Mariam Ashley Yusuf, founder MAY Foundation
Plans are on to start ensitisation campaign against human trafficking and sexual abuse in secondary schools in and around the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Mariam Ashley Yusuf (MAY) Foundation has revealed. Ms Ashley Yusuf, the President of the foundation said this on Friday in Abuja while interacting with the media.
MAY Foundation is a humanitarian NGO that rallies support and lead advocacy for displaced and vulnerable persons as well as the less privileged as well as working in collaboration with relevant local and foreign humanitarian organisations and relevant government agencies that address social issues, including the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The school campaign, according to Yusuf, is a flagship initiative of the foundation geared towards sensitising teenagers and other vulnerable youths, especially those in secondary schools.
Said she: “Our society today is being ravaged by the scourge of human trafficking, and at the rate it is going if not checked, it will overwhelm us in the next decade. When talking about human trafficking and abuse, a lot of focus has always been on adults with little or no attention given to our young people in secondary schools.
“They need to be educated on the menace of allowing themselves to be trafficked for whatever reason as they grow up and to avoid becoming victims of sexual abuse. We are starting the campaign with selected Secondary Schools in Abuja including the Girls Secondary School in Dutse.
“Teenage pregnancy is an issue plaguing the lives of young girls across the country, and it is caused by rape in many cases. These vices trive on ignorance and that is why we are going to sensitise these adolescents and equipp them with adequate knowledge for informed decisions”.
Yusuf said that the school campaign team would include volunteer professional counsellors and officials of NAPTIP, adding that some of the victims of human trafficking, especially youths were actually in desperate search for greener pastures to cities and foreign lands because of harsh economic realities at home.
She therefore appealed to government at all levels to make effort toward making life better for the average Nigerian, especially the youths.