Tuesday, January 2, 2024


... Advocates Mental Health Campaign, Donates Food Items

As it has been the usual tradition of the Junior Chamber International (JCI), to positively touch lives and to celebrate the first day of the new year with the less privileged and the needy, the Abeokuta chapter of the Chamber has organized three months skills acquisition programme for children in the Juvenile Correctional Home, Asero, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The President, Junior Chamber International, Abeokuta, JCIN Amb. Olamide Olurin who led the Annual I-Care project, a venture of the organization that goes beyond traditional giving to instill lasting skills and promote mental well-being said this year's project holds a special significance as the chamber embarks on a transformative journey for the children with trainings in the areas tailoring, hair making, and barbing. 

"Over the next three months, these children will be engaged in tailoring, hair making, and barbing trainings. Our goal and commitment goes beyond mere donations; as we are dedicated to providing skill acquisition opportunities to the children to equip them with skills that can shape their futures and provide a pathway to self-sufficiency upon their release from here", JCIN Amb. Olurin said.

While encouraging the children not to think that being at the Correctional Home at this point in time is the end of their lives, the President charged the young minds to believe in themselves and think of who and what they want to become in life while enjoining them to pay rapt attention to the three months skills acquisition training.

JCIN Amb. Olurin while celebrating the children and sharing the joy of the New Year with several gift items and food donations, underscored the importance of the mental health of the children and launched a mental health advocacy campaign that focuses on addressing depression and other related mental illness among youths which would help to raise awareness, reduce stigmatization, and foster a supportive environment for those who may be experiencing mental health challenges.

In his lecture on Depression, a Senior Registrar at the Neuro Psychiatry Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta, Dr. Oluwatobi Ogunyemi said Depression is a condition characterized by consistent sadness which can be as a result of broken homes, lack of love and care, bullying and harassment, health challenges to mention but a few and can lead to suicide, mental health problems and poor academic performance.

Dr. Ogunyemi disclosed that when an individual gets angry often, experiences constant headache and abdominal pain, these and many more can be symptoms to watch out for adding that self-love and good parental love are ways of avoiding depression.

Earlier in his address, the immediate past President of JCI, Abeokuta, Mr. Olufemi Emmanuel Adeleke disclosed that the organization provides leadership development opportunities for young people to create positive changes while enjoining the children to open themselves up to the training that is coming their way. 

Mrs. Olubukola Adeleye, one of the Instructors at the Home disclosed that there are various categories of children under their care; children under the conflict with the law, children in conflict with their parents, children roaming the streets without love or parental care and love and special children especially those that have been abandoned by their parents because of their health challenges. "We counsel them and speak to them on depression", she said while appreciating the team for coming to show the children love and care and to also impact skills, train and empower them. 

Miss Kikelomo Abiodun on behalf of other children at the Home appreciated the leadership of JCI, Abeokuta for putting smiles on their faces and for not forgetting them pledging her commitment and that of her mates to the skills acquisition programme.

In their separate remarks, representatives of Ray of Hope and JibuluCare Foundation, partners of JCI, Abeokuta said, "we believe that it is important that stakeholders and organizations pay attention and commit to making their communities a better place. We are most thrilled about the impact of this year as we prepare the juveniles for better opportunities to improve the state of their lives"

*Femi Osipitan*

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