SYDRI (Society for Youth Development and Rescue Initiative)
“Here, children learn everything a child should learn at home with his parents” Dr Esther Onoy-Omita
Dr Esther Onoy-Omita runs SYDRI (Society For Youth Development and Rescue Initiative) which she set up over 12 years ago in Calabar. Today SYDRI offers long term shelter, support, education and welfare services for around 10 children, mostly boys, aged between 7 and 17 years old.
Dr Esther says she was inspired to set up the foundation when the plight of street children touched her own life:
“I had an only brother, sadly he was a drug addict and as a result he lived on the streets. We did what we could to help him, but we knew the only chance he had of getting the help he needed, was through a rehabilitation centre, where he could be treated.”
But as is the case for much of Nigeria, there were no rehabilitation centres in Calabar, despite the growing number of street children.
“We couldn't get him the help he needed.” Dr Ester continues. “In Calabar at that time, there were so many young kids living on the streets. I could only imagine what their families were going through.”
“And that’s where the drive came from to set up SYDRI”. Dr Esther explained.
Since then, SYDRI has been making a difference by providing continued support for the children who need the service, in a familiar and nurturing environment.
As well as education and life skills, SYDRI provides psychosocial counselling, psychotherapy, recreation, family integration and foster parenting. Here children learn everything a child should learn at home with his parents. Children are involved in doing domestic chores alongside learning arts and crafts; they receive moral instructions learning, core values and anything that would improve their mind set and make them better people in life.
(Some statistical information to be included here relating to 2018 impact)