NGO mulls establishment of parliament to amplify children’s voices in Kaduna State



 Save the Children International (SCI), a humanitarian organisation for children says on Friday that it will support the establishment of Children Parliament in Kaduna State.

Mr Farouk Abdulkadir, Advocacy and Campaign Coordinator, SCI, made this known in Zaria, Kaduna State at a two-day biannual review meeting of its Media Working Group.

Abdulkadir explained that the parliament, which would be established in partnership with the Ministry of Human and Social Development, would serve as the highest children advocacy platform in the state

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According to him, the platform will be crucial in amplifying children’s voices and strengthen their participation in decision-making process on issues that concern them.

He said that parliament would be established under the Gates Advocacy Project and Expanding Social Protection for Inclusive Development Project (ESPID).

He explained that the Gates Advocacy project is a four-year health and nutrition advocacy project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

It aims to strengthen health systems, governance, leadership, health and community participation.

Abdulkadir added that the ESPID project was funded by UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, to strengthen inclusive social protection systems for overall development.

He said the SCI had supported the strengthening of the state’s health systems since the inception of the project in May.

“Save the children has supported a retreat for the governing board of the State Primary Healthcare Board and supported the Word Development Committee to develop a Health Operational Plan Charter.

“We equally established a media working group to amplify the voices of children, sensitise, mobilise and hold the government to account on the survival, protection and development of children.

“We also supported civil society organisations and media to hold quarterly accountability forums with the government on issues around health service delivery in the state,’’ he said.

He added that the NGO would also support the Ministry of Health to develop its Health Policy and dissemination of Annual Health Performance Report.

He also said that SCI would equally engage the state’s House of Assembly on achieving Universal Health Coverage in the state among other supports.

Also speaking, Mr Tanko Langaya, SCI State Team Lead, said that the NGO would continue to partner with journalists to create the needed awareness on health, nutrition, and social protection services.

This, according to Langaya, will inspire citizens to demand for quality health and nutrition, education, social and child protection services and push the government to provide such quality services.

“This is critical to ensuring that the government carry out its duties and deliver on its commitments,” he stressed.

Earlier, Mr Philip Yatai, the Chairman of the media working group explained that the objective of the review meeting was to review and challenges of the group in the reportage of issues affecting children.

Yatai reminded media partners of their commitments to voice to children, influence social and behavioural change through awareness creation and public mobilisation for the protection of children and hold the government to account. (NAN)