Foundation research

The Foundation trains 300 internally displaced people and places 20 scholarship holders

As part of efforts to reduce the high number of out-of-school children in the country, a non-profit on the Arm the Child Foundation, said it has so far trained more than 300 children displaced and vulnerable in the federal government. Capital Territory (FCT).

Of the 300 children trained over the past four years, 20 of them are now on scholarships in various high schools sponsored by the NGO.

Speaking at the Kuchigoro Displaced Persons Camp in Abuja on Saturday, during the presentation of a certificate and scholarship to some of the outstanding children who participated in the 2022 Summer Lesson, the President and Founder of the Foundation Arm the Child, Shuwargwe Damak, has called on the Federal Government to take the worrying number of out-of-school children in Nigeria seriously.

According to Damak, the trend for three years now has been for many schools to close, especially in the north due to threats of violent attacks, which is very worrying.

“These children are the future of Nigeria and without access to quality education, how do they thrive, make themselves useful and contribute meaningfully to society? The number of out-of-school children in Nigeria is alarming. In fact, a recent study indicates that Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children, and that is a problem.

Speaking about his organization’s efforts, Damak said the Arm the Child Foundation is committed to providing quality education to displaced and venerable children.

“This project is called Summer School for Internally Displaced Children. We’ve been on it for four years. We started in 2017 and since then, except in 2020 due to COVID-19, we have had summer courses every two years.

“We have worked with over 300 of them. Last year alone, we were able to sponsor 16 of them in secondary school and among these four were underage girls, they were going to be married off by their parents because they could not afford to support their needs, but because we were able to sponsor them in school and help with their well-being, these children are still here today. This year, about four more children will join the scholarship recipients to make 20 so far.

“The central objective is to give the children of the IDP access to quality education, even if it is an informal setting but we teach them the basic subjects. In the past, we’ve thought of them in math, English language, civics, history, skills building and basic science. But over time we noticed that the world is moving on, the world is going digital, so this year we decided to include digital learning and these kids actually testified that the best part of learning about summer of this year was the digital learning experience.

“The first time we had this Summer School for IDPs in Abuja, we had it in Gwarinpa IDP where we had 54 boys (all IDPs) but then they dispersed to different parts of Nigeria. Some have moved to neighboring countries. So we later found Kuchigoro camp and we have been working with this IDP camp since 2018. We decided to stay here because we want to follow their progress.

While thanking her friends, family members and individuals who have helped her organization, Damak said she has not received any help from the government since she embarked on the project.