By Kunle Adedoyin
The Destiny Trust, a non-governmental organisation, has rendered some assistance to 300 homeless children in settlements along the Elegushi Beach waterfront in Lagos state to enable them go back to school for the 2019/2020 academic session.
Seun Abimbola, programmes manager of the organisation, said the target beneficiaries are children who have never been in school, those who are drop-outs but need re-integration and children who are in school but can’t afford essential school materials.
Abimbola said education is at the centre of the organisation’s work with disadvantaged children.
“Education is at the heart of our work with children and we remain committed to giving every child a fair opportunity regardless of things that stand on their way,” he said.
He said The Destiny Trust is focusing on the education of homeless children because of the concern that those children should not grow into teenagers and young adults without education.
“When displaced children and families settle in temporary shelters, they usually have very low motivation to put their children in school in the new environment. We are worried that these children grow into teenagers and young adults without education even if they stay longer in the same location. We want to make sure that children go to school wherever they are, wherever they go,” he said.
The organisation called on state governments, especially that of Lagos, to review the admission process for children across public schools, urging against policies that could further widen the literacy gap that every stakeholder in education should be working together to close.
The Destiny Trust provides care, rehabilitation, education and empowerment to homeless children and disadvantaged young people with intervention mainly in slums and poor communities around Lagos.
The Trust also runs a learning and rehabilitation centre for street children at Bogije, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.