Saturday, June 9, 2018


Over the years, children have been noted to be significant players in social reconstruction. Many social uprising, protests and crises have been resolved by the efforts of children. Till date, as we observed, children still play significant roles in reawakening our consciousness to social ideals that define our institutions. We have sited, in our recent press statement, Leah of Dapchi who has honed a name for herself by her astute reaffirmation of her faith. This speaks to the conscience of our nation, and by extension, Africa.

Such, also, was the same event that brought the innocent Hector Pieterson of the South African Soweto uprising during the long apartheid regime to limelight. Till date, Hector has every June 16 in his memory as a hero for both young and old. Hector was shot during a peaceful protest against a 'new' education policy that was to shortchange the fate of blacks in South Africa. To this end, the annual celebration of "Day of the African Child" is in memoriam for Hector.

Global Support for Kids Initiative has overtime being in the tradition of celebrating virtues and heroism in our kids. For the year 2018, GSK Initiative has organized an public lecture in commemoration of the day to sensitize our children on virtues for social development across Ado Ekiti metropolis. The hope is to integrate children and young adults in the cause for development. The theme for this year's Day of the African Child is: LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND IN AFRICA'S DEVELOPMENT.

We are thankful for your contributions as participants and discussants (via all social media). Join us at the venue or on Facebook as we stream live from the venue for your delights.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Press statement by Mr. Opeyemi Olajide Olowookere in commemoration of 2018 Children’s Day

We celebrate, yet we mourn. We mourn the children who had died of hunger in years behind. We mourn the demise of children who died in riots, public uprisings, community disputes and terrorism in/around Nigeria. We are also pained, yet happy that we have made a hero out of our children. We are thankful that we still have one like Leah Sharibu who could sustain integrity and stand by her words to remain a Christian in the midst of fierce looking gunmen and notorious bombers. We celebrate, yet we mourn.
I want to use this opportunity to wish every lover of children a happy Children’s Day in Nigeria. We salute the courage of as many children and young adults who are on the street battling with the scourge of hunger, maltreatment, inequality, among others. It is my earnest desire that you are taken off the street in no distant time. We are working and we have not stopped; we are sure you all will find a rescue through our vision and commitment to it.
As we celebrate this Day, it is expedient that we all look beyond the smiles we assume ooze out of every pore of our children’s faces. We should look deeper and set our minds at them. We should see the pains and the agonies of children who have been victims of a social menace, injustice and violence at some points in life. It is essential for us to account for our common share of the blames for the pains we have consciously or ignorantly caused kids and young adults. We should reminisce on what we ought to have done to better the lots of our children that we have overlooked. We should, as a matter of urgency, rise to action as individuals who wish for a peaceful Nigeria and a better future for the country.
This Day calls our consciousness to the challenges of children who have been variously received as helpless, if not hopeless, as a result of the comeuppance of privileged members of the society. Children in Nigeria have been victims of the whims of elderly folks who have inadvertently made them helpless in the face of the wider terrain of governance and social construction. Many children have had no other choice than to drop out of school for reasons which are not unconnected to poverty. Many others have had to resort to begging after school hours to keep themselves going in school. A good number of children in almost all cities in Nigeria have become contract beggars who are in the service of a lord who neither cares for them nor want their growth. All these problems are caused by the ineptitudes of all of us and the attitude we show to the plights of children in Nigeria.
I am pulled by these circumstances to admonish every Nigerian this reaches to place the rights of kids and young adults at the core of their daily activities. We should rise up to the call of a society measured not by the I-don’t-care attitude shown to children but by the level of equality and rights children enjoy at every level and in all areas of life. We cannot afford to fold our arms and have our children become eternal victims of problems they have not created or a war they know nothing about. If there is a time to wake up, fellow Nigerians, this is the time!
The government of any nation is saddled with the responsibility of securing the lives and properties of its citizenry. The moment there is a shortfall in the government’s commitment to this task, it is certain that lives would be under threat and there would be general unrest. Any of these effects are usually felt by all but more deeply by children. This is the situation many children in Nigeria have found themselves today. They are victims of rape, violence, kidnap, illicit abduction and hunger. All of these, one must emphasize, found their roots in the government’s inability to secure both the economy and policies of the government in favour of the entire populace which, of course, does not leave the children out.
Not neglecting the violence caused by faceless sects, terrorist groups and aggrieved quarters in Nigeria, many children have been abducted, forcefully kidnapped, raped and, most viciously, killed for reasons that are far beyond their making. With these children not having the loud voice to reach the leadership at the center, many of them have become victims of a silence they do not know when or how to break. That leaves us as at Global Support for Kids Initiative to help project their voices and their plights; to amplify their desires and ensure that they have the attention of appropriate quarters. We cannot for any reason allow silence to prevail when the children that are central to our dream are suffering. We cannot fold our arms and feign ‘all-is-well’ when in reality all is rotten. We cannot continue where those of the years behind stopped. Hence, we need a new attention, a new spirit and good policies that will better the lots of our children and take many of them off the streets. We need the government to secure the lives of her citizens, especially children against the grievous menace of cultism, terrorism and mass killings from aggrieved quarters. Children aren’t political tools with which political scores have to be settled; they must be given a positive perspective of their nation.
It brings a lot of sorrows that the Chibok girl’s abduction is still left hovering in the deluge of unfathomable scenarios and disjointed media reports. Worsening the sorrows is the kidnap of Dapchi girls which, long after the rescue of majority of the victims, still has Leah Sharibu in the hands of the Boko Haram men. The incessant killings of both the young and old at Benue state also speak volume on the level of impunity that has eaten up the structure of the Nigerian system. The killings have left a scar on our national consciousness till date that we struggle hard to erase the memories off the collective psyche of children in Nigeria. It is painful that these serial failures have made many children victims of psychological traumas propelled by fear, uncertainty and lack of faith in anybody.
It is against this background that we charge the Nigerian government to improve the social welfare of children and ensure a secured life for both privileged and less-privileged children. Government should put more efforts into its drive to ensure that captives are free and terrorists are brought to book. We need all security agencies connected with the government and non-government agencies to have all hands on deck to save Nigerians from the scourge of Boko Haram and their herdsmen counterpart. We cannot afford to have our dreams shattered and vision blurred for the reason of a grievance held by a group that would not seek redress at appropriate quarters. Children in Benue are suffering, elderly ones are mourning different losses and every Nigerian is feeling this hurt that follows news report every day. We have to save Benue, we need the release of Leah. We want our government to be more responsive to the yearnings of children. We want our children to become the best they desire. We want a change in the system. These have to be achieved and its achievement should start now.
Once again, I felicitate with every child in Nigeria and hope for more successful days for all of them. Keep safe, and keep faith. Your dreams shall come true!

Thank you.
Mr. Opeyemi O. Olowookere
Global Support for Kids Initiative.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Ekiti State Government is Positive on the Sustenance of Equality for Street-connected Children

Annually, April 12 is a day that’s globally recognized for the celebration of street-connected children. It is a day recognized by the United Nations and has in the last few years been known for calling to question all issues affecting the rights, freedom and equality of street-connected children.

In the hope to fulfil the mandates of the United Nations' General Comments from the 2017 edition of the celebration, Global Support for Kids Initiative found the imperative of meeting with organizations and government agencies that have cognate duties in child affairs.  The meeting discussed the impacts of the comments generated from 2017 International Day for Street Children. Perhaps,  that culminated into the wide participation the stakeholders meeting enjoyed.

The thrust of this year's edition (Turn those Words to Reality) is targeted to get government involved in the survival and education of street-connected children.  Emphasis was, however, placed on the need for governments’ active involvement in the welfare and growth of street children. With particular interest in empathy above sympathy, participants at the program emphasized need for cares and love to be shared with these children who have been inordinately severed from ‘social security’. This introduced the believe that they’re not social misfits or the dregs of the society who can only benefit from the pity and sympathy of the public, instead they should be given equal rights and attention as they grow into full-fledged independent citizens of the country.

To the extent the meeting could go,  represented ministries and all other NGOs and student bodies pledged their supports for the project of turning the messages from the General Comments to a reality. As such, we enjoin the public to pick cues from Ekiti state and ensure the rights of street-connected children are protected. It is a project of all and Global Support for Kids Initiative hopes to see everyone becoming conscious of the rights and privileges of street-connected children.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Upon the Success of Voice of the Kids, 2018

Last weekend saw the successful completion of the first edition of Voice of the Kids in Ado Ekiti. To this end, we appreciate all the supports we got and found the importance to appreciate every contributor. We have heard from our kids and are filled with the joy that we are on course to assure for them a good life.

As major indications of child care and support, many of our kids were enthused to discuss all their major challenges. Ranging from lack of care, poor communication among family members (and communication in error) to the obscenities traced to the media, we are duty-bound to encourage parents to ensure a social re-positioning of parenting. This and many issues were discussed at the event to show to all that we can win together with love and empathy.

We hope for more; a future full of love for kids and that was the vision behind our having to engage major media outlets in Ekiti State to spread the Voice of the Kids.

We are happy that we love out kids together. We can create more room for their success. We are grateful, as always and we hope to enjoy more of your supports. Thank you for making a story of excellence out of #VoiceoftheKids2018.

Monday, February 26, 2018

On Kidnap of School Girls in Nigeria: Enough is Enough

Clad in the cloaks of fact and fiction, the Chibok Girls' Abduction of April, 2014 still lingers in the hearts of child lovers in Nigeria. The 2014 abduction of 214 children took place after the long protracted insurgence within Northeastern region. With different contradictory views, major news agencies in the country have reported different figures of rescued girls. Just while the parents of the victims still nurse their wounds, fresh wounds have just been inflicted on new victims who would not want to keep silence like the ‘old' victims.

It was around 7pm on Monday 19th February, 2018 that the new case of abduction took place at Government Girls Science Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Borno State. 105 children got abducted. Till this moment, the children have been in the custody of these faceless sects. Many Nigerians have become ominous for the danger that this cooks up for the nation; vis-a-vis the threats it has on the security of lives of many other children in towns and cities in the state on the one hand, and its general consequence on the education system on the other. This, as it stands, presupposes a threat to the lives of young children, not only in the Northern part of the country alone but also in other regions.

The danger that this holds on the entire world of children and young adults is the reason why we at Global Support for Kids Initiatives (GSK)  have come to decry and protest against the actions of these terrorists and to promptly condemn the failed attempts of the military to get these children back after a week. This is a life-threatening case that can damage the sensibilities of innocent kids within the region and beyond. We know the danger this holds. We know how much of resources it takes to restore a child back to ‘normal' after being affected by such horrible and traumatic situation like this. Many end up being eternal victims of the psychological trauma that comes from losing their confidence to fear and social insecurity. In his reaction, Mr. Opeyemi Olajide Olowookere, the President of Global Support for Kids Initiatives (GSK) remarks that the Nigerian government should take the security of children more serious not only in school but also beyond school environments. Noting further that the Federal government should be responsive to security calls that would help assure guarded lives for kids and young adults in the country.

As much as we try to avoid joining words with political institutions, we have considered this time, the imperatives of getting everyone, both the political and non-political alike into this campaign tagged #EnoughisEnough for us to reach the nooks and crannies of the nation. We are head bent to have this spread to all quarters and institutions in as much as we’ll have our desired results.

Our kids are suffering, #EnoughisEnough

They roam the streets begging for food, #EnoughisEnough

They die of hunger, #EnoughisEnough

Their futures are being mortgage by the corporate failure of institutions, #EnoughisEnough

They are being used as a political tools, #EnoughisEnough

They are being abducted, #EnoughisEnough

They are being killed to settle political scores, #EnoughisEnough

We cannot keep calm and watch our vision and future drift away without an equal action to war against these assailants. For this reason, we re-emphasize our condemnation of this sad occurrence and charge the Nigerian government to bring back our girls without delay.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

GSK Initiatives Embarks on Campaign Against Child Abuse and Neglect at Ado Ekiti

Child abuse has become an escalating phenomenon that poses a great risk to the general development of children from every walk of life and it has been a major challenge to our society till date. Various forms of child abuse exist; they can take the form of child neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. Studies worldwide have shown that all forms of child abuse are indeed a serious international crime which requires adequate attention and intervention. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the convention on the right of the child. This convention respects the child as a human being with personal dignity and rights. The child is seen internationally as a person of intrinsic worth entitled to respect equal to the rights enjoyed by every adult. However, this child right law has not been fully implemented, especially in many homes and local communities in Nigeria.

In Ekiti state, there are many local communities where the inhabitants are less informed and educated. Many of these people use children for labour, begging for alms and hawking during school hours. These acts are borne out of ignorance and poverty by many of them, hence the need to educate them through a sensitization programme.

This is the reason why we chose to start our community development service which, for the benefits of our kids, took the form of orientation campaign against Child Abuse/Neglect. The first of its kind. The campaign took place yesterday, 31st January, 2018 at notable markets in the city, with the grand finale of this first phase at the popular Oja Oba in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State. It was a movement for all, and a craving for more friendly environments for kids and young people. A roll of pictures shot at every scene of the programme yesterday tells the story more.

We however share these testimonials via these media to ensure that we galvanize more actions from you and push to crave your support in the re-orientation project.

We can't afford child neglect in our societies again
 Every child deserves care, love and compassion
Let us give their plights a voice together...

Global Support for Kids Initiative needs you to create an enviable space for all kids and young people!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

GSK Initiative Condemns the Cruel Displinary Measures of Nasarrawa School Teacher

The importance placed on the lives of children and young people in Nigeria, and many other nations around the world has grown rapidly in recent decades. This is partly a result of the interest of these nations to secure a future for the people's existence and majorly because of the need for an organized social sustainability system that would transcend the present and help retain the pillars of global citizenship on the larger scale. These social imperatives have come to define, among other important factors, the reason why children and young people have come to mean a lot to the State. In recent times, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State conducted a competency test for all primary school teachers across the State. To the surprise of majority of the residents, more than 70 percent of this teachers failed the test. The public uproar that echoed the condemnation of this sad development made Kaduna and the young minds under the tutelage of these teachers subjects of public pity.

This horrible development and the public reaction that followed it is an indication of the general interest of citizens in the  lives and performance of young people within the country. An equal sad development of the same magnitude is the one that took the air from Nasarrawa State early this week. The video clip went viral on the internet showing a Government Science Secondary School teacher proudly flogging a group of students without a token of mercy. The students who were reported to have resumed late to school after the holiday were brutally flogged in the presence of many other students and teachers on an assembly ground. Global Support for Kids Initiative has come to condemn this act. It shouldn't happen that students should be treated as mere objects where they are legitimately considered a very important part of the society.

In this regard, we have come to condemn this vicious act on the two grounds that the disciplinary measure adopted by the School teacher is a path to 'animalizing' the pride of the nation. We came to this conclusion after considering the degree at which the said teacher meted his frustration on these students. The school as an institution is expected to humanize them. A better evaluation would nonetheless find the students as victims of a psychic disorder from the teacher who considers the students as 'qualified' subjects for abreaction. This is wrong. Also, we condemn this act having studied the rate at which similar occurrence has grown in Nigerian pre-varsity institutions. The pain is not only in the fact that these teachers are demoralizing their innocent victims or in the fact that they are trying to displace them psychologically, although those are also salient; but most fundamentally in the fact that they are not building the students in line with what the nation requires of the system. By killing their sense of self, studies show that they are more likely to become grand subjects in a typical psychological problem which unfortunately was caused them by the society they belong.

Against this background, we at GSK Initiative expressly call for a massive cleansing of the school system within the State. We consider the fact that this is not likely exclusive to Government Science Secondary School alone. It is in this regard that we charge the Nasarrawa State Ministry of Education to heed the call of re-locating the ideal sense of the school system and ensure strict enforcement among stakeholders. Displinary measures are necessary, but should not be taking in this manner. It shouldn't be the ground through which the child get disfigured psychologically. In sanitising Nigeria, we have considered the imperatives of getting everyone into the job and that does not exclude these young people. It would be wise if we treat them with respect in the interest of every citizen of Nigeria, and the global community in general.

Monday, January 15, 2018

On Benue Killings

Nigeria, over the past few years has suffered a lot of setbacks in the key aspects of social security and sense of community. Such has resulted into incessant killings and displacements which have come to subject the nation to a serious integrity question. Today, the narrative of the Nigerian nation has been greeted with many negative symbols which cause a lot of discomfort to the citizenry and other concerned individuals. This is the premise upon which we in Global Support for Kids Initiative condemn the recent attack on the people of Benue state of Nigeria by the Fulani herdsmen who have serially been reported as terrors to the people of the State.

Upon receiving the information of the 12th January, 2018 attack which claimed lives rounding up to 50, we felt the shock of such inhumanity which fellow countrymen meted on others and that leaves us wondering what the future holds for the country if such is not vehemently attacked and criticized to a halt. This, among other important factors, decidedly introduced our CONDEMNATION of such act, noting it as the peak of wickedness and an extreme insensitivity to the bond that holds all the ethnic groups in Nigeria together as a people of one nation. This is against what we stand for and what we wish for the nation. In this respect, we have come to such point that we have to, as a matter of urgency, start a wide and 'wild' campaign against such act of terrorism that is capable of subjecting children and young people in Nigeria to an unnatural suffering which their various losses may bring them.

In our study of how this began, we realized that this horrible act has been at war with the people's security since the year 2013 when on February of that year, 186 people lost their lives to these Fulani herdsmen who placed more value on their cows than their fellow countrymen. Since then, the people have been in perpetual fear of being attacked. These faceless humans-turn-beasts have killed both young and old to the tune of 1,413 between February, 2013 and January 2, 2018. Not leaving the masses into this daring act, they attacked the former Governor Suswam and his convoy on 14th March, 2014 leaving him and his men to scurry into hiding. The same way they attacked the former Senate President of the Federation on 11th March, 2016. All of these are indices that these beasts are determined to make the nation inhabitable for their victims. This is the reason why the Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Peter Ayodele Fayose signed the 'Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing Bill' in Ekiti on 1st September, 2016. This, in the last two weeks also culminated into his approval of various measures to bring any herdsman found in Ekiti to book. This is the tragedy that succeeded the Boko Haram insurgency that the nation has still not recovered from.

While the death toll has risen to over a thousand, there are over ten thousand people that have been displaced by this scourge. In our observation, we realize that every physical displacement comes with an equal psychological displacement which causes a lot of problems to the victim. In a more explicit sense, it is the root cause of what we term death by installment. Our children and young people have a lot to lose from these unnatural disaster. Being orphaned or displaced at a tender age, experience have shown us that many kids are bound to suffer a great deal of psychological trauma which may result to a break of core parts of their psychological buildup. Furthermore, we have come to understand this can result to different problems that would condition the young person into the perpetual life of abusing drugs. Many eventually become criminals or new breeds of terrorists.  We are determined, by the call of our vision in GSK Initiative to ensure that this has no place in our country; not in the West, East, North or in the South.

In this regard, we call on all government agencies to wade into this horrible situation and ensure that ranches are provided for these herdsmen so that there would be no excuse for their sheer sense of inhumanity. We have come face to face with this scourge for too long and we can't afford to jeopardize our vision for such act as this. In a similar perspective, we implore all Nigerians, both young and old, to live beyond this trying times by tuning their senses to the hope of fighting this scourge to a halt through a collective re-visioning of the bond we have together. We sympathize with the victims and hope to create enough grounds, within the capacity of our Initiative, to see to the wellbeing of subjects-victims.