OYIZA ORPHANAGE’S ACHIEVEMENT ON EDUCATION FOR THE ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN
Oyiza Orphanage and Foster Foundation recognizes the importance of education to Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) as a right rather than a privilege. Educating the Orphans and Vulnerable Children will give them the opportunity to read and write as well as exposing them to the world in this era of advancement in science and technology, and as a conformity to one of the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) of the united nation.
Education is the process of facilitating learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, belief and habits. The purpose of education is to provide for the fullest possible development of each learner for living morally, creatively and being productive in the society.
Educational status is an important indicator of children’s wellbeing and future life opportunities. This is not the case for orphans and vulnerable children. A lot of children leave school at the early age due to poverty, loss of one or both parent/ guardian. Parental separation or divorce has also found to have negative effect at which vulnerable children assess education. Children are found to be out of school as a result of parent health, leaving some as helpless children burdened with domestic and economic responsibilities, which in turns affect their participation in school.
Oyiza Orphanage and Foster Foundation in her record had established that majority of the orphans and vulnerable children admitted to the shelter facility has never been enrolled into any level of educational category while some are school dropout. We have been able to establish the factors mentioned earlier responsible for this predicament.
Oyiza Orphanage, as an alternative shelter facility for orphans, neglected, abandoned, and the less privilege child aims at improving the quality education for these category of children for a brighter future as well as becoming hopeful, self-reliant and a contributive members of the society in accordance to the vision of (improving quality of life and overall life satisfaction of Orphans and Vulnerable Children and less privilege) the Orphanage.
In the past 20 years of her existence, the foundation has been able to provide education to virtually all the children who were admitted either for temporal stay (some children were handed over back to their parent after due process of home tracing) or those staying in the shelter facility until they attain adulthood (abandoned and neglected children as well as orphans).
As at the year 2020, the number of children who graduated from the primary level of education are xxxxx with their primary level certificate. The foundation also have in record, the number of children that graduated from the secondary level of education to be xxxx. Presently Oyiza orphanage have the total number of nine (9) adolescents and young adults in higher institution with seven (7) in the University and two (2) in the Polytechnic in Nigeria. Besides, the orphanage has children in primary and secondary school.
Achieving quality education for the orphans and vulnerable children in the orphanage is not an easy task. There are several challenges that tend to draw back effective coping ability of the children towards learning. These challenges include children who are teen and are novice when it comes to school activities due to the fact that the child has never been to school and all that are needed to have been learnt at the beginner stage are missing compare to the age of the child. This, therefore, requires extra effort, cost and attention of the management of the orphanage and the school at which the child is registered. Children like this are often registered in private schools, with extra cost for special coaching after school hours in order to bring the best out of the child.
The other challenges faced are those related to children who dropped out of school with or without evidence of previous school attended which could fast track continuity as they got into the shelter facility. In this type of situation, the orphanage collaborates with the Ministry of Education through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Development by requesting for a placement document into school. This is usually done for children who are fit for secondary school education.
Oyiza orphanage has recorded tremendous achievement in providing education to the orphans and vulnerable child, abandoned, neglected and abused child through the support of the good people in the society, donors, philanthropist and volunteers. The orphanage has enjoyed support from some arms of churches (group of good women) who contribute financially and specifically to support education of some selected children. The orphanage has also been privileged to meet with individuals who pick up a child to sponsor their education and this occurs mostly to children in primary level of education. This depends on the economic situation of the country as some donors stopped this privilege unannounced leaving the orphanage with the struggle to catch up with the bills attached to schooling of such child.
Oyiza Orphanage and Foster Foundation will not relent in ensuring that every child found and rescued or admitted into the shelter facility enjoy the right to quality education from the foundational level to secondary as well as the tertiary. This shall be in line with her mission statement (to enhance the OVC the opportunity to achieve GOD’s purpose/destiny in their lives through formal education and development).
OYIZA ORPHANAGE ACHIEVEMENT IN TERMS OF QUALITY HEALTHCARE
Health according to World Health Organisation (WHO) is a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Children have right to quality health care as well as protection. Orphans and vulnerable children have limited access to healthcare prior their admission into shelter facility, but the management of such facility takes it upon herself once such a child is rescued. Health care of orphans are usually found in a deteriorated state leaving some of the children malnourished while some identified with some medical conditions requiring medical attention as well as follow up care.
Orphans and vulnerable children admitted into Oyiza Orphanage and Foster Foundation are usually taken to the hospital for some clinical investigations on some medical complications such as HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and C. This does not leave out checking of their genotype and blood group in order to establish a baseline health data of the individual child. This process allows for adequate health management of every child and also promotes wellness and disease prevention.
In the past 20 years of Oyiza Orphanage existence, some measures have been put in place in ensuring that every child has a health record. The management also invites expert quarterly for screening all the children to ascertain health status or any changes. Such medical investigations are kept in Individual files. Children who are negative to Hepatitis B were all given vaccine against it and those positive were taken to the teaching hospital for management.
Presently, the orphanage has three children who are sickle cell, a child who is positive to Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), four children who are positive to Hepatitis B and one with seizure disorder among other minor ailment. These are medical conditions which require care and expertise management for minimal health crisis. These children were duly registered at the teaching hospital where they received prompt care. The management has been able to curtail this various health conditions for over a decade of child existence in the home.
Oyiza Orphanage and Foster Foundation is privilege to have a health practitioner as her director. Mrs Joy Taiwo is a Registered Nurse and Midwife practicing with the University College Hospital Ibadan. She attends to the health care need of the entire children as the need arises while some are further cared for outside the orphanage facility when the need for specialist arise.
Oyiza Orphanage was able to put in place First Aid Box with appropriate medications and other medical consumables within the reach of the caregivers who run shift duties. All efforts put in place is to ensure adequate health promotion and disease prevention in accordance with the vision of the orphanage (to improve quality of life and overall life satisfaction of orphans and vulnerable children and the less privilege).
ACHIEVEMENT IN TERM OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLNESS OF THE CHILDREN
The psychological wellbeing is described as individual’s emotional health and overall functioning. Every child has right to psychological wellbeing as this reflects the combination of feeling good and functioning effectively. Research has found that people with high psychological wellbeing are less likely to engage in criminal activity or abuse drugs and alcohol.
Orphans and vulnerable children are exposed to traumatic experiences which could be detrimental to their psychological wellbeing. Majority of these children are affected psychologically having experienced the loss of one or both parents. Some lost their trust and self-esteem due to maltreatment they had undergone while being placed with guardians or relation.
Children are more likely to enjoy psychological wellbeing when they have their basic needs met. These needs include living in a safe environment free from war and crime, having enough food, good cloth and shoes to wear and having adequate shelter. A child who enjoys holistic care will be happy and perform better among his/her peers.
Oyiza Orphanage in the time past, have been able to lend a helping hand to children who were physically abused with wounds over their body, victims of sexual abuse as well as those who were traumatized emotionally and psychologically due to poor parental or guardians child rearing. Children who went through these forms of abuses tend to be withdrawn from others, while some exhibit fears, lack of trust, and lack of confidence, low self-esteem, low self-concept and self-worth.
In achieving psychological well-being of orphans and vulnerable children, abandoned, and abused child, Oyiza Orphanage and Foster Foundation has put in an effort to have a visiting psychologist and counsellor who takes care of this aspect in ensuring balance in their state of mind.
Oyiza Orphanage also engages the children through carrier talk by some respected individuals in the society who have attained great accomplishment in their profession such as Medical Doctor, Pharmacist, Dentist, Lecturer, Army Officer, Accountant, Lawyer to mention but a few. These children are always encouraged to be outstanding in their academic in order to be great in future.
The children morale are also built by exposing them to spiritual growth. The Christians among them are monitored and allowed to participate in church activities and the few Muslims among them are also given the opportunity to practice Islam as this will guide them with the fear of God and promote good Morales that will enable them to fit well into the society.
The orphanage ensures that the children engage in activities that would boost their self-esteem and make them emotionally balanced with their peers outside the orphanage such as visiting recreational places in town, which they might been acquainted with among their peers in school. They are also exposed to the development of different talent discovery. Some of them have been exposed to art and craft in order to bring out the best in them. All these are carried out in accordance with the Orphanage’s mission statement (to inculcate in orphans and vulnerable children, mental and moral etiquette values and virtues).