By Philip Agba and Kelvin Ololo
A Non Governmental Organization (NGO) Professor Charles Effiong Foundation has kicked up a campaign to end violence against children in Cross River State.
Campaigning over the weekend in Efut Anantigha, Calabar South Local Government Area Council as a take up of activities for the year, Asari Nakanda who is the Child Protection Focal Person with the foundation, enlightened participants on the subject, effects on children and ways in which the Community members can help in preventing child abuse in the society.
Nakanda explained that child abuse is of different types and is not limited to sexual abuse as many persons think.
In her words, “When you hear the word child abuse the first thing that come to your mind is sexual abuse, we need to understand that, sexual abuse is a type of child abuse, other abuses are: physical abuse. When you hit, beat, kick, strangle and even poison or suffocate a child is physical abuse.
“Secondly, Child neglect, this is when a child is abandoned by parent or guardians to feed, shelter and cloth self. The other one is emotional abuse; this deals with how your reactions or actions toward a child affect the way he or she feels. She said.
Mentioning the effect of child abuse, she enumerated that children who are abused stand the chance of performing poor in their academic and other works of life.
While interacting with the participants, the Child Protection Focal Person further encourages participants to always report attempted abuses and issues of abuse to appropriate authorities such as the Police, Civil Society Organizations and Ministry of Women Affairs or her office.
She however called on parents, guidance, Community Leaders and members of the Community as well as NGO’s and MDA’s to put their hands on desk in other to mitigate abuse against children in the society.
On his part, Mr. Clement Duke, the Chairperson of the Child Protection Network (CPN), Calabar South called on all and sundry to take up the responsibility of ensuring that no child is abused and offenders be reported to relevant Agencies.
He spoke extensively on the various effects of child abuse on the children, families and the Community at large. He went further to to implore Community and religious leaders present at the campaign to put policies and laws in place that are aimed at protecting children from all forms of abuse.
Responding, the Clan Head of Efut Anantigha Clan, Muri Okokon Edet Edim Ambo thanked the NGO for the awareness campaign.
He called on the Government to intensify efforts to support communities in curbing unemployment. His words “One of the problem here is hunger, if a child did not eat food for two days, if somebody approach that child and offer him even fifty naira, even if the person does something wrong with that child the child will not talk. So the Government should help us out”.
He assured the NGO of his Community’s commitment in stopping all forms of violent against children.
High point of the campaign was an information session with the children where they were taught on breaking the silence of abuse, various types of abuse as well as their rights and responsibilities.
Below are some pictures from the outreach.
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