The United State Agency for International Development (USAID) has commended I Care Women and Youth Initiative (ICWYI), an NGO, for supporting 4,000 vulnerable children with life building skills in Kaduna State.
USAID Health Specialist, Elizabeth Bernard, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.
Bernard spoke shortly after interacting with some of the Adolescent and Young Persons (AYPs) supported by the NGO at Angwan Makama, Kaduna.
According to her, the NGO, set up by wife of former Nigeria’s Vice President, Amina Sambo, has done an excellent job, as the life building skills will enable the beneficiaries live a productive and purposeful life.
“We are particularly impressed with how the AYPs are sharing their experiences and lessons learnt in terms of saving culture, communication and critical thinking skills, as wells as reproductive health.
“I think the NGO has done a great job, we are particularly impressed when the children specifically said they want a debating activity included in the learning programmes so as to be more engaging.
“This shows that the children are really learning new skills and are eager to learn more things that would help them in life.”
She thanked the village head of the community for supporting the project and opening his doors for children in the community to learn new ideas and skills necessary for their survival.
Also, Tessie Philips-Ononye, Programme Manager USAID Nigeria, explained that they were in the community to assess the implementation of USAID-Funded STEER Project by the NGO.
She explained that USAID, through Save the Children had engaged ICWYI under its Systems Transformed for Empowered Action and Enabling Response (STEER) project for vulnerable children and families.
“So we are here to see what Save the Children and I Care Women and Youth Initiative have been doing with vulnerable children and their families, particularly the AYPs, because they are the future of this nation.”
On his part, the ICWYI Programme Manager, Abdulrahaman Mikail, told NAN that the NGO had been able to reach 4,000 vulnerable children and 1,000 caregivers with life saving skills from 2014 to date.
Mikail said that the skills focused on life building, savings, goal setting, time management, and information on reproductive health.
“We have also been able to reach 445 caregivers with community infant and young child feeding services and screened 500 vulnerable children for malnutrition in Kaduna South Local Government Area of the state,” he said.
Similarly, ICWYI HIV/Gender Officer, Mr Temidayo Bekaiye, said that in reaching out to the vulnerable children, the NGO established AYPs Club in the community where they work closely with the children.
“During the club sessions, we enlighten the children on general life building skills, including basic fact of HIV and AIDS, with a view to make them responsible and goal oriented toward making a better life.”
The Village Head, Mr Usman Alkali, thanked the USAID team, Save the Children and ICWYI for including the community in the project, adding that the intervention was already changing the lives of his people.