Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode has urged the Association of Orphanage and Homes Operators in Nigeria (ASOHON) to assist in regulating home operations according to best practices.
She also called for the strengthening of collaboration with government and other NGOs to eradicate the social evils of child trafficking, child labour, child abuse, fake orphanage homes and the violation of child right laws.
She spoke at the maiden National Conference of ASOHON, held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday.
Mrs. Ambode commended the initiatives of orphanage homes and other care-givers in the country, however, urging them to promote awareness and respect for laws relating to rights of children.
She said that care giving for orphans and other challenged children, was a humanitarian task that comes with pain and personal sacrifice.
She said, “You took it upon yourselves within limited available resources, to keep and protect these vulnerable ones, wiping their tears when they cry; feeding them when they are hungry; offering them a shoulder upon which to rest their tired heads, putting smiles on their forlorn faces; and above all reassuring them that life is worth living after all”.
“Your contributions to society can neither be measured nor quantified. It is my prayer that the good Lord, who delights in service to the less privileged, richly rewards you all”.
Earlier in her welcome address, National President of the association, Rev. (Mrs.) Dele George said that ASOHON can and will assist the federal, state and local governments to add value, effectiveness and excellence to the social welfare system, as it pertains to the well-being of all vulnerable children.
According to her, “ASOHON is not in existence to truncate the efforts of government, we are here to collaborate and corporate as well as consolidate on the efforts of government. Our goal is to chart a cause for our industry and brainstorm on actionable solutions to challenges confronting our orphanages and our vulnerable children”.
George who said that ASOHON would partner the government to make the issue of baby factories a thing of the past, urged all homes to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to be full members of the association.
She used the opportunity to appeal to all levels of government, to assist the homes for the sake of the children.
Speakers at the Conference include civil rights activist, Barrister Festus Keyamo and Secretary of ASOHON, Rev. (Dr.) Gabriel Oyediji.