Rotary Club Offers Scholarship to Nine Indigent Students ……. To Replicate Sensitization Campaign Against Child Sexual Abuse in Six Geopolitcal Zones

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The Rotary Club of Wuse 2, Abuja has disclosed plan to replicate it’s sensitization and awareness campaign against the alarming child sexual abuse in Nigeria in schools across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The President, Pietro Uzochukwu made this known last weekend at the launch of the maiden edition of the sensitization campaign and awareness programme against child sexual abuse, tagged, ‘Omen’….. The scar of adolescent, in Goverment Secondary School, Wuse 2, Abuja.

The programme which coincided with the school’s graduation and prize giving day, aimed at sensitizing students, parents and guardians on how to safeguard their children from the alarming and growing trend.

Speaking to newsmen after the event, Uzochukwu said the programme was to appreciate humanity and contribute to humanity which Rotary is known for, world over.

He said the programme will be replicated in schools across the six geopolitical zones in the country to raise the consciousness of children who are mostly the victims if sexual abuse and their parents.

“The alarming increase in child sexual abuse in recent times has reached its peak and we cannot continue to ignore it anymore. Rotary Club has taken up the responsibility of champoining this sensitization campaign accross Nigeria,” he said.

He noted that the Rotary Club of Wuse 2, Abuja is also focusing on how to prevent and manage depression which is on the increase and results sometimes from assault, sexual abuse and violation.

“We need to let them know the symptoms of depression, they need to be aware that they need to speak to somebody when experiencing these symptoms, and bring them out of it.”

Uzochukwu expressed optimism that the campaign programme will go a long way to drive home the intended objective which is to “arm our kids and protect them.”

The highpoints of the event was an award of overseas scholarship for further education, to one of the graduating students in the school, Anaelechi Bella who bagged the best behaved and most outstanding student in academics, by the Rotary Club.

On the scholarship, the Rotary Club President said Rotary felt the need to assist the indigent students in the school who are intelligent but don’t have the capacity to pay their fees.

This was as he appealed to other well meaning Nigerians to support the Rotary Club to collectively impact on more lives.

“We intend to do more but for lack of resources. We can’t do it all alone. Government cannot do it all alone. We are all stakeholders in this business. Collectively, we can partner and affect more lives,” he said.

Anaelechi had emerged the best overall in eight subjects, Chemistry, Physics, Animal Husbandry, Agric, Biology, Civic, Economics , Geography and emerged overall second best in English and Mathematics.

Meanwhile, eight other Indigent students who had also distinguished themselves in their academics, also received a one year scholarship which takes effect from the next academic session, while other students smiled home with various awards for being the best in respective subject areas.

The beneficiaries of the 1 year scholarship are, Isaac Fidelis,
Bala Faith, Wonah Lucy, David Felix, Onaja Sonata, Ujoh Juliet, Chukwudile Precious and
Blessing Ofuzor.

Like the other beneficiaries of the award, Anaelechi who was overwhelmed with tears of joy, expressed happiness for winning the scholarship.

She advised other students to be focused, hardworking and dedicated to their studies, adding, “with these they can achieve their dreams.”

Among others, information materials which contains tips on how to prevent sexual abuse, what to do when abused, symptoms of depression and how to manage depression among others, were distributed to participants.

Earlier in a welcome address,the school Principal, Mr. Akor Joseph commended Rotary Club of Wuse 2 for their humanitarian supports to the school in the past 3 years, awards to the best students in all subjects and the scholarship to eight indigent students

In an interview with newsmen after the event, Akor described the event as very timely.

He commended Rotary Club for the Initiative,enouraging other NGO to assist in replicating similar gesture.
“In our present world, different kind of things are happening. Children being abused by adults. We are very happy about this program because it will help to reshape the lives of our students and enlighten them on how to guard against sexual abuse,” he said.

Speaking in the same vein earlier, the Chairman of JARE(John and Rebecca Ebokpo ) Foundation, Barrister Rebecca Ebokpo which provides counseling and therapy for abused people, described depression as a mood disorder characterised by persistent feeling of sadness.
She quotted the WHO as saying, depression is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability.
Ebokpo appealed to the students to be bold and open up if they have been abused, for counseling.
She identified the symptoms of depression to include mood swings, sudden loss of appetite, unwarranted weight lose.
“If you are losing sleeping , please talk to somebody. We give free theraphy to those experiencing these symptoms. We assure you of confidentiality,” the Chairman of Jare foundation further appealed.

According to her, “one of the objectives of JARE Foundation is to create awareness of the importance of mental health, teach you how to identify sumptoms of depression, help you to trace the causes of depression and provide treatment as will be appropriate which can range from counseling to medications.”

The second resource person from INYEAKA Foundation, Mrs Stella Patrick Uzu noted that it is not until you have been striped naked that you have been abused.

She said many of the participants may have been abused without them knowing, either by a predator touching sensitive parts of their body or cashing on their naivity to cajole them with sugar coated tongue into sex.

She observed that those who abuse their victims usually, were people they know and trust and not those considered as enemies.
” Sexual abuse has become very rampant, you are vibrant young people that will take over the world. You are going out to a world that has no care for you. You must be careful as not to see sex as a way of life,” she advised the graduands.

Addressing the participants on ‘what sex stands for’, she said “if it is a means to make ends meet, then it is an abuse.”
She cautioned men against telling the girls you are beautiful with the motive to use that as a bait , insisting, “let them discover their sexuality. They are not tools in your hands to use. Don’t play with their sexuality. “

To the parents, she said:”They( girls)have lives and visions, find out what they want. They are responsible for the decisions they make but you need to guide them, don’t Abuse them”

She told the participating students that any conversation that a person ask them not to tell anyone is a red flag.


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