic performance assessments during routine school visits paid to the schools by the Foundation’s staff.

These services were provided to aid increase in school attendance and improved academic performance of children. To further buttress efforts to ensure this, caregivers of children during home visits were educated on their roles in ensuring children’s school and academic performance, regular school attendance and participation.

Evidenced from school assessments and school visits reports, the children have been regular and punctual in school. Teachers also report that the children engage in school activities such as the ongoing inter-house sports competition in schools meant for recreation, and to inculcate team building skills, sportsmanship and to a large extent, leadership skills in children.

Termly examination will commence soon in schools, thereafter, children will disembark for holidays. Staff will continue to provide necessary support to children and households especially during the examination period through home and school visits.

The Foundation remains grateful for your continuous support in enabling her achieve her goal of providing care and support for vulnerable households thereby building a brighter future in our societies.

Thank you.

 

Edidiong David

Programme Manager

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SUPPORT 50 VULNERABLE CHILDREN NOVEMBER, 2020 REPORT

The Professor Charles Effiong Foundation is currently supporting thirty (30) children in this project through the payment of school/tuition fees, provision of school materials (such as text and note books, school uniforms, sandals), school visits, school performance assessments, and psychosocial support.

In the quarter under review, a greater part of the quarter was spent at home by the children as schools were not open due to the COVID-19 pandemic response to curb the spread of the virus. However several activities were undertaken by the Foundation to still provide educational support to the children. This services were conducted using Home Visit as a strategy. Here, the households of the children were visited by the Foundation Team and current information concerning resumption of schools were provided, encouragement of children to engage reading of textbooks, career counselling and subject combination. Caregivers were also not left out as they were encourage to engage children in home lessons provided in the community (while adhering to COVID-19 prevention measures) and provide necessary support towards their children’s education.

Also during the visits, caregivers and children were re-sensitized on the mode of transmission the Corona Virus as well as appropriate preventive measures. They were also asked not to adhere to any other measure mentioned by other sources other than appropriate health authorities as preventive measures against COVID-19. Beneficiaries were also taken through hand washing practices during visits.

In September 2020, with support from the Foundation six (6) children had sat for the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination as directed by the Federal Government. These examinations were conducted while adhering to the COVID-19 prevention guidelines. In October, the government of Cross River State, instructed the re-opening of school while adhering to COVID-19 prevention guidelines. The schools reopened with students beginning a new session (2020/2021).

The PCEF team conducted school visits to assess children’s attendance and performance in schools. This visits showed revealed that children were present in school and receiving lessons. Some interactions with the teachers revealed that the children were happy to return to school, although there is a lot to be done.

The next activities to be conducted is the payment of children school/tuition fees and provision of some school material for the new term/session.

Thank you for your continuous support which has been responsible for propelling the Foundation’s capacity in the provision these services to children in vulnerable households.

 

Edidiong David

Programme Manager

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The Professor Charles Effiong Foundation (PCEF) in the last quarter provided various services to the thirty (30) children and their caregivers it is currently supporting in Calabar.

Over the period of this report, the COVID-19 Pandemic has caused great disruption of services in almost every part of the world, shutting down business, religious and even educational institutions. Calabar, Cross River State is not an exception as the capital city was locked down. Income Generation Activities (IGAs), particularly those of low income earners who are mostly women were greatly affected which in turn cascaded to affect their caring capacity for the children in their care.

Children have been affected in diverse ways; raging from nutritional deficiencies due to inadequate food supply and nutrition; to abuse as well as an increase in incidences of gender based violence (GBV) particularly against girls’ and women (caregivers) by their male partners due to heightened frustration from low income and in most cases, loss of earning opportunities.

The COVID-19 pandemic being instrumental to the collapse of services, exacerbates the susceptibility of children and their caregivers to disease which sparked fear amongst people in the community with increasingly misleading information about the virus on social media spreading like wild fire.

The issues mentioned above necessitated the Professor Charles Effiong Foundation to provide services to complement the efforts of the International Community and the State Government to provide services as well as provide information to improve caregivers’ skills  and abilities in caring for vulnerable children and their households. These information included menstrual and personal hygiene, water and sanitation, nutrition and health education, psychosocial support which provided adequate information they need to stay safe.

During the reporting period under review, The Professor Charles Effiong Foundation, using an interpersonal communication strategy,  carried out house-to-house visits to the homes of the vulnerable children it is supporting to create awareness on COVID-19 safety measures which include maintaining social distances, Staying indoors and avoiding crowded places, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, the use of face masks, and constant handwashing with soap under running water. In order to ensure that households imbibe the handwashing culture, the PCEF team-taught caregivers and their children, how to produce local running water with the use of empty plastic rubbers.

The Foundation complemented the efforts of the caregivers in improving the nutritional dietary diversity of the children who are at home due to the pandemic with limited food supply to feed. These they did through the provision of food packs as palliatives. These food packs composed of rice, beans, seasonings like salt and Maggi, palm and groundnut oil, for fat and oil, soap and detergents, cassava flakes commonly called and known as garri.

While the cases of COVID-19 continue to increase, the lockdown has been eased and re-opening is in process, however, the ban on school gatherings has not yet been lifted which means that children will continue to stay at home with an increased burden and stress of care on the mothers and households. This means that children will become more vulnerable with limited caring resources due to the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their parents, there is already a multiplication in the incidences of sexual exploitation on girls, their indulgence in risky behaviors and sexual activity further make them vulnerable to vices like teenage pregnancies, unsafe abortions, drug addiction most likely for the boys, thus the lingering effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your continued support will help save children especially the girl child from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence and social vices by increasing the economic livelihood of caregivers in order to meet the basic needs of the children and households.

Unfortunately, the schools and families at this level do not have the infrastructure or facilities to conduct virtual learning. There are some programs being conducted by local radio which we encourage our beneficiaries to participate in. We are also exploring how we can support our caregivers to invest in providing some homeschooling for their children.

Thank you for your continuous support as we continue to explore viable options through this trying season.

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Kids Club Meeting
Kids Club Meeting

SUPPORT 50 THE EDUCATION OF VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN CALABAR MARCH 2020

According to recent studies by the World Bank, 53.5% of Nigerians live below the poverty line of $1.90 a day. Also, persons living in female-headed households are more likely to live below the poverty line. Furthermore, individuals with higher education have significantly lower chances of being poor. Another study by Dapel, Z. of the Center for Global Development at the University of Dundee concluded that years of schooling are found to have the strongest negative impact on chronic poverty and that stepping up the education of girls can mitigate teenage pregnancies and consequently address population rise among the poor.

The reality is that our society in Cross River State Nigeria is one in which 84% of the most vulnerable households are households in which women are responsible for the care of children due to the non-availability of a man either physically or financially. Care for children includes food, shelter, clothing, education, and healthcare. This phenomenon is a major driver of poverty and vulnerability in our society, resulting in children who are unable to complete schooling because their mother is unable to afford even the most basic financial educational obligations preferring to deploy her children either to do petty trading or  to grow food or both.

It is for these reasons that the Professor Charles Effiong Foundation launched a program to support the education of fifty vulnerable children who would otherwise not be able to attend school. The beneficiaries of the project are typically bright children who drop out of school because their mother can no longer afford required educational expenses which include basic education fees as well as the cost of a school uniform, a school bag and sandals, text and exercise books and writing pens and pencils. Presently the program provides support for children for primary and secondary education. It is our desire in the future to provide tertiary education or/and skill development support to those who graduate from the program.

The program is not limited to providing these essentials for the children but includes psychosomatic support through monthly kids’ clubs' meetings, coordination and support for their caregivers through the quarterly caregiver’s forum meetings, as well as monitoring and evaluation of the children’s’ attendance at school, behavior at school and at home and academic performance. The children are subject to a basic code of conduct to qualify and remain in the program and their mothers commit to putting their education first.

Presently, thirty vulnerable children are beneficiaries of the program and have been sponsored through the 2019/2020 academic session and are involved in monthly kids club meetings. Our objective is to support fifty children in the first instance and ultimately explore the possibilities of working with their caregivers to take over the responsibility of providing for their children. In the short term, the project is expected to support the children’s education through the provision fees and other requirements for education, improve academic excellence among children in the project through the regular home and school visits, payment of medical bills as well as the provision of psychosocial services such as counseling (individual/family), recreational activities, positive parenting and economic strengthening for caregivers to ensure the sustainability of children in schools after project year. When sponsors agree to support the project, one or more children are assigned to them and they are sent regular updates on the progress, welfare and academic performance of the children.

During the quarter, we paid 2nd term school fees for all thirty children, paid the external West African Examinations Council fees for six kids who are sitting for the exam in June. We held the Kids Club meeting each month and interacted with the children. We obtained a report from the teachers on their attendance and academic performance in school for the first term and sent reports to their sponsors. We visited parents and children at home that required additional follow up and we designed and delivered birthday cards for the kids whose birthdays fell during the period.

Presently, twenty additional vulnerable children have been identified for enrollment but are awaiting the availability of funding to join the program. $240 per annum ($20/month) will cover the cost of school fees, provide school uniforms, school bags, sandals, text and exercise books as well as pay health bills and cover the costs of counseling, psychosomatic support and monitoring for one child for a year. GlobalGiving will match donations of up to $50 at 50% in the Little by Little Campaign from the 23rd to the 27th of March and will match the first month’s gift for recurring monthly gifts of $20. We, therefore, ask that you partner with us put our children back in school and transform the livelihoods of the most vulnerable in our society. Kindly click on http://goto.gg/44223 to make your donation.

Thank you.

Group Interaction at Kids Club Meeting
Group Interaction at Kids Club Meeting
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Organization Information

Charles Edet Effiong Foundation

Location: Calabar - Nigeria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @pcefng
Project Leader:
Odo Effiong
Calabar, Nigeria
$326 raised of $11,790 goal
 
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$11,465 to go
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