Save the Children (SCI) in collaboration with the BIC West and Central Africa Regional Office, on the Safe Back to school campaign has distributed 100,000 lucky pens and learning materials to pupils and schools in Maiduguri, Borno state and Ogoja, Cross River state, in support of safe school resumption for some of the most vulnerable children in Nigeria.
The Youth Ambassador, Save the Children International Nigeria, Maryam Ahmad who lauded the gesture said “Being out of school has a significant impact on the protection and wellbeing of children, increasing their vulnerability to exploitation, violence, abuse and neglect.
She said due to the visible needs on the ground, BIC’s donation and its cooperation with Save the Children, is timely and exemplary for other private sectors to follow suit.
She further said that this gift will motivate pupils towards pursuing their education and achieving their dreams.
Also, the Country Director, Save the Children International Nigeria, Ms. Mercy Gichuhi said due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the poorest and marginalized children are most at risk of losing out on learning and not returning to the classroom.
According to her , they face being forced into child marriage or child labor, and they are at increased risk of having their education and development truncated.
“We know from previous crisis that the longer children are out of school, the greater the risk that they will never return and that they will lose out on vital learning.
“Therefore, Save the Children is proud to partner with BIC, and we jointly urge other conglomerates and private sector actors to channel their corporate-social responsibilities towards improving the safety, quality, and access to education for every last child in Nigeria,” she said .
Also, the BIC Senior Sales Manager West & Central Africa and Deputy General Manager Lucky Stationary Nigeria Ltd Guillaume Groues, said, “the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the education sector globally, and more so in Nigeria.
“At BIC we believe that education has the power to transform the world and as a brand we are committed to play our part in helping improve the learning conditions of 250 million children around the world.
“We are proud to team-up with Save the Children to help reach students in need in hopes of sparking joy and imagination during these difficult times,” he said .