Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
The Child’s Rights Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) at the weekend said it has reintegrated and reconciled 8,000 stigmatised children accused of witchcraft back into the society in Akwa Ibom since its inception in 2003.
The President/Chief Executive Officer of the Centre, Mr Sam Itauma, made the disclosure while addressing newsmen to mark the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the centre at Eket, Akwa Ibom on Sunday.
Itauma explained that the centre had rehabilitated, reconciled, integrated and reunited some 8,000 vulnerable children back to society in the state.
He lamented the situation where impoverished vulnerable children of the poor were labelled as witches and stigmatised in the state and held responsible for the misfortunes of the adults.
Itauma explained that the anniversary was meant to draw the attention of the state, local and Federal governments and that there was a need to also give a helping hand to vulnerable children in the society.
“Our efforts have rehabilitated support of more than 8,000 vulnerable children who have either accessed support from us or rescued into our CRARN facility,” Itauma said.
He noted that about 20 children had graduated from the College of Education while 25 vulnerable children were in the tertiary institutions in the state.
Itauma disclosed that the centre had been able to put six structures in place, adding that the centre had a school called CRARN Academy in the state.
The president said the centre was already in partnership with different government security agencies to protect the vulnerable children in the state.
According to him, the need to always assist vulnerable children and raise awareness of happenings among the vulnerable children in society.
He solicited the support of spirited individuals, and local and foreign donor agencies toward assisting the centre to expand its facility in the area.
Itauma listed the topmost priority of vulnerable children as access to quality education and notable challenges such as abuses, and torture, saying most of them that could not be rescued died in the process.
He thanked the state government for its support, saying its impact and advice led to the establishment of CRARN in 2003.