As part of efforts to enhance the wellbeing of orphans and vulnerable children in Lagos State, the State Government through, the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, has empowered 250 Households, Orphans and Vulnerable Children with various start-up tools for self-reliance and independence.
Speaking at the Household Economic Strengthening for Orphans and Vulnerable Children empowerment programme held today at Correctional Centre for Boys, Yaba, Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Olusegun Dawodu identified poverty as the leading cause of household vulnerability and separation in society today.
He averred that most families have abandoned their parental roles in attempts to provide basic needs for their families which had led to children being abandoned, neglected and exploited for financial gains.
His words: “The Orphans and Vulnerable Children are affected/infected with HIV/AIDS and malnourished due to extreme poverty. They are also marginalised, stigmatised or even discriminated against and need care or protection”.
Dawodu disclosed that the Household Economic Strengthening (HES) comprises a portfolio of interventions to reduce the economic vulnerability of families and empower them to provide for the essential needs of the children they care for rather than relying on external assistance.
The Permanent Secretary, Pharm (Mrs.) Toyin Oke-Osanyintolu said that the empowerment programme is to make significant contributions to the efforts of vulnerable households in the State, help strengthen their economic capacities and empower them to provide more for the essential needs of the children in their care which will ensure that these children are able to access essential services like Safety, Healthcare, Education and other basic needs.
“This programme is one of the actualisations of the T.H.E.M.E.S Development Agenda of the present administration and the fulfilment of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s promise to reduce poverty in the State to the minimum, increase their economic independence and improve their ability to provide for their children”.
Mrs. Victoria Ekarika, an Entrepreneurship Coach, enlightened the beneficiaries of the programme on the need for them to have a business plan, budget, financial discipline, saving culture, investment plan and record keeping in order for them to be successful in business.
Some of the beneficiaries of the 2021 edition who were at the event include Ms. Stella Onyelu, Ms. Precious, Olayinka Johnson and Funmi Okafor. They testified on how the training and empowerment tools they were given had in no small measure improved their financial life.
Deep Freezer, Pop-Corn Making Machine, Vulcanising Machine, Hair Dryer, Sewing Machine, Clipper and Grinding Machine were among some of the empowerment tools distributed to the beneficiaries at the programme.