4th April 2024, GSK Initiative organized the first of its kinds Stakeholders Meeting / Inauguration of Welfare Committee for Street Connected Children with the topic `Roles of community actors in protecting the rights of children in street situation` in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.

The event had the presence of the Honorable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development in Ekiti state in person of Mrs. Olapeju Babafemi. In her heartfelt address, she lauded the initiative’s dedication, especially recognizing the President of GSKi Mr. Opeyemi Olajide Olowookere for his unwavering commitment to uplifting street-connected children. She further said, the Governor of Ekiti State Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji alongside his wife Dr. (Mrs) Olayemi Oyebanji are lovers of children. Mrs. Babafemi also conveyed the government’s support, highlighting ongoing efforts to bolster child welfare through education and youth empowerment initiatives.

The community actors’ pivotal role in safeguarding children’s rights took center stage at a timely program that kicked off promptly at 10:00 am. The event saw a diverse array of stakeholders, including security agencies, street children, and dedicated staff of GSKi coming together for a noble cause.

Opening in a unifying moment, all participants joined in reciting both the National and Ekiti state Anthems, setting a tone of unity and purpose. Attendees then introduced themselves. In lieu of the president, Mr. Opeyemi Olajide Olowookere, the Grant and Finance Manager delivered a stirring speech on behalf of the President. The program delved into the organization’s history, presented by the dedicated Child Protection Officer of GSKi Mr. Benson Etim.

Addressing pertinent challenges, Alhaja Abibat Ogunjobi, the Iyaloja of Ekiti State, shed light on issues such as single parenting, while the head of Amotekun Ekiti State emphasized the importance of ethical pathways to success amid challenges of parental neglect.

The event resonated with voices from various sectors, including Mrs. Folukemi Jacobs from NSCDC, DSP Mustapha M. Musa the DPO of Okesa Police station, and representatives from the Ministry of Health and Vigilante Ekiti State. Their shared support underscored the initiative’s vital role in tackling parenting difficulties, juvenile delinquency, teenage pregnancy, and substance abuse.

Culminating in impactful action, a welfare committee was inaugurated. The Ministry of Women Affairs’ Child Officer led the inauguration, stressing the collective responsibility in safeguarding vulnerable children and urging attendees to report any concerns promptly.

As the event drew to a close, a heartfelt vote of thanks echoed, highlighting the collective responsibility in ensuring every child’s well-being and rights are guaranteed was delivered by the country Director.

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