Celebrating Child Rights On Children’s Day, By Toyin Saraki

image…A Promise To A Generation –
As our nation Nigeria marks 2015 Children’s Day, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) is reminded that the fulfillment of Nigeria’s promise as a nation will be measured in the fulfillment of our promise to our children and their rights as citizens.
WBFA welcomes Her Excellency Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari’s clarion call for the domestication and implementation of the Child Rights Act throughout the nation’s states. Since our successful advocacy for the passage of the Kwara State Child Rights Act in 2010, and essential support for the establishment and implementation of Kwara State’s Child Rights Implementation Committee (CRIC) and Child Protection Network (CPN), WBFA has sustained our efforts in this area through the ground-breaking IMNCH Personal Health Record (PHR), that accountably and qualitatively empowers children and ensures their right to a safe and clean birth; their right to be healthy, happy, and comfortable; their right to a balanced nutritious diet; their right to an education; their right to safe shelter; and their right to choose when to marry, as consenting adults, is fulfilled.
As Save The Children Nigeria’s Newborn Ambassador, our Founder-President, Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki is committed to ensuring the rights of newborns in the most vulnerable first 1000 days of childhood. Her work with the White Ribbon Alliance not only ensures the rights of mothers to respectful maternity care but also for a child’s right to be nurtured by skilled healthcare professionals, including midwives. And as Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki believes that midwives can fulfill our nation’s promise to its children on their right to health.
Our frontline programmes, like the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Fund (AUHCF) which provides health insurance to children under the age of five, their mothers, adolescent girls, people living with HIV/AIDS, and the elderly, and our work with Unilever on nutrition in Nigeria, as well as our partnership with Johnson & Johnson and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to train healthcare professionals in emergency obstetric and newborn care skills, is rooted in the belief that children have the right to not only survive childbirth, but thrive in adulthood.
This includes our special advocacy for adolescent girls, as WBFA believes that ensuring the rights of our young girls can have a significant impact on our nation’s progress. We have long worked with the Girls, Not Brides movement to end child marriage in Nigeria, and we are pleased to announce that WBFA’s Technical and Policy Lead, Dr Luther-King Fasehun attended the Girls, Not Brides Summit in Morocco to develop policies that will protect the rights of adolescent girls around the world.
As we have witnessed with the kidnapping of over 200 girls from Chibok, it is now more important than ever to protect the right of adolescent girls to a safe education. On this Children’s Day, our prayers are with the families of the Chibok girls, and children in Internally Displaced Persons camps in northern Nigeria, and our externally displaced refugees, who live in uncertainty about their future, and the threat to their rights at the hands of Boko Haram’s violence.
Ensuring that our promise to our children and their rights as citizens will be fulfilled is not an easy task and will require hard work over the coming years. But in the words of our Founder-President, “each new birth, each immunization, each balanced meal, and each child registered in education is a fresh chance to ensure that every part of our nation is truly fit for a child.”

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