BBSI – “Kick Against Child Poverty In Nigeria” Campaign
The Number 1 goal of the UN’s SDG is to “end poverty in all its forms in the world”. Globally, around 600 million children live in extreme poverty. It is hard for impoverished families who can barely survive to invest in their children – such as feeding, clothing, providing good and basic education & healthcare. Today, 1 billion less people live on extreme poverty and children account for half of the world’s extreme poor statistics. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, 247 million children or more are deprived of their basic rights.
One in every five children live in poverty in the world’s richest countries; in almost every country in the world, children are more likely to live in poverty than adults and only one-third of children are covered by social protection! The effects of poverty on children are complex, numerous and complicated. How poverty affects their lives depend on how much their families, communities and societies can invest on them. It is however unfortunate that those unaffected do not identify or acknowledge child poverty unless they see ‘flies in their eyes’ or see them pick/scavenge or eat from the dumping sites.
Education is also very crucial to breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty and allow children fulfill their potentials. However, it is often hard for the poorest children to succeed at school when they face so many challenges driven by poverty and deprivation. All these needs to be tackled so that they can learn and succeed at school. Poverty is a self-reinforcing vicious cycle. A child with unemployed parents might not do so well at school. This child’s poor performance will surely have a ripple effect on the child/parents back home. This cycle goes on and on!! Imagine a child who suffers from slight and major humiliations in front of their friends and classmates. A child who is not able to afford buying school materials, who cannot take part in school’s sport activities or take part in other extra-curricular activities due to financial constraints. The longer any child is enmeshed in this cycle, the less chances they have to escape it.
I do not blame many children’s charity organisations who have gone so (relatively) silent on child poverty. The reasons is that a lot of them have had to use their resources sensibly because lobbying a government that was never really going to respond in a substantial way is pointless. That reason sounds rational to me and I do not blame them at all. Perhaps supporting the few genuine charity organizations would be more economically sound and a good investment. Ending child poverty in Nigeria should be highest on any agenda. We have all the resources and what it takes to achieve this.
We cannot however continue to keep silent about this. Uttermost attention needs to be given to children because they are more vulnerable and helpless. That is why we need to address this issue NOW!
What can we do in our local community to help these disadvantaged children? How can our government support many charities, not-for profits and organisations that are dedicated to helping families and children struck by poverty? How can YO, as an individual, help to end Child Poverty? How do we protect children from poverty and its effects?
These and many more, is why Bluebaby Support Initiative – BBSI has been focusing on children as part of our outreach efforts in the past one year. BBSI’s vision/mission/objectives is to see a better Nigeria by 2030, not only for children, but also for humanity and planet. To see Nigeria in the forefront of Integrating SDG initiatives in its economic and social policy framework to reflect its order of importance to the citizenry, especially children! We wished that when statistics are being published about the rising number of children who are being denied a fair start in life because of poverty, we want to see our politicians and wealthy Nigerians competing about who has the best solutions, not who can score a political point the quickest.
Let’s stop arguing about what poverty is, and get on with ending it!! The time is now, to say it loud and clear! Child poverty is a scar on our society. We all have a role to play!!
Join and Support Bluebaby Support Initiative as we kick off the “Kick against Child Poverty in Nigeria Campaign”.