The Premier Skills/British Council Child Protection Journey

#ThisisMySTORY #ThisisMyLesson

Dateline was May 2014 when I received an email from Stephanie Delaney, who resided in Egypt and headed Child Protection affairs of the British Council for Africa and the Middle East. I had met her earlier that year in South Africa, while running a refresher course on School Leadership under the Connecting Classrooms program of the British Council.

Stephanie had contacted me to develop Training and Facilitators’ Manuals on Rights and Protection for the girl child under the Premier Skills Project.

Stephanie had Linked me to work with Roy Chikwen, then Project Manager, Education and Society for the British Council.

I had been given 30 days to develop a total of 12 modules of Training Manual and 12 modules of Facilitators’ Manual…It was a tough order but I accepted same as a challenge that could be surmounted, with the right mindset, proportional and deliberate activities and love and passion for the PRECIOUS AFRICAN children. It was my second attempt of trying my hands on curriculum development on Child’s Rights/Protection, having worked with UNICEF between 2006 and 2009 to mainstream Child’s Rights Education into the curriculum of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism(NIJ) Lagos at all levels (graduate and post graduate.)

By the grace of God the manuals were delivered to the unreserved satisfaction of the British Council…I also ran a 2-day training for the coaches/trainers on how to effectively disseminate the training…

Roy Chikwen invited me back in 2015 to use the Facilitators’Manual to train some NGOS, being engaged by the British Council on the Premier Skills Project.

In 2017, I worked with the Premier Skills trainers from the UK to deliver the local components of the Child Protection training of the Premier Skills. There I met Chikam Ekeh, Project Manager, School, Education and Society.

In 2018 November, the Premier Skills School Club kicked off and now(2019) I have been invited to conduct a Monitoring and Evaluation and Training on the Child Protection component of the project in Lagos and Kano. This time around I was privileged to work with my darling wife and fellow Preacher, big in mind, strong in strength and reliable in all professional and love matters…While I handled Lagos, she handled Kano.

Here is the main lesson for us, the best of organisations, who work with children and we have been privileged to work with over the years, do not take Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE ENVIRONMENT™ for granted…They have comes to accept as an inevitable operating principle that until Children FEEL safe, they do not give the best of themselves to any form of activities they are involved or engaged in…Having accepted the foregoing, they are always working to keep the precious children under their care safe. How do they do that? They create Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE ENVIRONMENT™systems and a critical component of the systems is Monitoring and Evaluation. The system is codified into an implementation policy. You cannot come in contact with children under their watch without being informed or trained on their Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE ENVIRONMENT™ for Systems and Policy. They work with Subject Matter Experts(SME) and instist on the best outputs, embracing global STANDARDS as key component of the entire operations.

For them, Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE ENVIRONMENT™ for the PRECIOUS children under their care is not an affair in window dressing, it is the heart of their continued existence and the foundation of all they do.

It is our earnest expectations that Nigeria, Africa and her privte and public institutions will truly embrace as inevitable systems of Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE ENVIRONMENT™ for the precious children under their care, noting that the devil of abuse is in the details we neglect…

Do have an INSPIRED day dear STANDARDS BEARERS.

Yours IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PRECIOUS AFRICAN CHILD

Taiwo AKINLAMI
The Preacher

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