60,000 displaced N’East kids to resume school as Oando Foundation, USAID partner

children_bagaTaiwan donates wheelchairs to B’Haram victims, pledges more aid

Oando Foundation (OF) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Emergency Crisis Response (ECR) has begun a remarkable initiative to transition 60,000 internally displaced out-of-school children in Northern Nigeria from informal to formal/mainstream education institutions by 2018. These internally displaced children will be transitioned into 11 Oando Foundation- adopted schools in Adamawa and Bauchi states. This endeavor resonates strongly with the 2016 International Day of the African Child theme “Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights”.

Nigeria currently has the largest number of out-of-school children in the world; 10.5 million (UNESCO EFA Report 2014 / 2015). This number has increased drastically with the displacements caused by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in the North, putting a strain on an already weak education system. As at June 2015, research showed that children living in 19 of 42 Internally Displace Persons (IDP) camps, did not have access to any form of education.

The six year insurgency in Northern Nigeria triggered a wave of displacements of over two million people across Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe and Yobe states and has led to the destruction of over 10,000 schools, , and displacement of  19,000 teachers and over 800,000 children between the ages of 3 and 17, with no access to education.

As part of steps earmarked to kick start this initiative, Oando Foundation visited IDP camps in Bauchi and Adamawa states. In attendance were the Commissioner for Education, Adamawa State, Kaletapwa George Farauta, Executive Chairman, Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Hassan Mohamed Gabdo Toungo and Executive Chairman, Bauchi (SUBEB), Prof. Ibrahim Yero amongst others.  During the visit, education starter kits, aimed at easing children’s transition, reintegration, retention and ultimately their performance in mainstream schools were distributed to the IDP children. The foundation will facilitate the placement of these same children in 11 of its adopted schools in these states. The schools have been supplied teaching and learning aids by Oando Foundation to improve the quality of teaching and ultimately increase learning outcomes for children.

Meanwhile, moved by the plight of incapacitated victims of Boko Haram at the Internally-Displaced Persons camps, the Taiwanese government yesterday donated 200 wheelchairs to the Nigerian Red Cross Society for onward distribution to them.

Presenting the wheelchairs to the Red Cross in Abuja, the Taiwanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Morgan Chao said they were donated by the Amitofo Charity Foundation in Taiwan to meet the needs of those who cannot afford them, especially those from the grassroots in Nigeria.

They consist of 150 wheelchairs for adults and 50 for children.

According to him, Taiwan has made similar donations and rendered humanitarian assistance to countries such as Haiti, when it suffered tremor, Nepal when it suffered earthquake and Japan, when it suffered tsunami.

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