We completed our two day program on running a safe school on May 19 and 20, 2016. I tell you we had a great time of impact and turnaround of perspective on WHO and what it takes to protect our precious children within the school system.
I was in awe of God, as I listened to the verbal testimonies of participants and read through their Evaluation Forms. Our participants were not only imparted, they all swore to be ambassadors of the message.
As my mind ran through all of these, I couldn’t help but travel back in time to when we heeded this noble call. The journey produced this sobering message: Counting Our Blessing of Relevance ONE by ONE. I hope, we are able to count it all.
It is a very long one, but I beseech you to bear with my infirmity of writing so long a treatise. It is one of the infirmities for which I earnestly believe God for speedy recovery.
The cause ‘To STRENGTHEN the family, RESTORE CHILDHOOD, BRING TO THE VERY FRONT BURNER of the CONSCIENCE and CONSCIOUSNESS of individuals, private and public institutions in Africa for due respect, the RIGHTS, RESPONSIBILITIES, CARE and PROTECTION of our precious children and PRESERVE CHILDHOOD, through Culture REVOLUTION in THE BEST INTEREST OF THE AFRICAN CHILD.’ began 19(nineteen) years ago with a lot of passion. Since then, to our passion we have added expertise and to our expertise we have added exposure and to our exposure, we have added strategy and to our strategy, we have added tactics. Since then we have worked with over 200(two hundred) leading local and international organisations, cutting across the financial, education, media, arts and entertainment, manufacturing sectors, all levels and arms of governments and their agencies, religious bodies, international Non-governmental Organisations, including UNICEF, British Council and SOS Children Village. We have reached over 2,000,000(two million) primary and secondary caregivers, children and youths through our seminars, speaking engagements and media campaigns with our Gospel According to Child Protection and CHILDHOOD Preservation Culture™
1997: Heights (Drug and Cult-Free Club)
This was our first attempt at involving children in their own protection. Our mission as contained in our training manual was ‘to create a conducive atmosphere safe enough to positively affect and promote the exuberant nature of young people. It is creating a moral, educative, safe, purposeful and fun-filled alternative to the “Do not” method. It is strategically maximizing the potential of men and women by the repair and building of the foundation – young people. It’s all about building the youths to perfect the future.’ The focus was the public schools, where we worked with public schools in Lagos State and reaching close to 250 pupils.
2000: Children Right/Protection Campaign to Private Schools
We took the message of Child Rights/Protection to private school pupils, engaging them on their roles in their own protection and empowering them to play same role. Our first port of call was Atlantic Hall and later Rainbow College. Since them we have reached thousands of youth with same message.
2004: Newspaper Column
This was our first major attempt to democratize the knowledge of Child’s Rights/Protection through the print media. Daily Independent newspaper gave us that platform for 1(one) year. We later attempted to do same on platforms like Vanguard, BusinessDay and The Punch. Today we run a weekly column on Thursdays with New Telegraph national newspaper
We began to work with UNICEF as trainers, researchers, content providers, consultants etc. On UNICEF platform, we have handled countless critical and tasking projects, including being the legal consultant to the team of erudite consultants, saddled with the responsibility of mainstreaming Child Right Education into the curriculum of all levels of courses of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and we had the opportunity of lecturing some of the modules at the post-graduate level.
2006: Before Members of the National Assembly
We were before the members of the National Assembly to make presentation on the implementation of the Child Rights Act 2003.
2010: Release of Handbooks
We released our first set of handbooks as Social Empowerment material for primary and secondary caregivers. It reached over 20,000 primary and secondary caregivers. Today we have additional handbooks as e-books, some of which are hosted on our website (www.taiwoakinlami.com).
2010: The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution was launched
Believing that education does not take place until the teacher is trained to focus more on the LEARNER than the subject and learning processes; we launched The TeacherFIRE™ Revolution in 2010. Between then and today we have partnered with leading schools, educational organisations and Non-governmental Organisations to reach thousands of teachers with the revolution. Notable are Leadership Empowerment and Resources Network(LEARN), who we partnered with to disseminate the revolution to close to 1,000(one thousand ) Lagos State public school teachers from the 6 educational districts, APEN, at whose 2011 Annual Conference, we disseminated the revolution in 2 sessions of 4 hours and ACSI.
2010: Entry into the Private School Sector
We took our message of Child Rights and Protection to the private school sector in full force, holding our first The Child’s Rights Capacity Building Workshop for school leaders. Between then and today, we have worked with almost all leading schools Nigeria. We have also worked with and spoken at the annual conferences leading educational organizations like Association of Private Educators of Nigeria (APEN); Association of International Schools Educator of Nigeria (AISEN); Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI); National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools in Nigeria (NAPPS) and Lagos Anglican School Management Board (LASMAB).
2011: Advent of Electronic Products
We began to release audio, video and electronic materials in a daring preparation to launch Africa’s pioneer Child Protection Academy. Today we have released into what we call the Social Market Space fast-moving 31(thirty-one) audio and video books and still counting.
In our quest for a platform of media campaign we can control, we began our Child Protection blog (www.taiwoakinlami.wordpress.com). As at today, we have exactly 548(five hundred and forty-eight) empowerment articles, 21, 341(twenty-one thousand, three hundred and four-one) visitors, and 72, 366(seventy-two thousand, three hundred and sixty-six) views from over 136(one hundred and thirty-six) countries from the continents of the world.
2012: Secretary General: Child Protection Network(CPN)
CPN is an initiative of UNICEF, bringing together for effective collaboration individuals, government ministries, NGOs, CBOs, FBOs etc, which provide social and professional services in the area of Child Protection. The Preacher is serving his second term as the Secretary General.
2013: i-Protect™ Academy
We launched what we believe the be Nigeria and arguably Africa’s first Child Protection and CHILDHOOD Preservation Culture™ Academy, known as i-Protect™ Academy and close to 300(three) hundred primary and secondary caregivers are passing through the Academy today with outstanding testimonies to the glory of God. Today, we have 22(twenty-two) audio and video programs, 5(five) handbooks, 4 (four) e-books and over 52(fifty-two) editions of our weekly newsletter available to the excited members of our Academy.
2013: i-Protect™ Forum
We began our Bi-Monthly Child Protection Basics Class as part of the i-Protect™ Academy, which today fast becoming an institution in its own right, having hosted hundreds of primary and secondary caregivers. It is FREE while registration is compulsory.
2013: i-Protect™ Roundtable
We launched our i-Protect™ Roundtable. It is a platform available to the members of our academy to host people within their network to our Child Protection and CHILDHOOD Preservation Culture™ Academy without any extra charge to them. We have through this platform reached hundreds of primary and secondary caregivers, who have today become proud ambassador of our message.
2013: British Council Connecting Classrooms Program
In 2013, we were invited to be part of the British Council Connecting the Classroom program as accredited facilitator of the British Council School Leadership Program and fast forward to 2016; we are validated to facilitate the Core Skills and Competencies programs for teachers and school leaders.
2014: Child Protection Consultancy for the Premier League/ British Council
We worked with the Premier League/British Council to develop Training and Facilitators Manual on Child’s Right/Child Protection for children and trainers respectively under the Premier Skills Program. The relationship with the British Council on Child Protection is ongoing as we repeated same in 2015 and we had the privilege of facilitating in 2016 first ever Child Protection Awareness Program for school counsellors for the British Council alongside Andrea Watkins, Interim Regional Child Protection Manager for the Middle East and North Africa(MENA) and Sub-Saharan Africa(SSA)
2014: March 24: i-Protect™ Day
We declared March 24 of every year as i-Protect™ Day. The purpose of the day, which will be marked annually, is to help us call attention to the core message of the mandate we received in 1997, which we shared at the opening paragraph of this treatise.
2014: Appointed as Independent Listener to Grange School
The Preacher was appointed as the Independent Listener to the resident students of Grange School, Ikeja. His role, which is without charge to the school is to be an ear to the students, who they could report matter of suspected or actual abuse and he is expected to act on same IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD.
2015: Adopt-a-Family Education Fund (AE-FUND)
In March 24, 2015, marking the 1st anniversary of -Protect™ Day, we launched Adopt-a-Family Education Fund (AE-FUND), with a commitment to support families, whose children are out of school as a result of spouse loss, broken home or family financial crises. Presently, we are working with 3(three) families. We desire to reach much more families as the fund expands.
2015: Preaching The Gospel at Home Also
The Preacher had the rare privilege of speaking briefly at the Home Affairs Fellowship for the women of our highly esteemed local Assembly, The Fountain of Life Church, where The Preacher has worshipped since Tuesday, February 18, 1997. The fellowship is under the distinguished leadership of The Preacher’s mother in the LORD, Pastor Nomthi ODUKOYA. She later founded Funda Wazi Foundation and The Preacher was invited to serve as a member of Operational Board. Then at the public presentation of her book, No Don’t Touch Me There by Pastor Nomthi, The Preacher had the privilege of being one of the presenters of the book to the public, sharing his story of abused childhood and transformed adulthood through CHRIST. That day The Preacher had the rare privilege to preach the Gospel According to Child Protection and Childhood Preservation to the hearing and admiration of his Father in the LORD, Pastor Taiwo ODUKOYA. Thereafter, The Preacher had the privilege of sharing his story at the two Sunday services of the church, while he again presented Pastor Nomthi’s book to the huge acceptance of the teeming members.
2016: Membership Lagos State Technical Working Group on Violence Against Children
We served on the Media and Advocacy Committee of the Lagos State Technical Working Group on Violence Against Children, saddled with the responsible of securing the buy-in of members of the public to the message to End Violence Against Children in Lagos State, culminating in the launching of the Year of Action to End Violence Against Children in Lagos State on Wednesday, February 24, 2016.
2016: Advisor, Sterling Bank PLC. Parenting Series
We are advisor to the Parenting Series of the Sterling Bank PLC, which holds quarterly and we are expected to make inputs and offer professional advice same, having participated as facilitator at the Series 3 of the program on Saturday, March 12, 2016 with the theme: ‘Picking the Right School for Your Child.’
2016: Partner to Lagos State Sub-Committee on Child Protection and Safeguarding the Rights of the Child
We were invited as Child Protection experts to the Lagos State Sub-Committee on Child Protection and Safeguarding the Rights of the Child, under the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), headed by the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. M. Adeniji Kazeem, saddled with the twin responsibilities of developing for the Lagos State Government, the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy and Manual for Responder Agencies on Child abuse, working with the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Ministry of Education, UNICEF and related organization. the Lagos State Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy will soon be signed by His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State Excellency, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, signaling a milestone and new dawn for the protection of our precious children in Lagos State.
Recounting all of these, is not an attempt to blow any trumpet but acknowledge the ONE, who called, who has been faithful in doing it by HIMSELF before whom I remain sober on my knees on this LORD’s day. It seems to me that what began like a little flicker of social intervention is gathering unstoppable momentum to become a big conflagration of notable influence by His grace in THE BEST INTEREST OF THE AFRICAN CHILD.
Kindly continue to uphold us in your prayers as our testimony is we are not where we used to be but we are still very far away from the Promised land of the protection of our precious children in Africa.
Be also encouraged today to give expression to whatever burden you have in your heart in service to God and humanity. He is waiting to back you up fully. Do have an INSPIRED week
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI and I remain Sober on my knees on this LORD’S day.
(C) 2016 by Taiwo AKINLAMI..All Rights Reserved
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