So You Want to Send Your Child to the Children Department of Your Place of Worship? Ask these Ten (10) Child Protection Focused Question: Question 2: Is the totality of what constitute an abuse to a child well understood? (2)

Dear duty bearers, thank you for joining me today. It gives me great pleasure to be back to this page today. Thank you so much for visiting. I do desire you to visit but I have a greater desire, which to make you a permanent resident of this page. I mean I invite you to follow us. All you need to do is to click the follow button just once. The moment, you do that you will receive an email, alerting you any time I post an article. I charge you to do this as you read this piece. Why do I charge you? It is for the best interest of our children. How? The battle for protection our children and their glorious destiny will not be won except through knowledge, wisdom, skills an attitude. The mission this blog is to empower you accordingly.

I continue with our topic, which I began since last week. I took an inevitable break on Friday to do a battle of conscience in respect of our children, who were kidnapped from their schools and are still being held fourteen days after. One side of the coin that is just occurring to me right now is what if the insurgents are busy brainwashing these young girls with a view to recruiting them for their unpopular cause? What if the children are already suffering from Stockholm syndrome? Too many questions, yet few or no answers. I charge you to please keep them in your prayers. In situations like this when all hopes seem lost; God is in the habit of showing up to make the difference.

Back to our discussion of the day, which is a continuation of the second question you must ask as you send your child to the children department of your religious place of worship, viz: is the totality of what constitute an abuse to a child well understood? I will like to say that the beginning of understanding is a clear-cut definition. I mean a definition, which agrees with universal principles of how God created this world to function. As a follow-up to our last discussion, permit me to define child abuse and child protection.

I will like to define abuse by its impact. I believe that abuse (physical, emotional, sexual and neglect) of any Abuse of any kind successfully at all times and every circumstance DEHUMANIZES the child. What does it mean to dehumanize? ‘Make Somebody Less Human: to make somebody less human by taking away his or her individuality, the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personality, or his or her compassion and sensitivity towards others.’ (Microsoft® Encarta® 2009)

Abuse is a distraction too hard for the fragile but promising mind of the child to handle. Abuse is a jealous occupier. He runs a fortified monopoly, which does not allow the child any breathing space. It arrives on its invitation with fear and intimidation. The trio creates a blockage, which does not only prevent the child from learning anything, but to also rob him of himself and his inherent dignity of human person. If there is any other feeling left in the child, when he is abused, it is the search for freedom. As, I always say, childhood is not synonymous with slavery. Abuse brings with it slavery mentality. Once the child feels enslaved, he has just one mission. It is the mission to escape the confines of the prison. It does not matter the name we call the institution, family, home, school, place of worship, once the freedom of the child is attacked, he sees the place as prison. Permit me to humbly submit therefore that the number one threat to the vision, mission and core value of a place of worship is exposure of children to any form of abuse.

There are mainly four types of abuse a child may be exposed to, namely physical, sexual, emotional and abuse by neglect.

For the place of worship to effectively play its role in the foregoing areas it must see itself as a major stakeholder in the life of the child, whose influence is permanent. The religious place of worship must understand that it stands in the position of secondary caregiver, which does not only give care to the child, but also strengthens the family (the primary caregiver).

Therefore the religious place of worship must understand that there are two(2) categoties of caregivers in the life of the child, namely primary caregivers (parents and guardians) and secondary caregivers(every person, other than the biologocal parents or guardian of the child, charged with the responsibility of providing care for the child). These persons are duty bearers. They are duty bearers because they owe it to the child to protect him. Considering the fact that the primary caregivers (parents) invited the child to this world without his consent, they are duty bound to protect and care for the child.

The secondary custodians(nannies, teachers, etc) accept responsibility for the children, therefore they are duty bound to protect and care for the child. Above all, children cannot take care of themselves. It is therefore the responsibility of the FAMILY, COMMUNITY, STATE and INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY to protect and take care of the child. They form the four rings of protection, whose responsibility is to create protective enviroment, where the FAMILY IS STRENGHTENED, child protection is CODIFIED into CULTURE and NORMS, which enamate from the people and EFFECTIVE LEGAL FRAMEWORK.

Therefore, duty bearers do not respond to the child on the basis of his needs as if he is doing the child a favour. The child’s needs are assumed because they are supposed to be known by anyone, who holds out himself/herself as a caregiver. The caregivers must respond to the child on the basis of his rights. Meeting the needs of the child is the end and recognising and respecting his rights is the means.

Once it is the child’s rights and the primary and the secondary caregivers can afford it, having invited the child to this world and, it will be a duty and never a sacrifice. Once the secondary caregiver signs up to protect and take care of the child, it will never be a sacrifice.

The religious place of worship must understand that children are right holders. Children are born with rights. These rights are not conferred by human and his establised system and therefore they cannot pick and choose, which one to respect or not respect. To take the rights given to our children by the creator is amounts to robbery. Or is it not robbery to take away from someone something that we did not give them or over which we have no authority. Therefore it is a wrong use of language when we say, ‘give children their rights.’

We cannot give children their rights, we can only respect their rights. The rights are already given. Please note that respecting rights, already conferred by the creator is not a gift to the child. It is an act of obidience to their Creator. To disrepect their rights is to act against the order created by the creator. Our children are born as Rights Holders, they came to this world, holding the rights in their hands, therefore we must live up to the expectation of the creator and respect these rights.

The purpose of this question is to test the understanding of a religious place of worship and their commitment to acting in accordance with their understanding, where it is in confirmity with universal principles or to gain the right understanding where it is not so, so that it may be said that the religious place of worship exists to promote the best interest of the child in child protection. What is this best interest of the child? According to the Common Law, the United Nations treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory to and the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 Part 1, Section 1), THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD (spirit, soul and body) must be the primary focus of every stakeholder in the life of the child, including the media. The foregoing assertion requires that every decision in respect of the child must pass through the acid test of ‘the best interest of the child.’

I feel at this point that I have done justice to this question. I will be here tomorrow again to continue earnestly along this line. If you have empowered today, I charge you, do not leave in a hurry; please drop a comment.

Thank you for visiting and as I sign out also today, I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE.

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LOVE…IS THIS LOVE?

‘LOVE is a DECISION…Not a FEELING,’ they say…
If LOVE is a DECISION it means it is a matter of VALUE…
If it is a matter of VALUE, it means it is not a BLIND DECISION…
It is a CONSCIOUS DECISION…
Could it mean that LOVE is not BLIND after all…
Here are my QUESTIONS ladies and gentlemen:
Is LOVE for you a matter of personal VALUE?
If so WHO/What do you LOVE?
Why do you LOVE?
How do you LOVE?
When do you LOVE?
Is LOVE the name you love to be called?
I know the ONE, whose name is so called…He shed His LOVE abroad in my HEART.
Do have an INSPIRED week.
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s day.

#BringBackOurGirls: I have no ANSWERS…I only have HOPE…BUT…

I thank God, who chose me before the world began to propagate the Gospel According to Child Protection. Words fail me to give expression to how I feel when I get on my system or stand of my feet to do the battle of child protection. I feel very fulfilled, excited and above hall, I see myself in the hall of fame of those who live to giver successful expression to their God-ordained destiny.

I must also say that today, word fails me also to express the depth of my concern and sadness over the missing 200 girls, who were abducted from their institution learning, Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State in the midnight of Tuesday, April 15, 2014. There are indications that the children were taken to Sambisa Forest, a known hide-out of the Boko Haram insurgents, who took responsibility for the most irresponsibility act. As at today, it has been reported that all schools in Borno State have been closed because of attacks by militants. What a great feat for evil to achieve in broad daylight of the 21st century civilisation.

Hmmm…According to a report, titled, ‘Keep Away From Schools or We’ll Kill You’: Education Under Attack in Nigeria,” released by Amnesty International in October 2013, ‘the menace of Boko Haram on the educational sector of the country has been tragic with over 70 teachers and 100 students slaughtered and forcing about 15,000 potential students out of school.’

According to the report, as a result of to the unbridled attacks on teachers and pupils  almost all schools in Bama, Baga, Jajeri, Umarari Garnam, Mai Malari, Mungono and Gamboru were forced to close between February 2012 and June 2013. Amnesty International regards the siege on the educational system in Nigeria as absolute disregard for the right to life and the right to education as well as crime against humanity.

The report submitted most profoundly, ‘the Nigerian government is obliged, as part of its obligation under Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, ICESCR, to protect everybody’s right to education and to take measures that prevent third parties from interfering with the enjoyment of the right.’

The real issue here is that in any state, the government and its agencies are the biggest social service provider. The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria says the security and the welfare of the people shall be the primary aim of Government. Obviously, this constitutional injunction seems to be missing on the agenda of the Nigerian state as of today.

There is only one big question, which flood my mind today: where do we go from here? Do we fold our arms and do nothing about the kidnapping of these precious souls, who are spending their 11th days in the custody of insurgents? If we must do something, what shall we do that will be effective in turning the tide against the insurgents? If we must do something, are we to focus on government or should we plead for mercy with the insurgents like the parents of the children have done now? Many are the questions, yet very few are the answers.

I write this piece today, not because I have all of the answers. I think I used the phrase, ‘not because I have all of the answers’ because of the optimism in me that we cannot be stranded. Or could be because I hate to bow to the dictates of vulnerability? I think what I originally wanted to say is that, ‘I do not have any of the answers.’ The situation and our collective responses both as a people and government, Nigeria biggest social service provider from the faultless perspective of the constitution seems the situation defy the logic of a 21st century idea of how a state should run.

But do you know one thing I am sure of? It is that evil does not have the capacity to triumph over good when men and women of conscience arise to do MEANINGFUL, STRATEGIC, HOLISTIC and FULL-PICTURE-ORIENTED battle. The foundation of the edifice of evil is straws and the pillars are made of reeds, yet our fear and lack of foresight make it look like the foundation is made of steel and the pillars are made of wrought iron. When we rise above our fear and short-sightedness, courage becomes the most effective tool against evil’s seeming impenetrable pillars of chicanery. I find direction in the words of Claire Boothe Luce that ‘there are no hopeless situations; there are only people who have grown hopeless about then.’ The Holy Writ says, ‘now is our salvation nearer than we first believed’ because with God all things are possible.’

My advocacy today is not for finger point or sitting on the crashing and discredited seats of judgment and condemnation. My charge is for us to employ our highest level of sincerity to turn on and tune to the thinking mechanism of our collective conscience with a view to setting spiritual and social machinery, which is able to move us away from sporadic responses to the empty roaring of evil. The ultimate goal of the foregoing exercise will be to disarm evil by developing an enduring spiritual and social response mechanism that foresee the emergence of evil and stop it in its tracts. It is a mechanism that looks at the seed and not the forest; it is a mechanism that looks at the root and not the tree; it is mechanism that has no respect for tokenism of methods and contributions as a tool of social change; it is a mechanism that focuses on our sociology instead of our psychology, knowing that our psychology today is a product of our sociology yesterday; it is a mechanism that spend our spiritual fasting, hunger strike and prayers for quality direction on preventive measures instead of less effective curative much ado; above all, it is a mechanism that takes personal responsibility for change, having counted the cost and a commitment to be a long distance runner, fuelled by a sense of mission.

I think this was the spirit in William Wilberforce, the British politician, who commitment twenty years of his life to ending slave trade. A strategic agitation, which began like innocuous attacks of termites on a fortified palace of evil, later became a big conflagration, which consumed the seemingly invincible castle of slave trade. The question is where are the prophets? Where are the change makers? Where are the men and women of mission, who know and accept that they are born to give expression to and fulfil the noble cause of giving our children hope and a future?

You see, I do not come today with answers, I come with Hope. It is my well-considered opinion that evil is an organised entity with a very high rate of success in our clime. It cannot be displaced by crocodile-tears social interventions that draw its highest strength from the prevailing results of evil and disappear for a season, only to reappear when evil struck again. This makes the interventionists laughable both to nature (order of life) and the protagonist and perpetrator of evil. Organised evil will be conquered by better organised social interventions. A good cause with a weak strategy will forever be defeated by a bad cause with strong strategy until nature takes its normal course of subduing evil. But by the time nature takes its course, there are always many needless causalities. Montesquieu said it and I verily believe him, ‘power does not shift except for superior power.’ Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

I round up on a very sober note, saying I do not come with answers on how to rescue our children from insurgents. I only come with hope and this hope is dependent on our embracing sincerity of purpose in our intervention. If not so, like I prophesied during the #ChildNotBride saga, whether the children are released or not, the noisy celebration of agitation will soon be ended and we will return and crawl up to our zones, called comfort and it shall be business as usual until evil achieves another result…God forbid…

I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…Do have an INSPIRED weekend.

 

 

 

 

So You Want to Send Your Child to the Children Department of Your Place of Worship? Ask these Ten (10) Child Protection Focused Question: Question 2: Is the totality of what constitute an abuse to a child well understood?

Welcome to this page today. It gives me great pleasure to continue this very important discussion today. I think this is the second question, you may want to ask, is the totality of what constitute an abuse to a child well understood?

This question is very critical because of our recent history, particularly in Nigeria. It seems we have enthroned abuse of children as a tool of spiritual treatment. We read the terrible cases of children being accused of witchcraft, flogged, dehumanised and separated from their parents in the name of spiritual deliverance. In most cases, it is the leaders of the religious places of worship, who convince the parents of the child that they are possessed by demons.

Recently, one of the protagonists of labelling children witches was reported to have been deported from the United Kingdom on the grounds that ‘she is a risk to youngsters’ and ‘her presence here is not conducive to the public good.’ She is said to have written in one of her books, ‘If a child under the age of two screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health he or she is a servant of Satan.’ Gary Foxcroft of Witchcraft and Human Rights Information Network (WHRIN), commenting on her deportation said, ‘the fundamental problem is that churches need to be regulated. Anyone can set up a church tomorrow in their own garden shed with no commitment to child protection…’

What about a group of religious people, who defend child marriage in the name of their religious beliefs. The negative physical, physiological, mental, health and social impact of child marriage is evident for all to see. As a matter of fact, child marriage remains one of the most dangerous breeding grounds for multiple abuses of children today.

In all the examples shared above, they have no credible, sensible and spiritual explanation, within the latitude of the faith they profess for their misdeeds. The only explanation to any rational mind is that the people, who perpetrate this kind of ill-treatment against children, suffer from acute ignorance, paranoia borne out of their experience and misguided interpretation of same. Now, abuse of a child is not excusable on any ground, physical or spiritual. I do not believe that the articles of faith of any faith approve child abuse in any form under any guise or disguise.

I have shared these direct and obvious cases of abuse, which many religious places of worship do not see as abuses as the forerunners of other subtle form of abuses children may be exposed to under the custody of religious places of worship or with their approval. Approval here may be deliberate or involuntary due to lack of knowledge of what actually constitute child abuse. The challenge is that if some religious places of worship do not see the bizarre example of child abuses as abuses, how much more the subtle and hidden form of abuses. It is also important to note that there are religious places of worship, which will vehemently kick against all of the obvious types of abuse earlier discussed but will overtly or covertly, ignorantly or deliberately perpetrate the subtle forms of abuses I will be sharing now. The unfortunate fact is that whether subtle or obvious, abuses have almost same impact on the child. Abuse is not less deadly because it is subtle. As a matter of fact subtle abuses are likely to go unaddressed throughout a child’s childhood because the perpetrators and their immediate environment do not see their acts or omission as abuses. In some cases, primary caregivers ignorantly charges secondary caregivers to perpetrate abuses against their children in the name of discipline. Unfortunately, ignorance does not mitigate the impact of abuse on children.

These subtle abuses happen mostly when children are under the custody of the children departments/arms of the religious places of worship for weekly meeting or gathering. The subtle abuses may emanate from lack of understanding of what it means to discipline children; caregiver’s lack of knowledge of child development and how to employ same to help the children under their care. Abuses resulting from the foregoing may be emotional in nature, ranging from yelling at a child at every instance in the name of correction; comparing one child to another; labelling of children according to what the caregiver perceived to be their weaknesses; neglect, which result to lack of care or inadequate care; making suggestive statements to the child or cracking suggestive jokes; engaging in suggestive touches of children; subjecting children to practices, which benefits are not clearly explained to the children and even when explained, they (children) are not able to appreciate or enjoy by virtue of physical and mental development(for example fasting) and many more.

I remember when I was in primary school; many children were forced by their parents to observe either the Christian or Muslim fasting exercises. While they claimed to be fasting while at home, they came to school and ate. As far as many of them were concerned they were being punished by their parents as they know next to nothing about the values of the fasting exercise and the benefits for them thereof. This has direct implication on the physical emotional stability of the child. I keep wondering while children, particularly at very tender age are subject to either thirty days or forty days fasting.   I wonder what the parents seek to achieve.

Abuse may also include subjecting the child to treatments, which are purely subject to the parent’s faith, which is inimical to the health of the child. For example there is group of religious place of worship, which do not believe in blood transfusion. It is pathetic that when their children, who are not in position to comprehend the justification for their belief, are sick and need blood transfusion, they are not allowed to.

Now, it is difficult to determine where a religious place of worship stands in defining abuse, except we seek to know what they genuinely believe about children. A person or organisation’s belief about children goes to the core of how they treat children. Their believe is mainly informed by their understanding of the codified articles of faith of their religious beliefs, the prevalent culture of their environment; personal experiences of the leaders, which have become unnecessarily generalised and instituted as doctrine and practices, perceived spiritual instructions and interpretation of same etc.

Permit me to state here that for the belief of any group of people about children is part of their belief. The test of belief in our relationship with children is the best interest of the child. Once our belief is in conformity with the best interest of the child, I believe our definition of abuse will automatically serve the best interest of the child. I believe that the best interest of the child gives us a template to give expression to the universal principles of how God created this world to function. I publicly opine today that these universal principles are actively in support of adequate protection of the child.

I think I should sign out here. I will resume tomorrow to define the meaning and scope of the principle of the best interest of the child and attempt to allow it to guide us to offer a definition of what constitute abuse. Please note that to shut the doors of abuse against our children, what constitute abuse must be understood by us all. As you sign out also today, I charge you to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE.

So You Want to Send Your Child to the Children Department of Your Place of Worship? Ask these Ten (10) Child Protection Focused Question: Question 1: Is there is a Child Protection System?

Welcome to this page today. I am glad to be here in the spirit of enlightenment to do a meaningful advocacy for empowerment. As I introduced yesterday, I am here to share with you in the next few days to come the ten child protection-focused questions we all must ask to be sure that our religious places of worship are safe for our children. Permit me to proceed right away without further preambles:

Is there a Child Protection System in place? This is the father of all child protection-focused questions. It is the foundation of all the other questions we must ask and expect answers. Commitment to child protection does not begin with good intention and statement of commitment. While good intention and statement of commitment are critical, they are not enough. Whatever commitment we have as primary and secondary caregivers remains nothing but a conspicuous decoration in the dusty dictionary of wishful thinking, if it is not backed up by a system. I think the question, I should address at this time is, what is a Child Protection System? Though, I attempted yesterday to shed some light on what is meant by Child Protection System in my introduction, permit me to fully do justice to it at this very time.

Permit me to begin this exercise of defining Child Protection System with defining Child Protection. To my professional and experiential mind, Child protection refers to, EVERY step DELIBERATELY and CONSISTENTLY taken by the FAMILY, COMMUNITY, STATE and INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, BASED on KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, GOOD CONSCIENCE, PROMPTNESS, INNER STRENGTH and an UNALLOYED COMMITMENT to the PRESENT and the FUTURE of the CHILD to PROTECT through a FORTIFIED SYSTEM of PREVENTION and EARLY INTERVENTION aimed at PROTECTING the child from ALL FORMS OF ABUSE, NEGLECT, EXPLOITATION, VIOLENCE AND EVERYTHING THAT IS CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, WHETHER THEY APPEAR AS ABUSE OR NOT.

It is my humble and irresistible conclusion that it is not protection if abuse is not prevented and early intervention is not guaranteed.

As this point, I will take it that I have your liberty to dive into the deeper waters of Child Protection System, having shed light on Child Protection. Here is my copious thinking about Child Protection Systems; It is my firm belief that for child protection to be effective, it must move from being a concept or subject to become a culture.

Culture, here simply refers to values, which a people hold very dear. Culture is so powerful that it does not only develop a life of its own, it becomes the second nature of the people. Though, it derives its life from the people, the people also derive their lives, personal and communal meaning and peace from it when it comes of age.

The culture of child protection is established through the instrumentality of a child protection system. It is important to note that Child Protection Systems work by a well-articulated Child Protection Policy, carefully designed according to the needs of the institution which seeks to use it to protect children.

Besides, Systems approach to Child Protection is the global thinking today when it comes to child protection. It is ensures that formidable structures are put in place to protection children. A Child Protection System has three (3) components: 1. Goals or Set of Goals; 3. Interdependence; 3. Balance.

Permit to declare that Child Protection Systems involves CAREFULLY Identifying or recognizing EVERY STAKEHOLDER, including THE CHILDREN, on child protection, ENLIGHTENING, EMPOWERING and ORGANIZING them towards CREATING AND STRENGTHENING PROTECTIVE ENVIRONMENT and PROVIDING SUITABLE and SUSTAINABLE SERVICES DELIVERY, (which emanates from rich and purposeful interaction with the stakeholders) towards CHILD PROTECTION and respect for the rights of children, as provided by LEGAL INSTRUMENTS, POLICIES, CUSTOMS and TRADITIONS, which set the formal and informal frameworks for the child protection, upholding THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD as the operating system.

Every child has five basic needs. One of these needs is that the child needs somewhere to belong, first a family and second a community. The family is referred to as the primary caregiver while the community is referred to as secondary caregivers. The religious places of worship are prominent parts of the community and therefore, they have a duty of care of protection under their care. The proof of their commitment to this all-important duty of care is to embrace Child Protection as a culture that must be entrenched through a system and evidenced by a Child Protection Policy.

The policy is the mouthpiece of the entire process and it is developed by experts. I have worked with organisations of different shades and colours to develop workable and working Child Protection System. My experience teaches me that no matter how divergent our views are at the commencement of the process, we always find common grounds to arrive at a pro-best-interest-of-the-child position. My experiences tell me that every individual or organisation has a commitment to protect children. The challenge is always how to do so, first by defining what exactly constitute abuses and how to professionally prevent same.

I think this leads us to the next question, which I will endeavour to ask tomorrow.

Thank you for joining me today. I await your responses. I charge to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

So You Want to Send Your Child to the Children Department of Your Place of Worship? Ask these Ten (10) Child Protection Focused Question

Today, in accordance with my commitment to ensure that every area of our existence is safe for our children, I have decided to put pen to paper to do this series. This is an enlightenment series, which main aim is to prevent abuses of children. It is a cardinal belief for us in child protection that enlightenment is superior to enforcement. Enforcement deals with cure, while enlightenment deals with prevention. ‘Prevention is better than cure,’ says the English proverb. According to Fredrick Douglass ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.’

Please note that I do this series today both as a specialist and an insider. I worked in the children department of my religious place of worship for close to fifteen (15) years. I know the laudable measures that are put in place to protect children and I think I have an idea of one or two things that may be done to improve on the protection of children.

Permit me to reiterate that I will be leaning on my expertise as a child protection expert today and my experience within the children department of a religious place of worship to hold this very important discussion with you.

Why should the religious places of worship take deliberate and meaningful steps towards child protection? Well, I think the answer to this question is found in the principle that the number one responsibility of a primary and secondary caregiver is to protect the children under their care. I mean the number one responsibility of parents and guardian is to protect the child. Once the protection of the child is not guaranteed, training or parenting cannot take place. Do you know why? Abuse changes everything about the child. Abuse of any form is a distraction to the spirit, soul and body of the child. Abuse is a jealous phenomenon, which takes up the whole of the child and gives him/her no room for any other thing except fear, intimidation and broken hearts. This trio is too much to bear for an adult, not talk of children and their fragile minds.

Please note that as it is with parents and guardians, who are primary caregivers, so it is with secondary caregivers either as individuals or organisations. Therefore the number one responsibility of a children department of a religious place of worship is not to teach children the tents of their faith, but to protect them. As matter of fact, protecting the children from all forms of abuse is a proof to the children that the faith, they are being taught about take their protection into consideration.

Until children are protected in tangible terms through the instrumentality of a child protection system, they find it difficult to release themselves to their environment and it is therefore impossible to get the best out of them.

Another point, why we must hold this discussion is that we are living in a strange world today, where our children seem to be under siege on all sides. A recent United Nations survey on violence against children says, ‘never in the history of our world has the children been under the kind of siege and abuse they are today. ‘As far as the agents of abuse are concerned, the religious places of worship are not sacred grounds. When I use the phrase, ‘agents of abuse’ I refer to those who deliberately abuse the child out of weakness or wickedness and those who abuse the child out of ignorance. The people in the latter category are higher in number than the ones in the former category. Another thing about the people, who abuse the child ignorantly, is that in most cases they mean well and the kinds of abuses they perpetrate are though lethal but very subtle. Subtle abuses are not easy to detect and they are not less destructive. Those who abuse the child ignorantly strike daily but those who act out of weakness or wickedness strike less often. Pathetically, it is the our practice here to focus more on and raise alarm on overt cases of abuses perpetrated by abusers, who act out of weakness or wickedness at the expense of covert abuses perpetrated by the ignorant abusers. Unfortunately, whether a child is under abuses under the hands of the former and the latter categories of abusers, the impact is the same spirit, soul and body on the child.

Lastly, child protection has become a matter of best practice in terms of necessary skills when it comes to handling children either as a primary and secondary caregivers. Religious places of worship must not be left behind in this new and laudable global move to protect our children. Failure to think this way opens children to abuses under their care and becomes a distraction to their mission, integrity and credibility. The recently cases of child sexual abuse linked to the Catholic Church is an eloquent example of the point I am trying to make.

Therefore in perilous times like this, vigilance must become the strategy of liberty for our children. The antidote to abuse is to create a culture of child protection. Culture, which refers to values are not created in one day. It is established through the instrumentality of a child protection system anywhere and everywhere children are gathered. It is important to note that Child Protection Systems work by a well-articulated Child Protection Policy, carefully designed according to the needs of the institution which seeks to use it to protect children.

In this series, I will discuss in clear details on how places of religious worship can establish and sustain a measurable child protection system. I will break them down in question format that I believe the leadership of the places of religious of worship and their followers must ask to create a better children department, where we can collectively vouch for the safety of our children.

I charge you to join me here tomorrow as I begin to share these ten (10) questions you must ask to be sure your children are protected within the confines of the children department of religious places of worship.

Thank you for visiting today. I look forward to seeing you here tomorrow. I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

ABC of Child Protection …An Awareness Program for Primary and Secondary Caregivers: My Thirteen(13) Cardianal ChildProtectionCREED™-Conclusion

 

7.  No Such Nomemclaclure as Less-Priviledged/Under-priviledged Children

All children are born equal. None is born more priviledged than the other. By the cooperation of the primary and secondary caregivers, a child must have access to 6+1 Supports, which are critical to his/her development, namely:

(Psychology/physical) Support

Nutritional Support

Health Support

Education Support

Shelter and Care

Protection Support

Economic Support

The foregoing supports are not PRIVILEDGES. They are RIGHTS, whichevery child, who has breath MUST never be denied of. Where they are denied by their primary and secondary caregivers, they are not less-priviledged or under-priviledged. They are THE ABUSED…THE DENIED.

They are DENIED of their DIGNITY of human person…They are DENIED of their GOD-ORDAINED Destiny and the primary and secondary caregivers must be held responsible…They must not be allowed to wish away their responsiblity by merely refering to these children as the less-priviledged or under-priviledged as if they come from their Maker with the derogatory label.

8. The foundation of child psychology is child socialization

Psychology is defined as ‘the science that deals with mental processes and behaviour and the emotional and behavioural characteristics of an individual, group, or activity.’The psychology of the child is a product of the sociology of his community through the process of socialisation.

Socialisation means ‘the adoption of the behaviour patterns of the surrounding culture.’Socialization is the ultimate responsibility of the custodians in the life of the life of the child. This requires knowledge, wisdom and skills.

9. Whatever you Don’t Like in Your Child Today, You Put it There

Children are not born with any self-concept, whatever they have become today; they learnt it from us as primary caregivers and the secondary caregivers we exposed them to. Example is superior to instruction. Long before children understand instruction, they already understand examples. When we are tired of what we do not like about them, we will remove it, not through ‘discipline,’ yelling or canning but by admitting our errors and deciding to change our example.

‘You are your child’s role model. Bill Gates wrote the shortest foreword I have ever read to his father’s book, ‘Showing Up for Life’ thus,Dad, the next time somebody asks you if you’re the real Bill Gates, I hope you say, “Yes”. I hope you tell them that you’re all the things the other one strives to be.’ Though it is short, it is loaded. Please give it a thought.

10. The Goal of Discipline Must be Child Protection

The term “discipline” comes from the Latin word “disciplinare,” which means “to teach.” What is the first thing, we are to teach our children? I think the first thing they need to learn is to be conscious of their dignity of human person. I think the first thing we must teach our children is honour. That is, to let them know that they are people of honour and that being young does not mean being stupid; being young does not mean being weak and being young does not mean being irresponsible. This is the foundational tool of self-respect and self-protection.

Understanding the foregoing solves the problem of METHOD. I submit to you ladies and gentlemen that when we understand that the aim of discipline is child protection, we will discover that MOTIVE is superior to METHOD. The question, we will always ask is does this method help me to protect my child or teach him/her how to protect himself/herself.

11. The Joy of Having Children is how they are Raised

The real joy of having children is not that they are born. What we make of them is what matters most. If giving birth to children is the real joy of children, we would not have had Hitler, Ted Bundy, Idi Amin and Lawrence Ofigbo Anini.

The real joy is to raise our children right. Every child is born to our world to be a blessing but the primary and secondary caregivers, through training make them a blessing or menace. What are you making your children into today?

12. A Child Beyond Parental Control is a Final Admission of Parental failure

Some parents take their children to social welfare claiming the child is beyond parental control. Funny enough, my father once threatened, while growing up in Ado Ekiti that he would take me to social welfare.

Permit me to submit that taking your child to social welfare or throwing in the air that your child is beyond parental control is an admission of failure as parents. You child is a product of your training. Therefore there is no such thing as a child beyond parental control; they are only parents, who do not know how to put their children under control.

13. Think the Child…Think Today…Think The future

Our mandate for Child Protection is summed up thus, to bring to the front burner of the conscience and consciousness of individuals, private and public institutions in Africa, the PROTECTION, RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of the child for due respect IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD.’ This mandate is built on the philosophy that enlightenment is superior to enforcement, which I have already shared with you here. ‘Enlightenment is superior to enforcement’ is the philosophy, ‘Think the Child! Think Today! Think the future is the payoff of the philosophy. My goal is to put the child, his rights and responsibilities permanently in your thinking. I want the thoughts of the child to be in your consciousness and conscience that you may do all and at all times in the best interest of the child.

I believe that to get you to do this, I must get you to see the present and the future of the child. I want you to understand that what you make of the child today is who he becomes tomorrow. I want to remind you that the future of the child begins today and we must do our best under God to protect same. I want to highlight the proverb that ‘we do not inherit the world from our forefathers; we borrow it from our children’ and the state in which we return it matters to our children and their collective destiny. That is why I call on you this day to Think the Child…Think Today…Think The future.

Meet the Child Protection Conscious Caregiver

EVERYTHING in life produces after its own kind! Guess that is why Mahatma Ghandi said, ‘YOU must be the CHANGE YOU want to see in the world.’

‘Great advances have always come from ideas; ideas do not fall from the sky; they come from people. People write the software, design the products and start the new businesses. Every new thing that gives pleasure or productivity or convenience is the result of human ingenuity.’ Stanford University economist, Paul Romer

Once YOU are personally responsible in CHILD RIGHTS/PROTECTION, YOU create a PRECEDENT OF POSSIBILITY, YOUR PRECEDENT OF POSSIBILITY will create a CONSCIOUSNESS OF CHILD RIGHTS /PROTECTION among your observers and a CONSCIOUSNESS OF CHILD/ RIGHTS PROTECTION will produce MANIFESTATION OR IMPACT

NOTE THIS: Nothing Changes around YOU, until YOU CHANGE

How do Become Conscious?

YOU must make it a point of duty to find yourself…

Robb Thompson says, ‘You are either a prisoner of your past or a pioneer of your future.’

For embark on this journey of self-discovery, I strongly advise that YOU Take RESPONSIBILITY to take the following 5 steps:

  • Accept and love yourself that you are and know: If you do not love yourself that you are, you will never love yourself that you hope to be become. Love is NOW.
  • Identify positive and negative impact of your upbringing: do not live in denial. Open your heart, face your past and decide to identify positive and negative experiences.
  • Identify the requirement for healing

o   Desire: Motivation for healing

o   Knowledge: What to do

o   Skill: How to do it

  • Subscribe to the healing process
  • Submit to the healing process

Oath of Commitment to Child Protection

Dear LORD,

Is there a CHILD YOU want to save today?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to lift.

Is there a CHILD you want to befriend?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to love.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to love?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to protect and perfect.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to bless today?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to honour.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to send an angel to?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to help.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to give direction by YOUR SPIRIT?

I mean a CHILD YOU want to comfort.

Is there a CHILD YOU want to visit?

I mean a CHILD, whose story YOU want to change forever.

Yes, dear LORD,

I know there is a CHILD YOU want to reach;

I mean a CHILD YOU want to reveal YOURSELF to in the FLESH,

As a FATHER, who daily and generously LOADS

His CHILDREN with BENEFITS and TREASURES.

So, here I am dear LORD,

Made in YOUR IMAGE and LIKENESS,

Don’t look too far.

SEND me,

I am GOOD TO GO,

I mean I am LOADED TO GO.

I am a BLESSING,

A JOY of MANY GENERATIONS

I beg to sign out here. By God’s grace, I will be back here tomorrow as I begin a fresh discussion on  So You Want To Send Your Child to The Children Department of Your Place of Worship: Ask these 10 Child Protection Questions. Do have an INSPIRED day. I charge you today to Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…