An international welfare support group, Habibah Foundation, Holland, has advocated for the hosting of soul-inspiring and qualitative lectures and care for inmates and students of correctional homes in the country.
The advocacy was given by the Chairman of the Foundation, Engr AbdulRasheed Adebayo Sunmola during his scheduled visit to Borstal Training Institution, Adigbe, Abeokuta and the Juvenile Correctional home, Asero, also in Abeokuta, the Ogun state Capital recently. Habibah Foundation, during the visit, held a get-together amidst inspiring lectures delivered by seasoned Islamic scholars for pupils at both homes.
Apart from remodelling the mindset and thought patterns of inmates, Sunmola reasons that regular lectures would expose them to positive education during their term and in turn keep them off crime as they are reintegrated back into the society.
Addressing pupils at the Juvenile Correctional home in Asero, Abeokuta, the chairman encouraged the children to be attentive and of good conduct to themselves and the care givers as according to him, God is all-knowing and as such He is in control of all our affairs and could turn the table around anytime.
“I want every one of you to be filled with the remembrance of God because He has said that happiness and abundance lie in remembering Him. As you all know, my advice has always been that you should be attentive to your caregivers that care, protect and attend to your needs. And as I have promised that I am giving positive feedbacks about your behaviour, Habibah Foundation will always organise a party for you as it is being done today and will also continue to provide for your needs.”
Sunmola on behalf of other partners of the Foundation assured the children that more goodies await them at the Foundation’s next visit.
“In line with our mission statement of providing succour for the downtrodden, the weak and the needy, we will continue to support and care for you and your needs,” he pledged.
Also at the Borstal Training Institution, Adigbe, Abeokuta, Engr. AbdulRasheed reinstated the commitment of its Foundation at remoulding the minds of students that are committed to the home as the students were treated to inspiring lectures and refreshments.
According to him, “the Foundation will organise lectures for inmates of Ibara maximum prison in line with our determination to make you responsible citizens of this great country, because we have identified that education is key to preparing you towards challenges of the outside world. The quality of education and lectures given to you will go a long way to keep you off crime and rehabilitate you when you are finally reintegrated back into the society.
“The task of remoulding inmates of the correctional homes is the responsibility of all. Although the government is doing its bit, but I am appealing and proposing a kind of partnership between the Ogun state government and the Foundation to ensure that these children are adequately protected and their needs taken care of.
“At the Stella Obasanjo Children’s home, for example, beside the need for medical attention and care, the children at the home need diapers. The care givers at the home are trying their best which I believe is worth commending, but it remains for corporate bodies and non-governmental organisations to join hands in giving hope and adequate care to these children”.
On her assessment of the tour of the correctional homes, principal partner of the Foundation, Erica van Dijk who travelled down from Holland to Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria purposely for the visit opined that in spite of their special conditions, the children are great to spend quality time with.
Erica who was visiting the African soil for the first time disclosed that, “In spite of the special conditions, the children are full of attention and of good conduct. They are good kids that are ready to learn and intermingle with visitors. In fact, I was very delighted to be in their midst because seeing them happy and making them have a sense of belonging is one of the objectives of Habibah Foundation.”
Commenting on the funding of the project, Erica said it has not been easy funding both the visit to the correctional homes and the projects. “Let me say this, that we rely mainly on our personal purse, donations from families and friends to fund our activities. Having said that, the needs at the home as we have seen keep increasing and by implication that amounts to more work to be done for the Foundation because the welfare of inmates and students of the homes is our priority. We have also seen that the kids need care and protection which at every visit, we strive in our little way to provide.”
Earlier in his remark, one of the caregivers at the home in his address informed that there are three categories of people at the home; the lost but found, the physically challenged and the vulnerable that are in need of care and protection.
“Many of the children are here because of ill state of health, epilepsy and other deformity. For those of them that have epilepsy of the brain, they are taking care of by the state government at the neuron-psychiatric hospital.”
The caregiver said the children “are basically here because they need care and protection and we give glory to God, the government and Habibah Foundation who have been providing for the need of the children; giving them sense of belonging and making them know that the society cares and loves them,” he said.