The Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI) hinted yesterday that it has evolved effective modalities to encourage community-based orphanages to cater for 56,000 children orphaned by Boko Haram insurgency in the region.
The vice chairman of PCNI, Alhaji Tijjani Tumsa, who disclosed this at a media roundtable in Maiduguri, said the measure is imperative to ensure protection, survival, guaranteed child’s education and health needs and improvement of their social wellbeing.
He explained that the committee is working in collaboration with humanitarian actors to build the capacity of community based organisations (CBOs) to enable them take charge of existing orphanages in the region.
Tumsa said, “What we are thinking of is to have orphanages that are run by local people who are desirous of taking up the orphans. We will like to give people the opportunity to also participate in the process. PCNI is willing to promote it through organisations that are willing to also participate in it, as sustainability is key.
“In the last count, we have 56,000 orphans on record and that is not a small number, it is larger than most armies in West Africa, and it is a lot of process to cater for them. We want to have a community based orphanages run by the local people and to be sustained by the local people themselves”.
Tumsa also disclosed that the committee is providing healthcare, food and non-food items intervention to existing orphanages in Borno.
According to him, the committee had supplied drugs and medical equipment, food and non-food items to the Special Orphans Learning Centre, Maiduguri, established by the Northeast Children’s Fund, an NGO.
Tumsa continued: “Statistics by the Borno State government indicates that more than 53,000 children were orphaned and 50,000 women widowed by the insurgency in the state.
“The state government also embarked on 22 mega school projects to enroll the affected children, while some organisations and individuals also offered health and education support to the orphans in the state”.
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