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Ijora-Badia Children celebrate #Myfreedomday, unveil portraits of 196 World Leaders

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Adenle (middle) with the children during the event

Poised to put an end to the new trend of slavery devouring the dignity of children across the glovbe, children in Ijora-Badia, an underserved high-density settlement in Lagos joined their counterparts from around the world to campaign against the scourge of modern slavery.

The children through watercolour portraits of 196 world leaders, which create the logo of Cable News Network (CNN) when grouped together in exhibition, sent a strong message on the need to curtail the modern slavery.

Powered by Sterling Bank Plc, the Lagos campaign was put together to draw the attention of people, government agencies, non-state actors and well-meaning organisation on need to protect the rights of every child.

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The global campaign, which is spread across six continents and 100 countries with the themed #MyFreedomDay, is part of the CNN Freedom Project aimed harnessing the determination of young people around the world to put an end to slavery once and for all. 

Speaking at the unveiling event, Director, Slum Art Foundation and four-time Guinness World Record holder, Adetunwase Adenle, expressed delight in the ability of hitherto unexposed children to create a unique work of Art, which showcases their creativity and zeal to be productive members of their community.

“The project is one driven by a global scourge which has become prevalent in present day societies where children are being saddled with the responsibility of supporting their homes from a young age rather than living their lives and experiencing the joys of childhood with their peers,” he said.

Adetunwase used the medium to appeal to parents and guardians in underserviced communities and shanties to brace up and act more responsibly in protecting the rights of their children and liberate them from the heavy hands of compulsion, verbal threats, coercion and other actions or inactions that could rob them of their childhood unlike their counterparts around the world.

While pledging his commitment towards promoting the rights of young people in slums by equipping them with creative skills and education that would make them more productive and give them a platform to be better and have promising future, Adetunwase commended Sterling Bank, Flour Mills and Project Volunteers for their supports by making the project a reality thereby ensuring the children of Ijora Badia had an exciting experience.

According to Adeola Adejokun, Head Public Relations, Sterling Bank, the financial institution is proud to be associated with the bid to enrich the lives of children in underserviced communities such as Ijora-Badia through purposeful creativity and exposure to art.

“We are excited by what the children have been able to achieve in just two weeks, and these include drawing, painting, self-expression and creative problem-solving skills. The lives of many among the 196 participants will not remain the same.

“More invaluable was the opportunity to take the campaign against child labour, forced marriage and domestic servitude, which are all forms of modern slavery, to a community where a large number of vulnerable of children live. We are certain that awareness against modern day slavery has been heightened in Ijora-Badia,” Adejokun disclosed.

Corroborating Adejokun, Corporate Communications Manager, Flour Mills Nigeria Plc, Samuel Iboroma, said: “We are truly excited to be part of the CNN My Freedom Day Project. While this is a very small step towards raising awareness for the realities surrounding human trafficking, child labour and how it affects children, we believe that it is a step in the right direction.”

“Children like the ones that are taking part in the painting and art exercises today deserve the opportunity to grow to their full potentials,” he added.


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