By Maxwell Njarika
LAGOS: Child abandonment is when a mother or a couple physically abandon a new born baby right after delivery, either by dumping the child by the road side, some in the river, waste bin or the lucky ones in churches.
Research has further shown that this is fast becoming an extreme practice by Nigerian women from poor homes or uneducated background.
It is understood that abandoned children who do not get their needs met often grow up with low self esteem, emotional dependency, helplessness and other issues.
Unfortunately, the practice of child abandonment in Nigeria has little or no government attention.
KH Foundation has taken it upon itself to ensure that the conversation around child abandonment is being treated as it is suppose to by educating, inspiring, as well as creating a rehabilitation center for women who have been abandoned by the society.
Engaging in live sessions with commuters and live witnesses we have realized that this menace can be well curbed if we all pay more attention to this problem as every child matters regardless of tribe, race or color.
Our team have brainstormed on possible solutions to this problem.
Firstly, Here are some causes of child abandonment such as lack of family planning poverty (Financial hardship), post natal depression and lack of sex education amongst the majority
Taking a brief study at family planning: Family planning is the practice of planning ahead the number of children that a couple wants to have.
Contraceptives Planning to Prevent Unwanted Pregnancy and Preventing STD and reducing child abortion.
The importance of family planning should be taught amongst teenagers and sexually active adults while in school.
Also, patents must introduce sex education earlier in a child’s life.
This can be defined as the lack of financial resources to sustain and develop everyday necessities in order to meet the minimum standard of living: i.e 3 equal meals, cloth, electricity, water, shelter and child education. From our findings poverty is the major cause of child abandonment in Nigeria.
Preventing child abandonment
1. Social welfare
2. Affordable Daycare facilities
3. Affordable Family planning unit
4. Specialised Parent training centers
5. Nationwide Helplines to support mothers in need
6. Nationwide Counselling service centres for mothers.
7. Shelter unit for qualifed abandoned children.
The above list mentioned are aims and objectives of Kasandra Haynes Foundation to accomplish.
These are some preventive measures to reduce child abandonment in Nigeria. We aim to engage our community via social media and other platforms by creating educational content on safe guarding a child.
The children are the future of our tomorrow and we have the responsibility to ensure these abandoned children have the right to live.
Their future are in our hands. Lets end child abandonment TODAY!
*Maxwell Njarika is a youth social reformer.