A group, the Home and Street Kids Welfare Initiative (HSKi), said on Monday that no fewer than 50 children would benefit from its educational initiative, aimed at removing children from the streets in Kwara.
HSKi’s Executive Director Miss Funmi Omisope told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that educating street children would also reduce crime in the country.
Omisope said that The Oasis Academy (TOSA), which is a reception centre, would enrol 50 children in Koro Afoju, a community of the blind in Ilorin.
“Here, we teach them the basics for six months — that is from March to August. In between the six months, they would have been exposed to some basics through exclusive teachings and excursions.
“Our aim in this initiative is to enrol no fewer than 50 street children, especially in this community, and we hope that they get serious and appreciate our efforts so that they can be enrolled in proper schools by September.
“By the time we enrol them in schools next September, it will be easy for their teachers to teach them,” she said.
The executive director said that the figure of out-of-school children in Nigeria was over 1.5 million, adding that the alarming figure was the reason the group was involved in educating the children of the blind.
“The government is trying to enrol them but they keep dropping out because the school environment is strange to them.
“We do follow them up after they have been enrolled so that before they think of dropping out, we already know the problem.
“This is our own way of ensuring that the number of out-of-school children is reduced; this is our own way of giving back to the society,” Omisope said.
She said that by educating the children in this community for the blind, we can put a stop to the begging cycle almost becoming their culture.
“We want the government to partner with us; we have the vision of having reception centres in at least five places in Kwara.
“We want to replicate this initiative in other states of the country; but we want to achieve and see results in Kwara first, so that people will be encouraged to partner with us.
“Taking children out of the streets and educating them is the best way to reduce crime, insecurity, intolerance and terrorism in our society,” Omisope said.