ActionAid, EU, others commission joint funded complex at Vine Heritage Home

ActionAid, EU, other officials at the commissioning eventi

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has commissioned over N141, 719, 721.49 worth of complex to Vine Heritage Home, (VHH) in Gwagwalada area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

The aim of the complex is to give succour to children who survived infanticide in some communities in FCT.

The Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) Ene Obi explained that AAN began Mobilising Actions Towards \ the Abolition of Infanticide in the FCT (MATAI), project was funded by the Europena Commission (EU).

She estimated that EU provided NGN80, 000,000 and ActionAid also contributed NGN50, 644,921 adding that by a way of corporate social responsibility, N4,574,800 was donated by AIICO insurance, N2.1million by Tangerine Africa, N2.2million by ADUVIE International School, N200,000 by Hawthorne Suite, N500,000 by Yaliam Press and a total of estimated N1.5million was received from individual donations through ActionAid’s Community Sponsorship Initiative.

She further said ActionAid staff also contributed N300,000 which was used to purchase a vegetable farmland nearby.

She said the goal of MATAI project was to contribute to the protection and promotion of rights of children in Nigeria adding that to achieve this, we ensured the implementation and monitoring of existing legal and policy frameworks that address infanticide practices in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

She said MATAI project will officially close out by June 2022, but assured that AAN will not to leave the VHH.

She explained that 57 communities practice infanticide in Abuja Municipal Area Council, Abaji, Kuje, Kwali, and Gwagwalada of the FCT, which they believed that children born as twin or multiple-birth, babies who grew upper teeth, those born as albinos, with birth defects, those whose mother died during or after delivery are labeled evil and must be killed, and they really killed them, but all shrouded in secrecy on the alter of twins as they called it.

“We also raised awareness in the FCT on infanticide practices, especially among practising communities. Finally, we also established mechanisms to safeguard unborn babies and infants susceptible to being victims of infanticide, as well as those that are currently ostracized at the VHH.

“The building was completed within two years regardless of the pandemic and its after-effects which include inflation that heightened the prices of construction materials, to mention a few. During the construction, the other challenges we faced were security concerns in the hinterlands and accessibility to the site and project communities during the rainy season,” she said.

On securing the lives of children and the facility, she said, “All of these things we have done are with the Area Councils. We will continue to work with the police and other security agents to protect the children and the facility.”

Also, the Head of the European Union, EU, Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Samuela Isopi, who commissioned the complex, said European Union said that the complex is for the children that were abandoned and urged that government agencies, stakeholders; community leaders should try to put an end to those practices.

She said European Union just launched new programme for the next seven years and human development for the very first time and is one of the pillars of the programmes.

Also, the founder of VHH, Pastor Stevens Olusola Ajayi, who lauded the good gesture by AAN lamented that in some communities, children have been badly treated.