By Ndidi Chukwu
Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) Nigeria, having worked for over three decades in Nigeria had increased educational opportunities for girls and youth. Ensured access to lifesaving Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDs information and services and strengthened women’s leadership skills and health.
Empowering women and families in family planning, reproductive maternal and child health, and having increased support for girl’s education, CEDPA Nigeria in November 10, 2014, made a transfer of assets to Plan International. CEDPA officially now Plan International Nigeria, had worked on health, in areas of maternal and reproductive and family planning, youth empowerment, and gender, said its transition was due to similar programming model with Plan’s community based participatory model.
“We needed to do more so we searched for an organisation that have like minds so we joined Plan,
that focuses on child rights so we are working to eliminate child poverty” said Offiong Enang former CEDPA country representative and now Plan International Deputy Country Director .
Plan International, established in 1937 in Spain, helps children whose lives were disrupted by the Spanish civil war, seeks to give succour to Nigerian Children, as insurgency and insecurity intensifies in the nation, exposing more children to dangers of terrorism, this according to Enang, for Plan International is to ensure “a world in which children realize their full potentials, in societies that respect people’s rights and dignities”
She said, “the new programme, we are going to focus on children in core areas children participation, and children protection, we are going to focus more on education for children and health for children including the general reproductive health for women”
With its pet project covering four States in Nigeria, she said, the states are those the organisation worked with as CEDPA, “now we are Plan Pnternational Nigeria our programme continues”
The first three years of its existence in Nigeria, Plan Iternational intends to focus on Nigeria’s North-West, this according to Enang is due to the demanding urgent intervention in the zone as Nigeria’s Demographic Health Survey suggests that, some indices in health, education and child rights protection are lower in North West compared to in South-West Nigeria. “Our programme is to go into the communities and make real impact in the North-West States of Nigeria this is to replicate what we have done in Lagos, Bauchi, Sokoto, and Rivers State” she said.
“We intend to make real impact, we should be able to meet a target in the area of child protection, in the country”
A good part of its plan is to make impact in the area of policy change in the Northern part of Nigerian working with already existing Stakeholders, the Nigerian Government, charity organization and civil societies. Funding could be a challenge, but Enang said, “Plan International Nigeria is not going to operate like any other country, we do not have partnership funding for now, it is purely grant funded programme, and now we have projects funded by USAID, MacArthur Foundation, and we are looking for partnership with the Canadian High Commission, and we are hopeful that we will be working with a lot of donors especially those on child programmes”
“Child rights in Nigeria is a key priority, once you talk about children, you must talk about their rights, top on our list, is the implementation of child right act in the States that have not yet implemented theirs” Enang told Health Reporters in Abuja, as Plan International Nigeria, is officially launched.