WE MUST MAKE free education WORK FOR HOMELESS CHILDren
Child education and empowerment charity, Destiny Trust, has stated that most of the children in urban centres who have no home will not have access to education despite government’s free education policy unless deliberate efforts are made to address the peculiar problems they face. Programme Manager, Oluseun Abimbola stated this in a Press Release announcing the kick-off of the charity’s annual crowdfunding campaign “1000HelpingHands” to support school enrolment and reintegration of out-of-school children in homeless settlements around Lagos.
According to him, “children become hard to reach with the opportunity of free education when they don’t have a home. We must pursue initiatives to address child homelessness and ensure that children displaced from school environments are reintegrated into school. From our work, we find that a vast majority of out-of-school children of school age in communities we work with were once in school. Some of them dropped out of school because there was no stable home environment through the years of basic education. Some lost home in squatter settlements during urban gentrification and were displaced from where they go to school. With repeated experience, they lose motivation to go back to school in new environments because they are not sure of how long they will be there. This demography will continue to raise illiteracy statistics if nothing is done to address the issues. Consequently, efforts to fight child illiteracy in Nigeria must take seriously securing a stable environment for children to grow and get basic education”.
Through #1000HelpingHands campaign, the organization is calling attention to the unique problem the homeless children face and asking members of the public to support the #1000HelpingHands fundraising campaign to put more out-of-school children in school and assist those who may have dropped out of school to go back to school this September. With donation from the public, the organization provides basic school needs to children, ensure they are enrolled in schools around them and support under-resourced schools that admit the largest number of children. The organization’s intervention has been in slums and poor communities around Lagos. The organization also runs a residential learning and rehabilitation centre which provides home accommodation to children who are either orphaned or who have no responsible guardian or parent.
Well-meaning members of the public are invited to support this cause by donating and encouraging people within their social network to donate in order to give the opportunity to more children to be educated with the collective contribution of about 1000 people.