According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), Child labour is a violation of fundamental human rights and has been shown to hinder children’s development, potentially leading to lifelong physical or psychological damage. Evidence points to a strong link between household poverty and child labour, and child labour perpetuates poverty across generations by keeping the children of the poor out of school and limiting their prospects for upward social mobility.
CLICE Foundation has been working in hard-to-reach communities where child labour is predominant due to economic hardship among these low-income household. ILO rightly stated that; the lowering of human capital has been linked to slow economic growth and social development. Recent ILO studies have shown that the elimination of child labour in transition and developing economies could generate economic benefits much greater than the costs, which are mostly associated with investment in better schooling and social services. The fundamental ILO standards on child labour are the two legal pillars of global action to combat child labour.
To commemorate the 2019 World Day Against Child Labour, Zenith Bank Plc partnered with Comfort Literacy Intervention & Capacity Enhancement (CLICE) Foundation and Neighbourhood Care-Well Foundation (NCF), to organise a programme designed to curtail child labour through education for children from low-income homes in Henshaw town, and other neighbourhood in Cross River State.
Beneficiaries of the 100% tuition scholarship posing with their scholarship awards
This high level impact programme was implemented as one of CLICE Foundation's Inclusive Literacy Intervention. In line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, the intervention bridged the education gap among low-income families by providing 100% tuition scholarship and stationary to beneficiaries based on needs assessment; those considered to be high achieving low-income were selected.
At the event, Zenith Bank representative, Umoh Ekpenyong, said Zenith Bank is sensitive to issues affecting its environment and will continue to support the people of Cross River state through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS). He noted that children can only take their place in the future if they are given access to their rights to education.
Reducing the menace of child labour across these communities became a top priority cause for CLICE Foundation following the implementation of the Department For International Development (DFID) funded Market Development Programme in the Niger Delta (MADE). During this period (2017-2019), we CLICE worked in coastal communities and noticed a lot of children working at the bank of the river, returning from farm with their parents and hawking during school hours.
The impact of child labour on these children are of far reaching implications.
- It increases their vulnerability to child trafficking
- Increased social vices in the communities
- Increased crime rates.
During the long holiday, CLICE Foundation partnered with the American Spaces Calabar to facilitate ICT based lessons to another sets of beneficiaries. Participants were mostly girls (about 90%) and the training was divided into sessions; coding, blogging, life skills, etc.