SOME Islamic religious groups have called on Nigerians to foster orphans and vulnerable children to reduce number of street children, insecurity and enable them harness their potentials.
They made the appeal during the 2023 awareness walk, themed “Fostering…Reviving Sunnah”, organised by Halal Children’s Home in Abuja.
Hajiya Ramatu Abubakar, the President, Halal Children’s Home, emphasised the benefits of fostering less privileged children and reintegrating them into homes.
Abubakar said fostering these children would enable them feel loved and guide them towards harnessing potentials, adding that the organisation had so far found several families and homes for some of the orphaned and vulnerable children.
“The increasing cases of orphans, we can do better. Everyday we have about 10,000 orphaned children; that is a staggering number, so let’s not just talk about it, but do something about it.
“Being able to take a child into your home does not diminish your love, but increases your capacity to love, so let’s not let the fear of poverty or decrease stop us from doing what we can for these children.
“Our aim is to make them productive citizens. We rehabilitate them so that they can enter into the society very easily. So let us open our homes and let’s build a better future for our country,” she urged.
She also appealed to the government to make more provisions or modification for fostering in the constitution that would allow Muslims take up these children legally.
“For the government, we will like to see a drive for making that fostering more visible, each state has a different Child’s Rights Act.
“So we will like to see the provision for fostering as it is in the Islamic sense of the word because there are differences between the adoption process and the fostering.
“The fostering is what Muslims can do. A lot of Muslims do not got through the adoption process because our faith is an important part of us.
“So, if we can have the laws changed or modified to allow more Muslims take up these children and even the documentation should be made more easier,” she advised.
Dr Abdulfattah Adeyemi, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Baynakum Family Counseling Centre, Abuja, expressed concern over the increasing numbers of orphans and vulnerable children roaming around the streets.
“Many of these children that we see have bright future ahead of them, only if we contribute or do something for them.
“If we allow them to roam round the streets, they can be susceptible to criminals, who may adopt them and give them the life we have refused to give them and make them carry out some criminal activities.
“There are people who do a lot of nefarious activities against the law and they recruit these vulnerable children on the street.
“So, we are helping ourselves as individuals and as a nation, when we carry out these responsibility. It is Godly, civic and what we need now for humanity, especially in action building,” he said.
He, therefore, urged religious leaders to encourage people to adopt or foster vulnerable, orphans and street children to enable them reach their potentials and contribute to national development.
“I urge religious leaders to discuss and encourage people to foster so that the humanity in us is not just to worship God and go to paradise, we should also be concerned about humanity,” he said.
Also, Naimat Akewusola, Public Relations Officer, Amani Muslim Women Empowerment Initiative, said:
“We are here to support Halal Home sensitise the public on ways to keep the children off the street.
“With these awareness, a lot of people are now aware that they can actually foster these children and take them into their homes as this will help to reduce the number of street children in our society,” she said.
Dr Saheed Alimo, Consultant Neurologist, commended the organisers for engaging the public not only on religious aspects, but health talks and free medical care to improve their health and wellbeing.
Alimo also advised the public to engage in regular exercise, adopt healthy lifestyle and eat well to improve their health. (NAN)
November 6, 2023 @ 7:58 GMT|