NGO empowers students, orphans in Ondo
A YOUTH-Oriented NGO, Development Initiative for Young People International (DEVIYOP), last weekend sensitized students and young children on the dangers of HIV/AIDS and drug abuse.
It also empowered Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) through formal education and skills. DEVIYOP, a faith-based NGO, was established to assist orphans, vulnerable children and youths in the society, ensuring that their beneficiaries are free from any form of humiliation or stigmatization due to loss or incapacitation of parents.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Orunko Kemi, in her welcome address said the objectives of the programme was to reduce to a minimum level all sorts of unproductive habits among children and youths such as drug addiction, teenage pregnancy, school drop-out, cultism, armed robbery and other risky practices that can expose them to HIV/AIDS and other health problems.
According to her: “The organisation assists and moulds the life and characters of the youths, creates and brings to the awareness of our youths the effects of HIV/AIDS and other abuses in our society,” She also revealed that the NGO has 20 vulnerable children, two orphans and five partial orphans who are now undergoing various formal education, training and rehabilitation services.
Orunko stated that her experience when growing up spurred her to establish such humanitarian gesture to reach out to the poor and indigent ones in the society, stressing that her special interest is on the young ones.
Guest Speaker at the event, Debo Okunrinboye, who also represented Ondo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ODSACA) enlightened the students and youths on the dangers of the virulent disease, its causes and prevention measures.
He noted that it can be transmitted through Vertical Transmission (MTCT), transfusion of infected blood, sexual contact (unprotected sexual contact), sharing of unsterilized sharp objects like razor blade, clipper, needle, emphasizing that the most common transmission is unprotected sexual intercourse with affected persons.
DEVIYOP presented cash gifts, scholarship and educational materials worth thousands of naira to the beneficiaries to further their education at various levels.
One of the six students who were awarded scholarships, Aniogun Labake, while speaking with The Guardian, promised not to abuse the philanthropic gesture.
The HIV/AIDS awareness programme, which took place at St Thomas Aquinas College, had over 500 students in attendance with other special guests.