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1,000 children benefit as NGO embarks on back-to-school outreach

1,000 children benefit as NGO embarks on back-to-school outreach
October 03
10:30 2021

A total of 1,000 children across Nigeria have received support from a back-to-school outreach organised by The Destiny Trust, a non-governmental organisation (NGO).

Since the commencement of the 2021/2022 academic session in September, The Destiny Trust, an NGO that focuses on the “wellbeing, education and empowerment of homeless children and other classes of young people in disadvantaged circumstances”, has reached hundreds of children in Lagos, Abuja, and Taraba.

The outreach provided books, shoes, bags and paid tuition for beneficiaries, as part of efforts to ensure that vulnerable children are not left behind as schools resume across the country.

The 2021 outreach, which began at a slum settlement around Elegushi, Lekki on September 11, also took place in Kurudu, Abuja, on September 18, after which the organisation moved to Kpambo, Taraba.

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The outreach will also hold in Igangan, Igboora and Ibadan — communities across Oyo state — in the coming week.

From Sarah to Love to Fatima, and even the boy who proudly called himself ‘Olamide Baddo’, as The Destiny Trust states, the focus is to “keep them smiling with the hope of education, which offers children the power to overcome the odds and break the cycle of transgenerational poverty”.

Speaking on the importance of the outreach, Abimbola Ojenike, co-founder of The Destiny Trust, said the focus is to support the access to quality education for underprivileged children.

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“While school enrolment is reported to have improved in recent years, statistics still show that Nigeria has the largest number of children who do not go to school. This reality highlights the need for more coordinated interventions to address education access and equity for millions of Nigerian children that are still out of school,” Ojenike said.

“Many displaced children and other young people from disadvantaged backgrounds will still remain out of school due to lack of capacity to meet school enrolment requirements or provide essential school needs for their children.

“Through our multiple outreaches across Nigeria, we are helping to meet these needs and eliminating the barriers to education for children of the extreme poor and, in particular, homeless children.

“Five hundred of the beneficiaries are from Lagos. Due to the increasing migration of children and families displaced by terrorism to Lagos, the state has been the centerpiece of our education relief projects.”

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TDT’s back-to-school project began in 2014 at Marwa slum in Lagos, with 100 children.

Over the years, more than 3,500 vulnerable children have been supported with school enrolment and back-to-school items.

In Oyo, enrolment support is done in collaboration with public schools in Ibadan, Igboora and Igangan, and the aim is to reach children in low-income environments, who have been presented for school enrolment but lack basic needs.

Aside from providing care, rehabilitation, education and empowerment for homeless children and disadvantaged young people, The Destiny Trust also operates residential learning centres in Lagos and Oyo.

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Children at the residential centres are provided shelter, daily feeding, education and also equipped with skills in computer programming, music and other vocational fields.

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