The Evangelist News Edition, Monday 10, 2023. By Arodiegwu Eziukwu
The Child’s Rights Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) at the weekend said it has reintegrated and reconciled 8,000 stigmàtised children accused of witchcraft back into the society in Akwa Ibom since inception in 2003.
The President/Chief Executive Officer of the Centre, Mr Sam Itauma, made the disclosure while addressing newsmen to mark the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the centre at Eket, Akwa Ibom on Sunday.
Itauma explained that the centre had rehabilitated, reconciled, integrated and reunited some 8,000 vulnerable children back to the society in the state.
He lamented the situation where impoverished vulnerable children of the poor were labelled as witches and stigmatised in the state and held responsible for the misfortunes of the adults.
Itauma explained that the anniversary was meant to draw the attention of the state, local and Federal Government that there was need to also give a helping hand to vulnerable children in the society.
“Our efforts have rehabilitated support of more than 8,000 vulnerable children who have either accessed support from us or rescued into our CRARN facility,” Itauma said.
He noted that about 20 children had graduated from College of Education while 25 vulnerable children were in the tertiary institutions in the state.
Itauma disclosed that the centre had been able to put six structures in place, adding that the centre had a school called CRARN Academy in the state.
The president said the centre was already in partnership with different government security agencies to protect the vulnerable children in the state.
He emphasised the need to always assist the vulnerable children and raise awareness of happenings among the vulnerable children in the society.
He solicited the support of spirited individual, local and foreign donor agencies toward assisting the centre to expand its facility in the area.
Itauma listed topmost priority of vulnerable children as access to quality education and notable challenges as abuses, torture, saying most of them that could not be rescued died in the process.
He thanked the state government for its support, saying its impact and advices led to the establishment of CRARN in 2003.