I’m D-SMARRTTEESSTT™ Value-building…Self- Protection…Social Smartness…Connecting the Dots.

‘The greatest weapon in the hands of the abuser is the MIND and the IGNORANCE of the abused.’ Child Protection Experts

‘The best way to PROTECT children is to EMPOWER them to PROTECT THEMSELVES.’ Child Protection Experts

‘The greatest gifts you can give your children are the ROOTS of RESPONSIBILITY and the WINGS of INDEPENDENCE.’ Denis Waitley

It is time to INSURE our precious children against all forms of abuse…

Experts and researches have recognised as a critical fact that ‘the best way to PROTECT our precious children is to EMPOWER them to PROTECT THEMSELVES.’

Our program: I’m D-SMARRTTEESSTT™ is a product of years of research and field experience, working with young people. We made our entry into the public school sector in 1997, establishing Drug & Cult Free Clubs at Aladura Comprehensive High School, Anthony Village and other public schools and into the private school sector with the training of the entire students of Atlantic Hall on their rights and protection in the year 2000.

We are not talking about cunningly devised fables or remnants of other peoples’ work or experience.

This is widely TESTED to be very EFFECTIVE both by our precious children/teenagers and their custodians…

It is strictly VALUE-based, yet not boring…It is fun…Yet engaging…It is factual…Yet enjoyable…The truth is that with the program and dissemination of same, there is no dull moments.

It is designed to empower our precious teenagers with the age-long but abandoned principles of SELF-PROTECTION, clearly distinguished from the commonly discussed SELF-DEFENCE practices. SELF-PROTECTION principles SURELY achieve PROTECTION and SELF-DEFENCE, at best achieves ENFORCEMENT or narrow ESCAPE.

Take these from us as a frontline expert in Family STRENGTHENING, Child Rights, Care and Protection and CHILDHOOD RESTORATION and PRESERVATION.

That in this season of volatility and rampancy of abuses, this program is the most invaluable gift we can give to our precious children/teenagers as they prepare for life and its many challenges.

That to enlist our precious children in their own protection requires training from the best hands and our records and testimonies of participants attest to the effectiveness of this training and our empowerment solutions.

I therefore invite you to register your precious children for our program which details are contained in our e-handbill
I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI, I am The Preacher of the Gospel According to Child Protection and CHILDHOOD PRESERVATION CULTURE in the defense of the precious African child and I remain Sober on my knees TODAY.
C) 2016 by Taiwo AKINLAMI..All Rights Reserved
T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlami.WordPress.com T: @taiwoakinlami E: Principal@taiwoakinlami.com

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Between The Child’s Rights Act, 2003 and Summer School Curriculum: What Every Primary and Secondary Caregivers Must Know

It is said the ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ I think this saying underscores the importance of the right of the child to play. This explains why, I believe many children look forward to holidays from school. I also want to believe the favourite of all the holidays to our children is the long vacation. It affords some of them the opportunity of summer outside the country and those whose parents cannot afford it send them to Summer Schools in the country.

I do not believe that the Summer School should be another platform to load young people with concentrated academics exercises. I believe the environment should provide them with fun and if they must learn the strategy to employ should be a combination of education and entertainment as pioneered by the likes of Ron Clark. It is known as EDU-TAINMENT.

The Summer School could make it one of its responsibilities to employ the strategy of EDU-TAINMENT to teach them some of their responsibilities. It is called Personal Social Responsibility. The Child’s Rights Act, 2003 provides a credible template for us to teach our children responsibilities. I want to recommend it as a necessary curriculum for the Summer School.

Having worked with young people for more than nineteen years and through research, it has been found that children, particularly teenagers have the tendency of thinking the world and everything in it exist only for their benefits. Therefore, if parents and other custodians of the mind of the child focus only on teaching the child his rights, it will fuel the child’s tendency to be selfish. The foregoing will neither be in the best interest of the child nor the society. One of the characters of modern society is that every member of society, young and old should be responsible for the well-being of the state. A Yoruba adage says, ‘the birth of Ife town is attributable to both the wisdom of the young and the old.’

One painful truth in our society today is that we are raising children, who are not aware of their civic responsibilities. The major challenge is that we as adults are so beaten down by the state of the nation that the rat race of survival has consumed all of our attention. We are fast gravitating towards a state of everyone to himself and God for us all. Fast, we are transferring same spirit to our children. The truth is children do not do what we say, they do what we do.

Section 19 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 reads: ‘every child has responsibilities towards his family and society, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other legally recognized communities, nationally and internationally.

It is the duty of a child, subject to his age and ability and such other limitations as may be contained in this Act and any other law, to —

Family Cohesion: working towards the cohesion of their families,
Respect: respecting their parents and elders,
Service to Society: placing their physical and intellectual capabilities at the service of the State,
Moral Consideration: contributing to the moral well-being of the society,
Peace Building: strengthening social and national solidarity,
Patriotism: preserving the independence and integrity of the country,
Tolerance: respecting the ideals of freedom, equality, humaneness, and justice for all persons, relating with others in the spirit of tolerance, dialogue and consultation,
Global Commitment: contributing to the best of their abilities solidarity with and unity with Africa, and the world at large.
While Section 19 of the Act, which I just read dwells on the responsibilities of children, the Section 20 outlines our responsibilities as custodians thus: ‘every parents, guardians, institutions and authorities responsible for the care, maintenance, upbringing, education, training, socialization, employment and rehabilitation of a child has a duty to provide the necessary, guidance, education and training for the child in his or her care such as will equip the child to secure his assimilation, appreciation and observance of the responsibilities set out in this part of the Act.’

The point I seek to address at this point is how the custodians of the life of the child fulfil the Section 20 Mandate. I think in giving credible ventilation to the Section 20 Mandate, the focus of the custodians should be on developing the character of the children. I opine that our primary focus should not be to load the child with the responsibilities outlined in Section 19, but to help him become the kind of person, who can carry out the responsibilities.

In view of the foregoing, I propose the being D-SSMARTTEESSTT™ Principle as a Template of for Teaching Children the Section 19 Responsibilities:

D- Decode Your Identity (a commitment to discovery of identity)
S- Seek Power Through Vision (determining the compass of the Journey)
S – Soundness (respect for priority)
M – Make of Yourself (an eagle eye on your human ingenuity)
A – Advance in Knowledge and Skill Daily (a commitment to self-improvement and skill acquisition)
R – Respect Yourself (affirmation of self-worth and personal dignity of human person)
T-Think Beyond Yourself (a vote for Personal Social Responsibility)
T- Tell Your Story (serving yourself hot to your world as a lesson of hope)
E- Exude your Flavour (commitment to insisting on your originality)
E- Empathy (readiness to see life beyond your nose and experiences)
S- Speed-Limit- Conscious (embracing the virtue of patience and contentment)
S- Seek Meaningful Relationships (learning the wisdom in relationship and team work)
T- Take it Easy with Yourself (commitment to being comfortable with you mistakes)
T- Turn to God (Winning the Battle of Total Surrender to Your Maker)
As far as I am concerned, the greatest legacy we can give to our children is to shake off any sense of liability and teach them to be responsible. It is a trite saying that a child that is not trained is the one, who will sell an estate, which is built.

Note: first published in The Punch, Thursday, August 11, 2011, Page 64

ELIEZER “ELIE” WIESEL (SEPTEMBER 30, 1928 – JULY 2, 2016): MADE BY THE FAMILY…MAN OF THE FAMILY…LESSONS THEREOF

Eliazer “Elie” Wiesel, imprisoned as a child (15) and orphaned (and lost his younger sister) during the Holocaust died on Saturday, July 2, 2016 at 87 and was buried on Sunday, July 3, 2016. Leading world political and humanitarian leaders have continued to pay tribute to this Great Soul and his legacy, with President Obama referring to him as ‘the conscience of the world.’ Israeli president Reuven Rivlin, said, ‘tonight we bid farewell to a hero of the Jewish People, and a giant of all humanity.’ The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu said, ‘Elie Wiesel served as a ray of light and an example of humanity that believes in the goodness of man.’ According to Melinda Gates, ‘deeply saddened by the passing of Elie Wiesel, who remained optimistic in the darkest days and pushed us to see beauty in humanity.’ George Clooney, commented on the Wiesel’s death, “we had a champion who carried our pain, our guilt and our responsibility on his shoulders for generations. Now he’s gone. It’s hard to fathom. So I guess it’s up to us now,”

Though Wiesel was a global citizen, he was Romanian-born American Jewish. He was a man of so many parts. He was a prolific writer, who authored 57 books, a professor, political activist, Holocaust survivor, and Nobel Laureate. He won countless and meaningful awards and global recognitions for his immeasurable and selfless contributions to the defence of human rights.

Of great interest to me today is his effective activism and the prodigious legacy thereof. Of greatest interest to me is the role of Wiesel’s upbringing and family value system, in who he later became in life.

With his bestselling book, Night, based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, he broke the silence about the Holocaust. He made an unashamed attempt to bring the lessons of the Holocaust to the fore, hoping that the lessons will propel our world to prevent a reoccurrence of a pogrom of such magnitude, lesser or greater. Thus he campaigned for victims of oppression in South Africa and Nicaragua. He publicly condemned genocide in Sudan and the Armenian genocide of a century ago.

While being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, the Norwegian Nobel Committee aptly referred to him a ‘messenger to mankind,’ who by his ‘practical work in the cause of peace’, borne out of humiliating holocaust experience delivered a message ‘of PEACE, ATONEMENT and HUMAN DIGNITY’ to all of humanity. He is ‘one of the most important spiritual leaders and guides in an age when violence, repression and racism continue to characterize the world,’ said the Nobel Committee. The Los Angeles Times once described him as ‘the most important Jew in America.’

Wiesel in his response summed up his philosophy thus ‘I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented…Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.’ Wiesel was never silent till his breath was silenced by the dictate of nature on Saturday, July 2, 2016.

According to Wikipedia, Wiesel’s ‘parents were Sarah Feig and Shlomo Wiesel…Wiesel’s mother, Sarah, was the daughter of Dodye Feig, a celebrated Vizhnitz Hasid and farmer from a nearby village. Dodye was active and trusted within the community.’

Wikipedia further revealed, ‘Wiesel’s father, Shlomo, instilled a strong sense of humanism in his son, encouraging him to learn Hebrew and to read literature, whereas his mother encouraged him to study the Torah. Wiesel has said his father represented reason while his mother Sarah promoted faith.’ On Oprah Winfrey show he said, of his relationship with his father, ‘my father and I were so close.’

Wiesel had a strong family heritage, culminating in a purposeful upbringing, which instilled in him strong, positive and godly values, which the harrowing and excruciating sufferings of his holocaust experience could not erode…The lesson is very true that when you train up a child the way he/she should, come what may, he/she will never depart from it. He/she will not succumb to peer pressure but will become the pressure point for entrenching the right values.

The seed, carefully planted by his father and the mother, who he watched tortured to death in Hitler’s gas chambers at 15, found the inspiration to germinate into unusual blessing to humanity when few years after Wiesel met French author François Mauriac, a devout Christian and the 1952 Nobel Laureate in Literature. He did not only encourage him to tell his story, he became a great and eternal influence in Wiesel’s life.

Wiesel was not only a proud product of a strong and positive family values, he was also a family man. It was reported, ‘not only did Wiesel have a fascinating life story, but he also had a fascinating family.’ This was evident in that fact that he promoted the sanctity of one male man and one female wife, having been married since 1969 to his wife, Marion Erster Rose till his death. His wife, with whom he shared the common experience of being a Holocaust survivor, was not only his indispensable soulmate but also his most faithful comrade in his fight for the sanctity of the human life and indomitability of the human spirit. Together, they founded Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity to ‘combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.’

His son, Elisha Wiesel, summed up his legacy thus, ‘my father raised his voice to presidents and prime ministers when he felt issues on the world stage demanded action. But those who knew him in private life had the pleasure of experiencing a gentle and devout man who was always interested in others, and whose quiet voice moved them to better themselves. He concluded in a statement issued, ‘I will hear that voice for the rest of my life, and hope and pray that I will continue to earn the unconditional love and trust he always showed me.’

The life of man often speaks for itself, so are his/her values. Strengthened Family is not only the foundation for raising protected, morally and emotionally strengthened children but also the inevitable foundation for building an enduring and strengthened society. I hope the lessons from the life of a great soul like Elie Wiesel again drums the lessons home just once again. Do have an INSPIRED week

I am Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI, I am The Preacher of the Gospel According to Child Protection and CHILDHOOD PRESERVATION CULTURE in the defense of the precious African child and I remain Sober on my knees TODAY.
C) 2016 by Taiwo AKINLAMI..All Rights Reserved
T: 2348033620843, 08056979605 W: http://www.taiwoakinlami.com B: http://www.taiwoakinlami.WordPress.com T: @taiwoakinlami E: Principal@taiwoakinlami.com