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Kaduna Flags Off At-Risk Children Programme

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Monday, February 7th, 2022
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Kaduna State Government will collect all required data on At-Risk Children and young adults, that fall under the 19 categories of vulnerable children which were identified at the last stakeholders engagement.

Commissioner of Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Mohammed Baba who disclosed this, also said that the data will be collected from Ministry of Health, Bureau for Statistics, State Social Register and Bureau for Interfaith.

The commissioner said that At Risk Children are those children who have high vulnerability and have a tendency to shift into violence and those who are often from extremely poor background and are most likely to be abused.

Children walk during a sand storm in Gao, Mali. UN Photo/Marco Domino

Hajiya Hafsat said that stakeholders resolved that “the selection of local government facilitators for the At-Risk Children (ARC) programme must be transparent and devoid of political inclinations.”

“The quality of selected ARC-P facilitators will determine the success or failure of the project. Clear criteria for selection should be stated and adhered to in the enlistment of LGA facilitators,” she added.

According to her, the stakeholders identified orphans without family care, children of poor widows, children infected by HIV and children involved in gangsterism as At Risk Children in Kaduna state.

“Children with unemployed parents, children and young adults who are survivors of domestic and sexual abuse like incest, children and young adults who are survivors of banditry also fall under At Risk Children,” she added.

Hajiya Hafsat also listed the Almajiri, children and young adults in IDP camps without direct family care, children and young adults involved in child labour or trafficked to cater for family like house helps, as falling under At Risk Children.

The commissioner also mentioned “destitute children, the mentally derailed, children who are victims of forced and early marriages as well as poor children with sickle cell anemia, including poor children with special needs among the 19 categories of At Risk Children”

Children of fallen heroes, out-of-school children, nomadic and malnourished children are amongst the At-Risk Children in Kaduna state, she added.

Hajiya Hafsat promised that the programme will leverage existing state initiatives and projects to provide support and strengthen efforts to ensure effective implementation of how to support At Risk Children.

“Contributions of Development Partners and multilateral donor agencies combined with strong cross-party political support, the private sector, Civil Society Organizations, and community support are vital to effective program implementation and sustainability in the state,” she added.

Last week, stakeholders held a two-day engagement on the At-Risk Children Programme on Tuesday and Wednesday in Kaduna, where they brainstormed on how to cater for these vulnerable children.

The At-Risk Children Programme was initiated by the federal government to create a favourable environment for Nigeria’s vulnerable and out-of-school children. It is an initiative of the President Muhammadu Buhari government which is under the supervision of the Office of the Vice President,

Kaduna state is one of the three states in the federation to flag off the programme and a communique is being awaited as at the time of filing this report.

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