Edo State commissioner for Social Development and Gender Issues, Hon. Christabel Omoh Ekwu has reassured of the state government’s commitment to providing shelter for the vulnerable and orphans in the state.
The commissioner gave this assertion at Tender Heart and Charity Home International in Benin City, during an Orphanage Home Audit Profiling exercise conducted by the ministry in order to keep proper records of orphans in orphanage homes in Edo State.
Hon. Christabel asserted that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration has keen interest in the welfare of every child in Edo State, hence the need for an audit profiling of orphanage homes, as this would help government cater for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children across the state.
The commissioner advised home owners on the need to be vigilant and mindful in the relationship between males and females in the orphanage homes, encouraging them to create adequate distance between the males and females in order to avoid sexual harassment among the children in the orphanage.
“There should be separate rooms for boys and girls, an orphanage home is not a baby factory where children are bred, rather it is a home for the homeless and the government has plans to upskill and develop the potential of every homeless child, irrespective of the situation they find themselves,’’ Hon. Christabel noted.
She further stressed the need to improve on the sanitation conditions of orphanage homes, as a clean environment is essential for a healthy living, disclosing government intention of digitalising and having smart homes where every child data will be kept for easy and accurate tracking, while encouraging home owners to key into the initiative.
In a similar development, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues, Barbara Osobajo who led a team to Kinglucy and Eghosa Orphanage Homes charged the proprietors to be of good conduct and adhere to the rules and regulations guiding the operations of orphanage homes in Edo State, stressing that defaulters of such rules would be made to face the law in due course.
According to her, keeping proper data of children in an orphanage home is a key factor in tracking and curbing illegal activities in orphanage homes, advising home owners to always update their records.
Responding, Deaconess Margaret Osawaru Hassan, the proprietress of Tender Heart Orphanage Home expressed her appreciation to the government for its effort in making sure that orphans and the vulnerable are also carried along in its developmental strides, promising to always cooperate with the ministry in order to actualized the MEGA agenda of social sustainability.
Prior to the exercise, the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Issues embarked upon the training of social workers on how to carry out thorough orphanage home profiling for orphanage homes in the state.