Awareness-creation in Uromi

Awareness-creation in Uromi

Caritas Nigeria conducted awareness creation activities in Uromi, Esan North East of Edo State due to the high rate of travels of young boys and girls in the community, searching for greener pasture abroad.

Target
The target of this awareness creation activities were parents. The choice of the audience was necessary because majority of trafficked victims/survivors attested to the fact that they had travelled to alleviate the suffering of their parents.

 

In other words, it means the children sacrificed themselves to salvage the financial plight of their parents, although they usually never opened up to their parents about the fact that they were involved in sex business. Hence it was very important to bring to their knowledge what our girls suffer in Europe and other parts of the world just to make ends meet.

 

The topic for the awareness creation was titled an “Overview of Human Trafficking: The way forward” Main highlights of the talk centred on:
Definition of the term trafficking in persons with its constituent elements i.e Acts, Means and Purpose.
Forms of trafficking in Persons.(Internal & External)
Causes ie poverty, greed, ignorance, get-rich-quick syndrome and peer influence.
Effects: physical torture or abuse, Health hazards, Emotional trauma, psychological and Spiritual trauma.
Resolutions
At the end of the exercise, the followings strategies were proposed as ways to eradicating human trafficking:
Participants as stakeholders in their respective communities as civic group members were urged to be active and alert to know what happens in their surroundings so as to assist vulnerable persons and their families from falling prey to traffickers by enlightening their understanding on human trafficking.
Women should act as agents of change and instil good morals in their children right from home. These morals shape them from childhood to adulthood to face the realities of hard times.
Parents should desist from the culture of wealth celebration which often time instigate their children to go in search of money damning all negative consequences.
Youths in the community should report suspected cases of trafficking to the Anti-human trafficking desk in the nearest police station or report to NAPTIP via their toll free lines. Reports can also be made to the JDPC Office in the Diocese to assist in investigating and making appropriate referrals to the law enforcement agencies.

 

Sensitization of Alushi Community

Illushi is a farming and fishing community in Esan South East of Edo state, Nigeria where its children are usually sought after for domestic jobs in neighbouring towns and far away cities due to inability of their parents to cater for them.

This prompted a sensitization and awareness creation visit to the women group of the community to think first before sending their children to slavery in the name of fosterage or assistance.
The sensitization message centered on human trafficking and child labour with its antecedent effects. The talk which was done in pidgin language for their understanding took the following order:
What is Human Trafficking and Child Labour

Types of Human trafficking
Effect of Human Trafficking and Child Labour on the person and society at large.
Major routes of victims across border.
The way Forward:
Women groups to act as watchdog in the community, Women should desist from pressuring their female children to travel abroad in search of greener pastures, Women pay visits without notifying the homes their children are living to ascertain the type of maltreatment melted out on them, Women engage in more meaningful activities or trade that will help them cater for their children.
Women protect fellow women in society and disassociate themselves from associations or company which promote practices that dehumanize the dignity of women in society.
Women should preach the gospel of contentment to their children and dissuade them from searching for empty promises of a bright future outside Nigeria or even lure them into travelling.
If opportunities are available to travel, well informed choices be made to avoid falling prey to traffickers.
Families in rural areas desist from wealth celebrations and imbibe the concept of contentment.
The women welcomed the idea and thanked the desk officer for bringing this message to their door step as most of them were ignorant that their children could be prey to traffickers and abusers.

 

Commemorating World Day Against Human Trafficking

Caritas Nigeria Anti-Human Trafficking and Migration Desk provides National coordination for the Catholic Church in Nigeria. The program is aimed at combating human rights abuses, human trafficking and irregular migration.

 

Caritas Nigeria supported the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPCs) and other sister organizations in enlightenment campaigns; raising awareness and consciousness of people about the vices and dangers of Human Trafficking which is referred to as modern day slavery. On February 8th, 2015 the  Church marked the World Anti-Human Trafficking Day the feast of St. Josephine Bahkita through enlightenment campaigns to create awareness of this vices in parishes across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria.

 

Also working with diocesan Caritas and sister agencies, the organization provided psychosocial and livelihoods support for trafficked victims as much as it could while also providing linkages to agencies that can provide more help for trafficked victims.

 

Working more on prevention, Caritas Nigeria has tried to reduce the vulnerability of young active adolescents and women in some of the Dioceses by starting up businesses or opening shops for skills acquired to enable them cater for their needs and that of their families thereby reducing the prevalence of falling prey to traffickers in those areas and ultimately reducing poverty which is acclaimed the root cause of human trafficking in Nigeria.

 

2015 World Day Against Child Labour

Children as we all know are often time helpless and vulnerable to vices and as such there is a need to raise their consciousness on their rights and obligations in order not to fall prey to exploitation/abuse and slavery-like practices.

 

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 168 million children are trapped in child labour. More than half of them, 85 million, are in hazardous work. This persistence of child labour is rooted in poverty and lack of decent work for adults, lack of social protection, and a failure to ensure that all children are attending school through to the legal minimum age for admission to employment.

 

To mark this year’s World Day theme “No to Child Labour – Yes to Quality Education”, Caritas Nigeria worked with its 55 diocesan partners to implement sensitization activities to draw attention of parents, guardians, religious/community leaders and Nigeria at large, to this social ill against children.

 

Caritas Nigeria tried to focus its messages particularly on the importance of quality education as a key step in tackling child labour. Which was highlighted by ILO as being very timely, due to the fact that in 2015 the international community will be reviewing reasons for the failure to reach development targets on education and will be setting new goals and strategies

 

The World Day Against Child Labour was marked on 12 June, 2015.

 

Profile of Fr Evaristus Bassey

Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey is a clergyman and development practitioner with over 10 years experience in programming. He is the Chief Executive Officer of CCFN and is responsible for the day to day affairs of the organization.

 

Background: Fr. Evaristus Bassey was born in Oban Town in Akamkpa Local Government Area, Cross River State, Nigeria on 31st August 1966. He did his primary education at St. Michael’s Oban Town and attended the nearby Immaculate Conception Seminary Mfamosing for his secondary education. He attended Ss. Peter and Paul Major Seminary Ibadan where he studied philosophy and theology and was ordained a priest on the 17th of October 1992.

Pastoral Experience: Fr. Evaristus served as Bishops’ secretary soon after ordination and was put charge of St. Bernard’s Parish, Marian Hill as well. Ever since he has served in five other parishes both rural and urban with equal zeal. For more than three years he handled daily bed time meditations on the Cross River State Television to the joy and peace of many who waited for the program to usher them to sleep.  Fr.Evaristus did post graduate studies in English and Literary Studies at the University of Calabar, Calabar with an interest in using fiction to further the faith and devepment.  He was unanimously proposed by the Priests’ Council to be appointed the Diocesan director of Justice Development and Peace due to his passion. As director he took keen interest in prisoners’ pastoral and material  welfare and got many who were wrongfully incarcerated released.

Development Experience: In the wake of civil society involvement in the HIV/AIDS awareness, he pioneered trainings for protestant, Islamic and Catholic clerics to lead the crusade against stigma. His partnership with church funding partners led to water projects in rural communities and skills training for youths. In August 2010 he was appointed to the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria as Executive Secretary/CEO of  the newly established  Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria(CCFN) which later became Caritas Nigeria. Fr. Bassey has demonstrated profound leadership initiatives with his work at the national Catholic Secretariat, multi tasking and coordinating complex initiatives. From a one man staff at the onset, Caritas Nigeria has since grown to engage more than a hundred staff, due to enabling environment created by past and present episcopal chairmen: Archbishop Joseph Ukpo and Bishop Lucius Ugorji respectively. In December 2012 the Catholic Bishops added the responsibilities of Director Church and Society and National Secretary Justice Development and Peace at the Catholic Secretariat to his responsibilities. Fr. Evaristus has fully utilized the opportunities for training and exposure presented by his work as Diocesan and now national development coordinator to increase his knowledge and competences. He has attended courses in Harvard and Notre Dame and CERIS.

 

CONTACT

Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Plot 459 Cadastral Zone B2, Durumi, Abuja, Nigeria

Mobile: +2348037099291

E-Mail: frevaristus@yahoo.com, frevaristus@ccfng.org

 

BIRTH

31ST August 1966, Oban Town, Akamkpa Local Government Area, Cross River State

 

EDUCATION

St. Michael’s Primary School, Oban Town, 1973 – 1978

Immaculate Conception Junior Seminary, Mfamosing, 1978- 1983

SS. Peter and Paul major Seminary in affiliation to the University of Ibadan, 1985 – 1992

University of Calabar , 1998 – 2001

 

ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS

M.A. (Litt. Studies) 2001, University of Calabar, Calabar

B.A. (Rel. Studies) 1992, University of Ibadan, Ibadan,

Dip.in Religious Studies, University of Ibadan, Ibadan

West African School Certificate 1983

First School Leaving Certificate 1978

 

PASTORAL POSITIONS

Priest in Charge, St Bernard’s Parish, Marian Hill, Calabar     1992-1994

Priest in Charge St. Paul’s, Uyanga, Akamkpa, 1995-1997

Priest in Charge, Holy Ghost Ikot Edem Odo, 1997- 2000

Priest in Charge, St. Augustine, Ikot Omin 8 Miles, 2000-2001

Priest in Charge/Chaplain, St. Paul’s, University of Calabar, 2001- 2004

Priest in Charge, St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Efut Abua, Calabar 2006 – 2010

 

PUBLICATIONS

The Young Cleric ,St. Theresa Press, Calabar, 2009

“The Church, Democracy and Human Rights in Nigeria” 2006

The Proposal And Other Stories ,  University of Calabar Press, 2004

The Return of the king and Other Plays , Mariana Press ,2002

Pentecostalism and the Catholic Church in Nigeria , Mariana Press, 1993

Tithes and Offerings: Do You Cheat God ? , Mariana Press, 1994

 

COURSES AND TRAININGS ATTENDED

Catholic Leadership Program, Mendoza School of Business, Notre Dame University, Indiana, 2014
Human Resources for Health, School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA, 2014
Advanced Training on Policy and Advocacy, West Africa Civil Society Institute, Accra, Ghana 2013 Contemporary Management Practices, Baltimore, Maryland, 2013
Training on Financial Strategy for NGOs, Nairobi, Kenya, 2012
Training on Resource Mobilisation, Abuja, Nigeria, 2012
Training on Grants in the Framework of the EU Module 1 by MDF, Brussels 2011
Training on Mainstreaming Peace Building in Program Interventions, Yaounde, Cameroun, 2011
Training on Rights Based Approach to Development by Cross River State Agency for the Control of AIDS/Action Aid International(Nigeria) , Calabar, 2010
Training on Advocacy Methodology by Cross River State Agency for the Control of AIDS/Action Aid International(Nigeria), Calabar 2010
Training on Community Development Models by European Union Through Strengthening Reforms Institutions Program (SRIP), Abuja 2007
Training on United Nations Development Program on Leadership(LDP), Calabar, 2006
Training on SPHERE Project on Emergency Response, Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2005
Training on Industrial Areas Foundation Development Methods, Boston, Massachusetts, USA 2005
Training on Proposal Writing and Project Management by GHAIN Project, Abuja 2005
Training on HIV/AIDS Program Development by World Bank HIV/AIDS Fund Cross River State Project Team 2004

 

DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE

As Director, Justice, Development and Peace Commission(JDPC), and Calabar Archdiocesan Action Committee on HIV/AIDS (CAACA),  Archdiocese of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria, I managed the following projectsK:

Community Mobilization for Good Governance, Justice Development and Peace Commission Calabar, 2002 -2004 Supported by MISEREOR Germany

HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Support, World Bank HIV/AIDS Fund, Calabar Archdiocesan Action Committee on AIDS, Calabar, 2005 Cross River State
International Election Observer, Ghana, 2004
Capacity Building of Faith Based Leaders on HIV/AIDS Intervention Supported by GHAIN, CAACA 2005 -2006
Capacity Building for Caregivers in support of 400 OVC, by CAACA Supported by SNR(DFID) 2006-2007
Access to Justice Program, JDPC Calabar, Supported by MISEREOR, Germany, 2006-2008
Access to Water in 5 Communities, by Justice Development and Peace Commission, Calabar, Supported by Manos Unidas, Spain 200
Enabling Environment for Schools in Rural Areas, Justice Development and Peace, Calabar, Supported by Manos Unidas, Spain 2008
Public Finance Analysis Project, Justice Development and Peace Commission, Calabar, 2006-2007, Supported by Action Aid Nigeria

 

OTHER POSITIONS:

· Chairman, Justice Development and Peace Commission, Calabar 2007 -2010

· Faith Based Representative, Cross River State Agency for the Control of Aids(SACA)Board 2008

· Executive Secretary/CEO, Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria 2010f

· National Secretary Justice Development and Peace Committee  2012 f

· Director, Church and Society, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria 2012 f

 

MUSICALS

I Rejoice  2006

Chants of the Morning  2009

 

OTHER ACTIVITIES

Bedtime Televangelist for Cross River Broadcasting Corporation 1998 – 2002

 

TRAVEL MISSIONS

1.  United Kingdom – 1996 and 2001

2.  Israel – 1998 and 2009

3.  United States – 2003,2005,2008

4.  Ghana – 2004, 2006

5.  Sierra Leone – 2005

6.  Italy, Spain, Portugal, France – 2009

7.  Italy – 2010

8.  Cameroon, Kenya, Italy, Belgium – 2011

9.  Kenya, Tanzania, Portugal – 2012

10. United States, Italy, Germany, Kenya – 2013

11. Spain, United States, Rome, Uk – 2014

Blood Donation Drive

As part of activities for the Caritas@5 Anniversary celebration commencing next week, a  Blood Donation Drive will be carried out in Abuja in collaboration with the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS).

The three-day exercise will commence daily by  9 oclock in the morning and close by 4 PM in the evening and will last from 7th to 9th October, 2015. The venue of the exercise is the premises of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria which also hosts the country office of Caritas Nigeria.

According to the  coordinator of the drive, Alexandria Ogaga, the exercise is aimed at  imbibing among Nigerians a culture of regular blood donation to save lives as well as mobilize massive donation of blood into the NBTS blood bank in support of patients in dire health emergencies at the various healthcare facilities in the Federal Capital Territory.

The drive will be targeting staff of the organization, residents of Abuja along the Durumi/Area 1 Garki axis as well-meaning Nigerians in other parts of the city.

 

 

Caritas is U-report partner

Caritas Nigeria is among partners for the U-report initiative of United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
U-report is a free sms based platform that empowers citizens to speak up on issues that concern them. By this new partnership, experts from Caritas Nigeria will be involved in responding to questions from members of the society on specific topics namely HIV/AIDS, reproductive health and gender-related issues.

Participation in the program is open to all members of the society and is simply by texting JOIN to 24453 (FREE) to become a U-reporter. More information is available on the u-report website www.nigeria.ureport.in, or following on twitter (@UreportNigeria) and Facebook ( U-report Nigeria).

Fuel Hike: ES Press Briefing

The Director of Church and Society Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria and Executive Secretary Caritas Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Evaristus Bassey recently had a press conference with members of staff and media personnel on Friday 20th May, 2016 to address issues bothering on the recent hike in fuel price and the NLC strike.

This forum, which took place in Catholic Secretariat conference hall, had in attendance over a hundred members of staff and more than four media corporations including Channels TV, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), AIT, etc.

According to the ES, “the recent hike in the price of fuel, economically, may appear justifiable”, but the unforeseen danger revolves around the freedom of importation of fuel by capable hands. He however condemned the hike on grounds of its social impact as “it ends up emasculating the poor and swelling the ranks of those who are below the poverty level…”
While sympathizing with the NLC, the ES urged the congress to continue its negotiation with government over the minimum wage as it is the best option; although, prolonged strikes are not in the interest of the common man.

CCFN Supports Partner to develop Strategic Plan

Caritas Nigeria recently suppported one of its partners, St Gerard’s Catholic Hospital, Kaduna, to develop their five-year Strategic Plan.

A cross-section of key staff of St Gerard’s hospital at the 3-day event

Members of Caritas Nigeria technical team that facilitated the workshop

‘Hands Up for HIV Prevention’ on World AIDS Day in Namu

The 2016 World AIDS Day (1st December) will remain a memorable day for Namu Community, in Plateau state as Caritas Nigeria in collaboration with St. Virgilius Catholic Hospital, Namu, marked it in a very unique and impactful way.

 

It was double fortune as the date coincided with a technical assistance visit from Caritas Nigeria project team to St. Virgillus Namu, one of her key partner facilities in Plateau state. And in line with this year’s World AIDS Day theme: ‘Hands up for HIV prevention’, it was truly ‘Hands Up’ affair all across Namu town.

The celebration kicked off with visiting Caritas Nigeria team, dressed in their resplendent red, blue and white branded T-shirts joining with staff of the hospital to have an exciting photo session where they all held their hands up to display various HIV prevention messages boldly written on their palms.  Among the messages were ‘Sex Education’, ‘Equal Access’, Gender Equality,’ ‘Social Protection’, ‘Zero discrimination’ etc.

After the photo session, both teams launched a mini awareness campaign to nearby communities around the hospital. The focus was on HIV/AIDS prevention, and testing services available at the hospital. Caritas Nigeria’s Community services expert, Mr. Adelaja went further to conduct interviews with some of the locals to sample their opinions on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, its prevention and particularly the problem of discrimination. The initial skepticism and curiosity that greeted him later turned into open acceptance and participation when they understood what the exercise was about and they readily subjected themselves to be interviewed. Majority of those interviewed had some knowledge of HIV/AIDS and could site at least one method of preventing transmission. A few beautiful placards were designed with similar messages and were carried around by the staff.

St. Virgilius Namu is a missionary hospital run by the Catholic Church in Nigeria. The facility is administered by Rev. Sr. Martin de Porres, who with her team of dedicated and committed staff offer among other services, HIV/AIDS comprehensive care and treatment services to over 700 clients. The hospital is currently the only facility offering such services to the numerous communities around the area. Over the years, the number of clients placed on Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has increased steadily due to the determination of staff of the hospital to go the extra mile in their bid to get more HIV positive clients from among the communities placed on ARVs.

Overall, it was a very uplifting experience for the team as the efforts impacted positively on the community, especially those living with HIV/AIDS.

Report and pictures courtesy of Lawrencia Agur, Pharmacy and Logistics Advisor, Caritas Nigeria

 

 

 

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