All is now set to hold the National Children’s Dialogue which will have in attendance the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege amongst other notable Nigerians.
The event which is being organized by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Children of Africa Leadership and Values Development Initiative (CALDEV) will hold in Abuja on Saturday, 20th November, 2021 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre.
The 20th November is set aside by the United Nations as the Universal Children’s Day to celebrate children across the world and draw needed attention to their plight.
CALDEV said in a press statement signed by its Founder/President, Representative Bamidele Salam, this year’s edition is aimed at drawing the needed attention of leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders in Nigeria as part of efforts to ensure that the Nigerian child begins to have conversations around issues that create an enabling environment for a peaceful co-existence.
According the press statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday, the event will feature children panel sessions, launch of two books namely: “Leaders of our Dream 2 and 160 Things Every child Should Know About the Nigerian Constitution, Child Rights Act and other Laws”, Award presentation to philanthropists and leadership ideas contests.
Those billed to receive awards are in various categories are: Emmanuella Samuel, (Early Achievers Award in Entertainment as a mark of recognition for creativity and excellence as the most popular child celebrity); Dooshima Avar, (Early Achievers Award in Education category in recognition of excellence at Intercontinental Spelling Bee Competition)and Faith Odunsi, (Early Achievers Award in Mathematics for her distinction at the Global Open Mathematics Competition).
His Excellency Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, (Child Friendly State Governor); His Excellency Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum; (Education & Child-Friendly State Governor); His Excellency Sen. Rochas Okorocha, (Outstanding Education Philanthropist); Her Excellency Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, (Most Child Friendly First Lady) and Her Excellency  Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, (Women and Child Friendly First Lady).
Others are: Her Excellency Dame Edith Okowa, (Best Healthcare Support First Lady) while The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) will also be given special recognitions for their respective roles in advancing education in Nigeria.
Quoting Rep. Salam, the statement said: “This event is particularly important at this critical point in our national existence because of the divisive rhetoric currently deepening ethnic, political and religious divides in the country. We have identified the fact that, peaceful co-existence can only be assured and development ultimately achieved, if we close ranks and speak with one voice irrespective of what part of the country we come from or our religious adherence”.
With the theme: “Nigerian Child and The National Unity Project”, the dialogue will feature children between the ages of 12 and 17 from all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The selected delegates will make presentations to the audience comprising of leaders, Legislators, policy makers, the diplomatic community, international development partners and major stakeholders on the various sub-themes of the programme.
The sub-themes include: Impact of Social Unrest on children; Impacts of COVID 19 on children; safe Schools initiatives; state of the Nigerian child; reactivating the reading culture among children; children and participatory governance in homes, schools and organizations; solving the problem of out of school children; child labour in the 21st century; the menace of Child Trafficking in Africa and gender based violence amongst others.
The statement further adds that the aims and objectives of the event include: “Build a culture of togetherness amongst the children to foster tolerance, understanding and  nurture a better sense of National unity; create opportunities for dialogues, friendships and networking  for our children; create a platform for leaders, and policy makers to listen to children perspectives on local, national and international issues; imbue in children forward-looking tendencies; provide an entry inspirational platform to advocate for children’s rights; help to promote and celebrate children’s rights; providing mentoring opportunities for child rights advocates and development workers and assist in future leadership recruitment process.
CALDEV is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and non-profit organisation, established to teach and mentor children and youths for development of a better citizenship and nationhood. Founded in 2015 by Representative Bamidele Salam, current member of the National Assembly representing Ede north, Ede south, Egbedore and Ejigbo Federal Constituency of Osun state, few professionals and social development advocates, CALDEV commited to training and mentoring young Africans to become change agents. The organization is also interested in tackling all issues which affect the welfare of the African child.
Rep. Bamidele Salam
For media related activities, contact: Gena Lubem
CALDEV’S Head of Publicity