FCT At- Risk; Mahmoud Sets Up Committee to ensure inclusive protection of all children

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By Joyce Remi-Babayeju

The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud has inaugurated a committee to implement the FCT At- Risk committee to ensure the protection and well- being of the vulnerable children in Abuja.

Mahmoud said that the committee is to identify and address the needs of the vulnerable children in the community while ensuring that no child residing in the territory is left behind.

The minister tasked the Committee to develop and implement comprehensive strategies to support at-risk children in the FCT, as well as providing them with access to essential services, protection from harm, and opportunities for education and social development.

She said, “Our children are the future of our nation, and it is our responsibility to provide them with the care, protection and support they need to thrive and reach their full potential.”

“Unfortunately, there are many children in the FCT who are at risk due to various factors such as poverty, abuse, neglect, and lack of access to education and healthcare.”

She also expressed full confidence in the ability of members of the Committee, urged them to identify the most pressing needs of at-risk children in the FCT and to develop effective solutions to address them.

According to the minister, the outcome of this Committee can make a real and lasting difference in the lives of these children and help them build a better future for themselves and for our nation”.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee, the chairperson, Hajia Adamu Maijidda Kuku, noted that the “At-Risk Children Project” was a visionary initiative that aims to protect the children’s future by addressing the various risks they encountered, assuring that the administration must create a safe, nurturing, and empowering environment for every child in the territory.

She said, “Leveraging the strengths of the technical diversity in the committee, our strategy will be comprehensive, effective, and multi-dimensional guaranteeing no child falls behind.”

“We will work hand-in-hand with local government area councils who are the closest administrative bodies to the communities, and their close knowledge of local challenges and dynamics is invaluable”, she promised.

The Terms of Reference, (ToR), of the Committee include to liaise with FCT Area Councils and other stakeholders in the FCT, to ensure that children are not at risk in FCT, and come up with workable partnerships with corporate organizations to buy into this initiative for effective implementation; Conduct a baseline survey to ascertain the number of at-risk children in FCT and a mechanism for enrolment, and to work out a sustainability plan that will gradually make the program self-funding;

Others include research the best way possible to bring to the barest minimum the influx of children at risk into the FCT; Provide strategic direction and guidance for the At-Risk Children Project; Monitor and evaluate project progress toward achieving its goals, and Conduct community engagement for the buy-in of all stakeholders particularly, traditional rulers, religious leaders, and all faith-based organisations.

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