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.