Children are highly vulnerable, as they are more likely to be victims of abuse, live in institutional care or on the street engaging in hazardous and exploitive labor.
Research shows that of about 2 million sex workers in India, 20 percent (400,000) are under age and actively involved in this act. Another research indicates that 143 million children in the developing world have lost one or both parents, including 80 percent of all the children who have lost a parent to AIDS and with the rise of this crisis, more children become orphans every day. In addition to this woe, many children who become orphans because of HIV/AIDS tend to be stigmatized in their communities.
According to UNICEF, there are 153 million children across the globe that are described as orphans. These children and others are at risk for poverty, health concerns, neglect, and abuse. Increasingly, numbers of children rise in refugee camps facing unique challenges every day. Malnutrition and diseases are prevalent in these places, transforming them to hell on earth hence creating an unusual environment for a growing child.
Another estimate reads that 7 million populations were orphans in 2003, which 1.8 million were affected by HIV/AIDS. Health survey indicates that nine percent of children in Nigeria are orphans and vulnerable children (VOC), with an estimation of 17.5 million out of which 7.3 million are orphaned by HIV/AIDS in 2013. Consequently, high levels of poverty resulting in low resource base and lack of basic credit and employment facilities in most rural communities have jeopardized the realization of the wellbeing of orphans and vulnerable children in Nigeria.
In the light of these emerging challenges in the country particularly in Lagos state, Dolly Children Foundation hence envisioned putting smiles on the faces of vulnerable children, targeting orphans and children laborers, rural and urban children, adolescents (in and out of school) with a mission to reach out to them through basic survival skills tagged around food, clothing, education and shelter, thereby enabling them to live impactful lives.
Dolly Children Foundation since 2006 never censored themselves to comfort the government’s ignorance or inadequacies, instead, this foundation rose to the challenge by lifting children from the dunghill setting them on the rock of independence and naturally obeying the clarion call of service to humanity.
The foundation has begun advancing the cause and welfare of vulnerable children by advocating on issues that can assuage their plight, helping to reduce the growing ratio of vulnerable children in the society in a bid to stop the avenues that expose children to all forms of vulnerability, helping vulnerable children lead productive and meaningful lives by providing basic educational, nutritional, clothing and accommodation needs for them, bridging the gap between society and these children by making them feel loved and cared for, working with individuals and organizations with common interests and as well as beliefs and visions to promote and enhance the welfare of the children.
DCF’s achievements include gender-based violence workshop at Magboro Community High School Ogun State, Make a Child Smile project which was held at Obafemi Owode Local Government Primary School Makogi, Ogun state in December 2014, DCF book donation to Oregun Boys Remand Home in July 2013, Back2School Initiative (B2S) 1 – School Sandals project, 2011, Anglican Primary School, Ajegunle, Ikorodu, Lagos, Back2School Initiative (B2S) 2 – Raincoat project in September 2012 all at Anglican Primary School, Ajegunle, Ikorodu, Lagos.
Mrs. Adedolapo, DCF’s programmes’ officer said that efforts to care, support and protect vulnerable children should not be focused only on their immediate survival needs such as education, shelter and clothing, but also on long-term developmental needs that reduce children’s vulnerability such as life skills, child protection, vocational training, food security and household economic strengthening which the foundation has become and will continue to be actively involved in ensuring that these programmes continue to see the light of day she concluded.