Dignitaries and Celebrities commit to reaching 'Every Last Child' at global launch

Wednesday 27 April 2016

By James Bigila, Media Coordinator

Save the children Nigeria recently joined over 70 countries around the globe to Launch it’s next priority campaign, “Every Last Child” in Nigeria with government dignitaries, religious leaders and Nigerian top celebrities in attendance. The event started with a press briefing with the Nigeria Media, which was led by the Country Director, Ben Foot, the Global Deputy CEO of Save the Children International, Janti Soeripto, the Director for Advocacy and Campaigns David Olayemi and the Head of Child protection, Anne Kpason.

 

 Janti Soeripto addressing the Nigerian Media in a press briefing

 Janti Soeripto also spoke on the global campaigns and highlighted the three pillars of the campaign, education, health and protection as been important in reaching every last child. She said that the report by Save the Children shows that recent progress in fighting extreme poverty is often not reaching children who need it most – because of geography, their gender or ethnicity, a disability or because they are victims of conflict.

 

Ben Foot, country director for Save the Children Nigeria, said, “Despite progress and in that process, we have actually left behind millions of children in Nigeria who are not benefiting from education, health care and protection.”

 

The event of the official launch immediately followed the press briefing with opening remarks from the Country Director speaking about the next campaign to participants. Janti Soeripto also spoke on the need to reach the most deprived and excluded children with the involvement of everyone, the media, Governments, and other key stakeholders towards reaching Everylast child.

Rev Fr. Emmanuel Ojeifo and Dr. Mansur Mohammed, Christian and muslim religious leaders respectively, also made their presentations on the roles they would be playing in reaching every last Child.

 As stated in a press release by Save the Children Nigeria, discrimination in a major challenge faced by children all over the world. It was also stated that “this discrimination is deadly.  Of the 16,000 children still dying each day from preventable causes, a disproportionate number are from these excluded groups".

Ben Foot making a speech at the event

The highlight of the event also featured a presentation from one of Nigeria’s Movie celebrities, Stephanie Linus. In her presentation she stated how her life changed through the empowerment she got as a child with education despite challenges she faced growing up as a child.

The representative of the Wife of the President, Mrs  Aisha Bagudu, Wife of the Kebbi state Governor was  joined by Save the Children Deputy CEO, Janti Soeripto and Country Director for Nigeria, Ben Foot in unveiling the “EVERYLASTCHILD” campaign mantra.

The global Campaign report was also launched by the Chairman House Committee on appropriation at the National Assembly, Nigeria, Honorable Abdulmumin Jibrin with celebrities and representatives of government ministers making commitments to reach every last child.

Nigerian government officials and Celebrities launch the global report by Save the Children.

“Evidence finds that 76% of girls in the North West region are married before the age of 18, compared with 10% in the South East. Eighty-tw0 per cent of women aged 20–24 with no education were married by the age of 18, compared with 13% of women in the same age group who completed secondary education. “ as revealed in the Nigeria spotlight report, also launched during the event.

Five Nigerian celebrities were branded Ambassadors of Save the Children by the Global Deputy CEO, Mrs Soeripto and Country Director, Mr. Ben Foot for Nigeria. They are:

Ebuka Obi Uchendu

Stephanie Okereke Linus

Banky Wellington

Timi Dakolo

Kemi Adetiba

Cross section of participants at the event

The crowd at the event were thrown into excitement with the performance by Nigeria’s Music Icon, Timi Dakolo.
A presentation was also made by children from Government Secondary School Gwagwalada to call the attention of government, media, religious leaders and other stakeholders towards the plight of children in Nigeria and the need to join hands until every last child is given the education, healthcare they need and also protected in line with the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.

Nigeria’s House Committee Chairman on Appropriation at the National Assembly, Abdulmumin Jibrin at the event

One important aspect of the campaign launch is the key participation of Nigerian children in the Launch with their messages for improving education, health care, protection, Water and Sanitation for Nigerian Children been delivered to policy makers and government representatives at the Launch of Nigeria’s Every last Child Campaign.

The event came to a close with a performance by another Nigerian Musician, Efa with comedians thrilling the audience to its closure.