JUST IN: CCDI Launches Children, Youth Initiative To Eradicate Poverty

CCDI Launches Children, Youth Initiative To Eradicate Poverty

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), Create that Change Development Initiative (CCDI) has launched an initiative with the aim to help turn Nigeria's trajectory towards eradicating poverty, supporting those in need, and making a real difference in the lives of and youth.

Addressing journalists in on Friday evening, the executive director of CCDI, Sharon Ayeni, said, “This is a vision God has given me to make a meaningful difference in the world, to address pressing challenges and to uplift those in need here in Nigeria.”

She said that this was the reason she left her former employment with the UK Foreign Commonwealth Development Office after more than three decades, to return to Nigeria to set up the NGO and work towards changing today for a brighter tomorrow for the children and youth of Nigeria.

“From the first time I came to Nigeria in on a working visit to one of DFID's projects in , to eventually undertaking tours of duty in the development division at the High Commission, Abuja, I knew Nigeria and the people of Nigeria had captured a special place in my heart,” she said.

She noted that approximately 10.5 (aged 5-14) were not in , even though primary education is officially free and compulsory in the country.

She stated that an estimated two million children in Nigeria suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), and 70 per cent of school children were not benefiting from quality education.

Ayeni stressed that 73 per cent of children in Nigeria, ages 7-14, do not demonstrate foundational reading skills.

“The vision CCDI has is big. Our goal is to take our flagship programme, ‘Enhancing Nutrition, Exercise and Reading Initiative', to every state in the federation; we call this the ENERI effect! Our next target is to implement ENERI in three new schools, and we also have other initiatives in the pipeline,” she added.

She also said the Build Her Initiative (BHI) seeks to empower and uplift girls and young mothers by addressing critical areas such as power, personal hygiene, education, skills acquisition, and protection from societal vices.

She highlighted the Teacher to Teacher Mentoring Initiative (TTMI), a collaborative effort fostering interactions and knowledge sharing between private and public school educators.

“Through this initiative, we aim to enhance the capacity of teachers to positively impact the lives of their pupils,” she said.

She noted that CCDI has been in operation since August 2023, but they wanted to wait for official launch after they had something to show their friends and partners.

She said their mission at CCDI was clear; they were committed to making a tangible difference in the life of future generation of leaders.

“Let me take this opportunity to introduce you to our Board of Trustees. Our chairman, Dr. Fidelis Ekom, Mr. Jasper Ogbonna, Barr. Efa Ota, and Mr. Andrew Mamedu, who is presently out of the country and couldn't be with today. The support of the Board has been invaluable in setting up this organisation and in giving us direction and supervision,” she stated.

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