Touching Lives: Airtel, Child Rights Brigade team on common ground
L-R: Chairman, Airtel Networks Limited, Justice Salihu Alfa Belgore, GCON (Rtd); Wife of Ogun State Governor, Her Excellency Dr. Olufunso Amosun and MD & CEO, Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya at the Premiere of Airtel Touching Lives Season 3, held on Saturday in Lagos. – newsecho.ng

Airtel Nigeria has announced that the next episode of Touching Lives, scheduled to run on television networks across Africa this Saturday, will feature an emotional story on child sexual abuse.

Although not frequently reported, sexual abuse in minors is quite prevalent in Nigeria. A 2015 report by UNICEF (the United Nations International Children’s Fund) revealed that one in four girls and one in 10 boys are sexually molested in the country before they reach 18, which is the age of consent.

Regrettably, many parents are oblivious of this scourge. Last year, Mamalette, the social enterprise devoted to mothers, found that a vast number of women were in denial about the possibility of their children becoming victims of abuse. While some prayed that a thing like rape would never happen to their kids, others argued that their young ones were strong enough to defend themselves.

However, aside from children with dissembling parents, several helpless minors roam the streets, suffering repeated abuse, with no caring family member in sight.

It is for these ones that Destiny Adejo, a sex abuse survivor herself, founded the Child Rights Brigade. From its modest base in Lokoja, Kogi State, the non-governmental organisation has been helping destitute and molested children since 2014. Even though the CRB also requires an urgent bailout to keep its lights on, it has continued to soldier on.

So far, the NGO has rescued 10 impoverished kids, some of whom have become outstanding testimonials to Adejo’s life-changing work.

Esther Aniagwu is one of such CRB’s breakout successes. When Adejo found her and took her in, Aniagwu was a beggar in a local market. Now, after months of counselling and vocational training, Aniagwu has completed secondary school and taken a job as a part-time barber.

But the cost of saving these hapless minors continues to rise, further putting pressure on Adejo’s desperate financial situation.

Since she started the NGO, Ms Adejo has financed its operations with profits from her little soap and shampoo business. At the moment, though, that income is neither sufficient to keep the aid organisation running nor put food on her table.

According to Airtel, however, help may be on the way. Aniagwu’s NGO has been nominated to be one of the beneficiaries of Airtel Touching Lives, Season Three.

According to Airtel, the show’s second episode, scheduled to air on Saturday February 18, will feature the telco’s meeting with the CRB.

Airtel plans to assess the scope of the assistance the NGO needs and determine how we can help them continue their good work.

Also in the coming episode, the humanitarian TV show will visit Samuel Ufot, the gifted young orphan from season two, who, with his two sisters, received a relief package from Airtel.

Airtel Touching Lives Season Three, Episode Two returns to its regular slots on the usual television networks across the continent.

On Saturday, it will run on Africa Magic Urban from 6:30–7pm and on Africa Magic Family from 7-7:30pm. Later, from 9-9:30pm, it will be broadcast on RaveTV.

The next day, reruns of the episode will be on Africa Magic World from 6-6:30pm, NTA Network from 6:00-7pm, and ArewaTV from 7:7:30pm.

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