Sexual Exploitation: Mrs Tinubu, Others Offer Scholarships to 130 Survivors

In commemoration of the first anniversary of UN World Day for the protection of the girl-child, Nigeria’s First Lady, Sen Oluremi Tinubu alongside her Sierra Leone and Angola counterparts – Dr Fatima Bio and Dr Anas Lorenco- have presented scholarships to 130 survivors.
The scholarships worth – Le100,000,000, approximately N4 million was given to each survivor of sexual exploitation, abuse and violence.
It was meant to cover their university education, vocational training, start-up business capital and other categories.
The United Nations had last year designated November 18 annually as the World Day for the prevention and healing from child sex exploitation, abuse and violence.
Initiated by Sierra Leone and co-sponsored by Nigeria in 2022, the yearly event achieved its objectives of effectively educating and steering action to eliminate the social menace.
Speaking at the event on Saturday in Winners Chapel International, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Mrs Tinubu stated that the soul of a nation is measured by how it treats its children.
She said: “It is our collective responsibility to ensure that every child grows up in an environment that is safe, nurturing and free from harm.
“Equally important is the healing from trauma of abuse; we must support survivors in their journey to recovery. The scars of abuse run deep, but with the right resources, therapy, love and support, we can help survivors to regain strength.
“We must help them to heal and rebuild their lives; their stories are not just tales of pain, they are stories of resilience, hope, courage and triumph.’’
Dr Anas Lorenco noted that African nations must join forces to give survivors a voice and a new lease of life.
“The story is the same everywhere, but as mothers and concerned people, we are with the survivors,’’ she said.
The Chief Judge of Sierra Leone, Justice Desmond Babatunde assured the survivors that the judiciary would bring perpetrators of such abuse to justice.
She informed that there cannot be healing without justice.
Available statistics revealed that one in every four girls and one in every nine boys have been sexually exploited, abused or violated.
In addition to the scholarships, healing prayers were offered for the survivors by different Church leaders, including the host Church’s National Resident Pastor, Moses Olasunkanmi, and the Catholic Vatican, Arch. Bishop Charlse Tamba.
Nigeria’s famous gospel singer, Osinachi Kalu, fondly called Sinach, thrilled the audience with outstanding performance from her album.

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