Gombe Community lauds SCI for empowering adolescents
Pledge to support children in decision making
Residents in the Talase community in Balanga Local Government Area (LGA) of Gombe state have called for the extension of the Reaching and Empowering Adolescents to make Choices for their Health (REACH) Project to other parts of the LGA.
REACH is programme introduced by Save the Children International (SCI) to support and empower children and adolescents to make informed decisions while growing.
Implemented by SCI and its partner Kishimi Shelter and Care Foundation in Balanga and Dukku LGA, REACH project said to have changed the atmosphere for adolescents and children in the area.
According to Gloria Musa a resident in Balanga the project has helped their children understand what to do and where to go at every stage of their childhood.
“They were not only taught how to help themselves, but to help their parents at home. They were always trained on savings and income generating skills,” Gloria said while commending SCI for picking their community to benefit from live changing programme.
Golria, the 47-year-old mother of five, stated this in an interview with newsmen shortly after declaring her support for girl-child education on Monday in Talase.
She said: “REACH project, has given our children a voice to tell us their choices on issues affecting them, which ordinarily we never allow.”
Musa Yusuf the project has impacted not only children and adolescents in the area but parents as well. He said: “You see this REACH project has exposed parents to the fact that they could listen to their children and collectively decide what they want them do at a point in their lives.”
Esther Philip is the secretary of Cham Traditional Council in Balanga LGA who disclosed the benefits of programme cannot be overemphasis as it is helping in shaping the live of the upcoming generation in the face of drug abuse and other social vices.
She called on traditional and religious leaders as well as other stakeholders to come together in sustaining the programme for the benefit of the society. She equally called for extension of the programme to other parts of state for a collective success.
The Programme Manager, Kishimi Shelter and Care Foundation Ibrahim Istifanus, disclosed that the REACH project which has graduated about 31, 700 children and adolescents under the Safe Space initiative of the project had recorded several successes in the area of encouraging parents to their children enrol in schools.
According to him, Safe Space is a place where adolescents are trained for seven weeks on various topics including the importance of girl-child education, rights to make an informed decision on their health and education.