“Six of the cases in the past 3 months have involved extreme physical abuse and violence. In one case, the uncle of a 3 year old child tied the child to a tree before setting her on fire.”
This harrowing extract from a report, in August, by one of our partners shows that when it comes to child protection in the Niger Delta, there is still much work to be done. Which is why our current campaign to support a new advocacy programme, is so vital.
But while our partners regularly report on cases such as these, there are many more positive cases that underline just how much is being achieved, thanks to the continued generosity of Safe Child Africa’s supporters and donors.
Who have we helped?
Just taking a snapshot of a 3 month period at our Emergency Accommodation and Child Protection Centre in Calabar, earlier this year, your generosity helped Safe Child Africa to support 96 existing cases of child abuse or witchcraft accusations as well as 17 new cases. We were also able to deliver Emergency Support and medical care to 18 children.
And in the same period of time, 44 children or the families of children affected by persecution, rape, or child abuse were given legal aid and support, to help bring their perpetrators to justice.
The value of this support and the package of care that goes with it, can’t be underestimated. It not only helps the children and families affected, but it also gives out a clear message that violating a child’s rights will not be tolerated and there will be consequences for those who do. These are such important messages in the fight to change attitudes towards child rights, in the Niger Delta.
To demonstrate just how much your support makes a difference, we have chosen to include the personal account of a child, who, following a traumatic and violent attack, was supported by our partners at BRCI. This report is included using the words of the child affected, but names, ages, dates and other details may have been altered and anonymised to protect identities:
“It was in 2016, I was just 12 years old; our neighbour Uncle X called me to help him wash plates. After washing the plates, I stayed inside the house for a little while, but when I tried to leave Uncle X held me on the bed, covered my mouth and raped me. I tried to scream but there was no one in the compound. He threatened me that if I tell anyone he will kill me. I was scared. When I returned home my Mother saw that all was not well. She ask me what had happened to me and I told her I was raped by Uncle X. She reported (the matter) to the police and Uncle X was arrested. The police sent us to Basic Rights counsel Initiative, they took the matter up it was charged to court.
My parents ran away from Calabar to Akwa Ibom state because of threats from Uncle X and his family, but BRCI took responsibility for me, they paid my school fees and exam fees, bought books, school bag, sandals and medicine for me.
Just recently, I saw Uncle X (the accused is on bail). It was as if I saw the devil. It brought back memories of the day I was raped and I started to cry.
I want BRCI to do everything within their power to send him back to jail even if it means me coming to court to testify again against him. I can't stand seeing him free. I want to thank Barrister James Ibor who made me stand for my right and fight for it. I should never lose hope until Uncle X is sent to prison.”
Please help us to help more children like this, by donating £25.00, or whatever you can afford, now.