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Nigeria launches a year-long programme for childcare and education

06/12/2010: Nigeria

On 30 October, in Orlu, the Marist Brothers of Nigeria launched a year-long programme for childcare and education. The 21st General Chapter of the Marist Brothers commits the entire Institute at all levels to promote the rights of children and young people and to advocate these rights in government, non-government and other public institutions.It is no coincidence that the first goal of education for all focuses on the youngest and most vulnerable children, said Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of the UNESCO. “Improving their wellbeing at the earliest age must be an integral and systematic component of education and poverty reduction policies. High-level political endorsement is essential to getting early childhood care and education on the agenda”.The child is the adult of tomorrow. Hence, the year of the child aims specifically: • To draw the attention of the Marist Brothers, apostles of children and young people, to the needs of the child today.• To draw the attention of the Church, mother and teacher (Mater et Magistra) to the needs of the child today, so as to help the programme gain high priority in the Church’s pastoral concern.• To bring the attention of the government and Nigerian society at large to the needs of the child today, so that this concern gets an adequate response in national planning and budgeting.Why now? Education for all; roll back child mortality; reduction of poverty and discrimination against girl children, among others; these form some of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals meant to be achieved in the year 2015.

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