Sallah Celebration: UNICEF Hosts Orphans and Vulnerable Children on Excursion

Sallah Celebration: UNICEF Hosts Orphans and Vulnerable Children on Excursion

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By Alex Uangbaoje 

The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF Kaduna Field office on Sunday hosted some less privileged children of Local Education Authority (LEA) Primary School, Maraban Jos on a tour of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Kaduna.

The visit to NTA was meant to expose them to the entire process of Television broadcast so that the visit will serve as an opportunity for the orphans to interact and socialize as part of the Sallah event celebration as well as understand and acquire sound knowledge on broadcasting as part of efforts to give them equal opportunities to participate on matters affecting them and be able to compete with their contemporaries from rich the homes and families. 

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Speaking to journalists during the occasion, the communication officer of UNICEF Kaduna Office, Rabiu Musa said the purpose of engagement with the children and the interventions taking place in the school focuses on improving the quality of learning environment with necessary tools for steady learning to help the children grow and develop to their full potential.‎
“These children about 200 of them are orphans from very low families, less privileged and marginalized with some level of vulnerability in the society. Through UNICEF partnership with Fifth Chukker and Access Bank we are looking at ways to improve the quality of their lives.”
“If you observed you will notice that their level of understanding and standard ‎is very low and they should have all the opportunities to grow and to develop to their full capacity and potential.” He explained.
Rabiu ‎was optimistic that UNICEF will continue to use every opportunity to provide a platform for the children to benefit from such special events organised in favour of children by the organization.
“We have special events at international and national levels all geared towards enhancing the lives of children and in this context we have tried to take advantage of the sallah event ‎is an initiative we think is also an opportunity for us to bring children of the less privilege, orphans and vulnerable families to participate in different ways and most importantly to get them understand some issues that affects their lives in addition to the social gathering in their honour.” Rabiu said.
“We also see local events as wonderful opportunities to improve their knowledge on some fundamental issues, being orphans we are trying to create awareness for all of them on the dangers of HIV. A lot of their parents died of HIV and that is also the ‎situation of some of them.” He emphasized.
‎He stated that this year is the ninth year since UNICEF started the interventions for children initially in six communities in Kaduna State. Adding “we have had this in communities that are hard to reach, communities where many people will not like go for support. We strategically selected the communities and discovered the children that lost their parents to HIV and now we are supporting them through various ways that would directly impact on their lives with scholarships, construction of boreholes, renovation of classrooms, furniture and even school uniforms we have provided to ensure that those vulnerable children have the basics and the opportunity to go to school.”

‎Addressing the children on HIV awareness, the Deputy Director, Public Health at the Kaduna State Ministry of Health Mal. Lawal Abubakar told the children that HIV is real and is everywhere as such there was need for them to be careful and not allow anyone take advantage of them in any form that will be to their disadvantage sooner or in the long run. 
He enumerated ‎various ways of contracting HIV to them saying “you can contact it through the use of sharp objects like razors, injections toothbrush etc. However, playing, hugging, mosquito bite or eating with someone living with HIV does not transmit HIV. The children were conducted round the various departments of the station where instructors explained to them how the television media processes work before the public can enjoy it at the comfort of their homes.
In his appreciation, the school head teacher Mal. Aminu Dauda commended UNICEF for its kind gestures for executing so many ‎projects that has brought succour to both the children, teachers and host communities of their school.

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On the same day and as part of activities to provide the children the opportunity to play and leisure there was a polo game at Fifthchukker played by youth to mark the sallah event to entertain children in an effort to institutionalize the plan for an all year round activities with full participation of children through the UNICEF Access Bank and Fifthchukker partnership. All the children went home with a gift of set of instructional materials provided by UNICEF. “All children equal opportunities everywhere” the communication officer emphasized.

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