The At-Risk Children Project has promised to offer protection to over nine million vulnerable children in the country confronted daily with violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation and exclusion.
The Special Adviser to the President on Social Investments, Mrs Maryam Uwais, whose office is coordinating the programme, disclosed this during the week while unveiling the scheme described as a strategic national response to address the problem of vulnerable children.
She explained that ARC-P’s vision was to comprehensively address cross-cutting concerns of at-risk children and provide them with a life of dignity.
Uwais said, “In the family and communities, children should be fully protected so they can survive, grow, learn and develop to their fullest potential. The project’s mission is to facilitate programmes that will ensure the integration of at-risk children and young adults by creating opportunities for skills and empowerment to reduce their vulnerabilities.”
She further said that ARC-P would nurture children with dignity and respect, raise equality citizens and bridge the poverty gap.
She added, “A key objective of the programme will provide protection and hope to youths and children who are vulnerable, for a productive life through learning, combined with improved health outcomes, values and skills. It will also provide meaningful, impactful and pragmatic quality programmes that empower the children to become productive to themselves, their families, communities and society.”
Uwais said further that the programme would leverage successful and tested intensive learning initiatives and expand the scope of other programmes on the ground.
She noted, “In addition to the existing learning options, literacy and numeracy, introducing civics, critical thinking, life skills, entrepreneurship, sports, creativity, technology, farming and vocations and community police training. Address mental and physical health concerns, assess and address vision, hearing and special needs, boost nutrition through a feeding programme.”
Companies, including Lafarge Africa Plc, ANAP Holdings, Airtel Nigeria, International Finance Corporation, Flour Mills of Nigeria, Wema Bank, Aliko Dangote Foundation, FBN Quest Trustees, Stanbic IBTC, InterSwitch, Murtala Muhammed Foundation and Accelerex Network, commended the initiative.
They noted that the innovation would help resolve the out-of-school children problem and insecurity.