The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with Save the Future of the Children Initiatives (SAFIN) have rehabilitated 60 Nigerian minors from Borstal correction institution.
Speaking on the sidelines of the training in Ilorin, Mr Femi Oyedeji, the Executive Director of the SAFIN, said that the training of the minors is to integrate them back to the society.
According to him, with the support of UN and UNICEF, children who had been incarcerated in the Borstal homes and now released are being rehabilitated with life skills.
He explained that 60 of these children will be supported with necessary skills to be able to cope with challenges of life and make positive decision that will impact their lives positively.
Oyedeji explained that the training would prevent recidivism, which is the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.
He lamented that these children were former child delinquents who engage in smoking hard drugs, cultism, stealing and truancy from school.
He attributed such attitude from these minors to parental failure and broken homes, adding that they lack proper guide in getting the full support they need.
We ensure no child is left behind and maximise potential to actualise their goals in life skills and critical thinking.
“The initiatives is dedicated to improving access to children protection services and community-base reintegration for highly vulnerable children in Ilorin East, West and South Local Government Areas of the state,” he said.
The expert on child protection explained that the two-day training would give the children psychosocial support in terms of making them to come out of their shell and ensure that they relate well with other people as well as the communities.
He said the children have commenced training on different vocations of choice including tailoring, art works, electricians and photography.
Oyedeji added that the children have all been enrolled on the Kwara Health Insurance Scheme so that they can enjoy free healthcare as most come from indigent families.
He therefore appealed to the Kwara Government to allocate more resources in addressing issues of child protection services.
He also advised the state government to partner more with Civil Society Organisations to prevent factors that can proliferate child delinquency in the society.
“We encourage the government to create more sporting facilities, especially neighbourhood sporting games for the youths that will reduce idleness and unfavourable behaviours among them,” he said.
Besides, Oyedeji advised against keeping these children for more than six to nine months in Borstal institutions to avoid backlash.