International Youth Day – Transforming Education #GirlsCount

Girls are often used as domestic help ; given out in marriage to older persons and manage their parents business, hawking or selling in shops while their male counterparts attend school.

Girls deserve to go to school too.

Educate a girl and you empower a generation.

A little girl speaking up for girl child education. #IYD2019

Adebisi Adetunji –  Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Founder Beehyve Empowerment, and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

FORCE-FEEDING BABIES A DANGEROUS PRACTICE

Photo Credit – Motherhoodinstyle.com

Parents love their babies and want to see the newborn grow as is expected. Thank God for the campaign of exclusive breastfeeding of children for up to six months which has made many mothers to at least wait and push up to 4 months before introducing regular foods. According to the Child Rights Act, every child has a right to adequate nutrition however feeding should not constitute a danger to a child.

In developing countries and in Nigeria where I come from, it is the practice to try to force food down food especially pap (corn or cereal pudding) or any other liquid meal down the throat of a baby who is perceived to have a low appetite. It is done in the bid to ensure that the child is not starving and gets the required nutrient for his/her development. This is a good intention but the act of force-feeding has led to fatal incidences where food enters into the trachea/lungs and air flow is blocked. Such a baby begins to choke and gasp for breath if he/she does not get quick medical attention; it has led to the death of such an infant.

A case in point, my sister-in-law on the 2nd of May 2019, dropped her baby at the crèche of the school where she worked as a teacher as usual and looked forward to seeing her little girl later in the day but it was not to be so. A distress call came too late after the nanny at the school crèche had forced fed little, Mojolajesu, my sister-in-law’s 10 months old baby. I was at working when I got the news that the baby had been rushed on emergency to two different hospitals. Mojolajesu did not make it. The doctors diagnosed the cause of death to be as a result of food getting into her trachea. Her parents were devastated; we are all very broken hearted.

And so here I am writing this post and possibly championing a little campaign both on the traditional and social media urging everyone and disabusing minds about the practice of force-feeding babies. Since this personal incidence with my Mojolajesu, I have heard countless stories of babies who choked and almost died while been force-fed and some others were not so lucky. Also in this month of May 2019, a nanny was sentenced to 15years jail time because she force-fed a baby who also died. 

How Force-feeding is done

If you are not familiar with what this practice means and how it is done, let me try to paint a picture. When a grandma, nanny or anyone wants to force feed a baby, he/she will be held tightly and closely to control any struggle or resistance from the child.

Next, a hand will be cupped around the baby/child’s mouth then his or her nose will be blocked with a finger or so to prevent the liquid from getting into the nostrils and force the baby to breathe through the mouth. After that, the pap or cereal pudding will be poured into the cupped hand as the baby’s mouth is forced to be opened. I have watched scenes like this while growing up; it is not a pleasant sight. Such a baby will be crying and fighting to get free and the food will be sliding down his or her throat as the baby struggles and gasp for air. THIS SHOULD NOT BE! IT IS AN ABUSE AND MUST STOP!

Some children naturally have a good appetite and eat well, however, it is not so with some other children. The first daughter of my sister fell into this category; as a growing child, she didn’t eat much and her mum and dad were so worried. So this little girl only wanted to take tea and biscuits, therefore, she was thin. Loads of advice came in from other mothers, friends and the older ones on steps to take to ensure that my niece improves on her eating habit. Vitamins to boost her appetite were also used but this little girl won’t just budge. My niece would refuse any other food or take the barest minimum. Now she is older and the other day I visited their home and my ears were filled with a gist about how she now has a big appetite for food! It was sure nice to see this change in her. One thing I appreciated about my sister was that she did not allow anyone to bully or force her baby to eat. She would pet her little girl and go the extra mile to prepare different meals, testing which ones her daughter took a liking to. All that entire time the little girl only needed someone to be patient with her and soon her eating habits changed.

Think of it this way, would you as an adult want someone to force food down your throat just because you do not have the appetite for food at a certain time? I am sure it is a firm NO…NO for you. So then we should not force food down the throat of our babies, children no matter how good the intentions are. It is harmful and dangerous!

As a Mother ensure the safety of your baby/child. Do not allow anyone to force feed him or her!

A pediatrician Ms. Okietmute Olibamoyo from the College of Medicine, Lagos University in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) advised mothers to stop the habit of force-feeding their babies to avoid accidental suffocation. She advised mothers to change their pattern of preparing their baby/child’s food if the baby is not eating well.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

The Girl Child, An Endangered Specie in the 21st Century Nigeria: Public Lecture & Book Launch by Fill in the Gaps Outreach

The utmost responsibility of any nation is to provide security for her citizens – Prof. Stella Odebode.

As the world marked another “Day of the Girl Child” on 11th October 2018, there were many activities organized by individuals, organizations, and groups to draw attention to the challenges beguiling and preventing girls from achieving their potentials. It was also to bring to fore practices that harm the girl child’s physical and psychological well-being and to seek solutions to ending these inhuman treatments such as rape, sexual violence, abduction and kidnap, sex slavery, early marriage, lack of equal rights to education and opportunities, domestic abuse, child slavery and Female Genital Mutilation(FGM).

One of such organization, “The Fill in the Gap Outreach(NGO)”, brought together various stakeholders; students, parents and guardians, policy makers, Community leaders, development partners, and the media to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child through a public lecture. The CEO, Princess Aderonke Olajide in her opening remarks said that one of the organization’s goal is premised on filling the gaps created by unexpected pregnancy which occurs in the life of some girls for whatever reason. Fill in the Gaps provide support for such girls through ensuring safe delivery of their babies and ensuring they go back to school/learn a skill.
An interesting, informative and eye-opening lecture titled, “The Girl Child as an Endangered Species in the 21st Century Nigeria was delivered by Prof. Stella Odebode, Director Gender Mainstreaming office, University of Ibadan.

A cross of school girls present at the Fill in the Gap Outreach Public lecture

A few take away points from the lecture:

  • Globally 60% of girls are denied education as opposed to boys who are 40%.
  • Rape and sexual violence is a global phenomenon that needs to be continually addressed. Students are sexually molested by teachers, headmasters and other people who are supposed to be carers.
  • Perpetrators are hardly prosecuted which promotes the culture of silence.
  •  Parents need to be very sensitive and conscious of any signs that anyone is attempting to abuse their wards particularly extended family members living with them.
  • Prevalence of Child marriage and young mothers: According to a study carried out by Prof. Stella Odebode in Igbo Ora, Oyo state there is a prevalence of young mothers ages 11, 12 and above.
  • There is an increased incidence of school dropout and unwanted pregnancy in girls.
  • 1 in 4 children is reported as having an incidence of sexual violence.
  •  In some parts of Nigeria, 43% of girls are married off before age 18. In some other parts, 15% are married off before age 15.
  • Key ailments of girls exposed to early marriage are VVF, Anemia, High Blood pressure, premature births and even death in some cases.

Solutions

The Chairman of the occasion – Dr. Mike Omotosho , PDG, D9125, AKS Rotary International, dressed in his Ghanian royal title in a pix pose with the convener & CEO, Fill in the Gaps Outreach – Princess Aderonke Olajide
  • All maternity and orphanage homes should be dully registered to nib in the board criminal activities that expose children particularly girls to any form of sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • Speak up and do something about that your neighbor who is abusing his/her housemaid or child. If you notice something isn’t right and a life is endangered, do not mind your business. Remember that it could be you or your child.

You are standing under the shade of a tree because someone planted it – Warren Buffet

Dignitaries at the Lecture

Dr. Mike Omotosho, PDG, D9125, AKS Rotary International – Chairman.
Her Excellency, Omolewa Yetunde Ahmed- First Lady of Kwara State – Special guest of Honour
Prof. Stella Odebode – Guest Lecturer
Mr. Oluwarotimi O. Martins – MD/CEO Midway Airlines – Chief Launcher
Chief Mrs. Ranti Koiki – CEO, Fawzy Hotels, Nigeria – Guest of Honour
Alh. Mohammed Bello – Zonal Director, FRCN Ibadan Zonal station – Guest of Honor
Asiwaju Abdlrazaq Shittu – President/Chairman, Skysite Offshore Access (WA)Ltd – Father of the Day
Princess Olabisi Sangodoyin

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Every Child Has a Right to Education & Quality Life

Pinterest. com

As a parent or guardian you have a duty to provide for and protect your child. Do not burden your son/daughter with your responsibility. Plan to have only the number of children you can cater for.

Every child has a right to be cared for and provided for.
Every child deserves to live in a safe environment in order to achieve his or her potential.
Every child has a right to provision of basic needs
Every child has a right to protection
Every child has a right to quality life & education. 

Say No to Child Labor

Say No to Child Abuse 

Now that Schools are in session, ensure that your child is enrolled and regularly attends school. 

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Our World has Gone Mad!!! What can We Do About It?

Credits: Shutterstock

Some time ago a man was seen early in the morning when people were rushing to get to work carrying a little child who was kicking and crying. Everyone passed by as they went about their business but one man noticed and decided to challenge the man carrying the child. The man just dropped the child and ran. He had abducted that child as soon as her mum dropped her off at the school gate!

The world has become more complex as our once simpler and innocent way of life is a mixed bag of mistrust, horror, and chaos. We now want to satisfy our appetite at any cost. The syndrome of anything that makes me happy even when it hurts others. Selfishness and wickedness(forgive my strong language) is the picture that we see on our news screens every day. Sometimes even though I work with a media organization, I feel like shutting out the news headlines that evade the social media, TV, radio, and newspapers. This is because fellow human beings seem to craft and carry more terrible wicked schemes. Will this ever end?

Such news as that of the rape and murder of young Zainab Ansari In Pakistan is really disheartening. As I watched her picture on the placards of those protesting in her community, I couldn’t but feel an awful chill. One camera did catch her abductor on tape and the horror of it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. “You dare not trust your child even with a supposed trusted neighbor”, it didn’t use to be so! I thought to myself.

I remember as a child my parents could just leave us in the care of a friend or neighbor while running errands or on days they have a function we couldn’t accompany them on. They did not fear us being molested by anyone. In fact, as a child up to my teenage level, you were afraid of your mum or dad’s friends seeing you engaged in anything that your parents didn’t approve of. They will definitely make sure that your parents hear about it! Now neighbors, friends and even close family members abuse those in their care sexually to a point where organs are damaged or a life is lost!

I also remember times when I was sick as a teenager when our family doctor would examine me. My mother didn’t have to stay in the examining room and the doctor did not take advantage of me! Now I won’t dream of living my daughter or my son for that matter with a doctor alone especially if it has to with getting undressed to examine him/her.

My Advice on ways you can protect your child:

  • Don’t be careless. Walk with your child to school especially younger children.
  • Keep an eye on your children.
  • Stop living your child with just anyone. some of us parents even leave them with a lesson teacher and you go out doing your business… Haaa! I hear some even leave their house key with lesson teacher who sleeps in the house when such parents travel on business! Haaaaaa… Danger raises to power 100!!😱😱
  • Teach your child what to look out for in identifying predators.
  • Remind your child about the golden rule of not talking to strangers.
  • Stop minding your business if you notice something abnormal about an adult holding a child or a stranger taking away your neighbor’s children do Something!!!

Seriously parents pay attention, stop been in hurry to go about your tasks forgetting to take those little but safe precautions.

Every child has a right to life and protection

Adebisi Adetunji(c)

 

Njideka Ekuma Mbam: She Ran and Her Whole Community Had to Make A Decision

There are stories that you hear and it just gladens your heart in a warm way. And when something you were a part of contributes to the success of the story then you get a sense of fulfillment that you have made a difference in someone’s life. The telephone number featured on the FGMC sensitization radio drama “Pim Pim Pim” became a life line to people who attempted to get help for three girls on the run.

Njideka had listened to education talks about the negative effects of female genital mutilation and cutting also known as female circumcision on girls in school and in church. In her community girls must go through the rite of female circumcision to attain womanhood and soon the drums heralding her time to be cut began to sound.

A few days to her being circumcised Njideka ran to protect herself. Two other girls joined her. A series of event took place which finally lead to the IZZI community abandoning FGMC. Njideka is indeed a brave girl and a hero in the fight against a harmful cultural practice. Here is a short video telling her story and that of her community:

Adebisi Adetunji (C) BusyBee Media for Social Change & Development. Email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com twitter – @DebisiBusybee