Sterling Bank Plc has reiterated its support for Slum kids celebration of MyFreedomDay, unveiling of portraits of 196 World Leaders held in Lagos.
The bank is backing the children in Ijora-Badia, an underserved high-density settlement in Lagos, who joined their counterparts in other parts of the world to campaign against modern slavery.
The children’s message was on the need to curtail modern slavery by unveiling water colour portraits of 196 World Leaders. which creates the logo of Cable News Network (CNN) when grouped in an exhibition.
Head, Public Relations, Sterling Bank, Adeola Adejokun, said the bank was proud to be associated with the bid to enrich the lives of children in under-serviced communities, such as Ijora-Badia through creativity and exposure to art.
“We are excited by what the children have been able to achieve in just two weeks, and these include drawing, painting, self-expression and creative problem-solving skills. The lives of many among the 196 participants will not remain the same. More invaluable was the opportunity to take the campaign against child labour, forced marriage and domestic servitude, which are all forms of modern slavery, to a community where a large number of vulnerable of children live. We are certain that awareness against modern day slavery has been heightened in Ijora-Badia”, Adejokun disclosed.
The global campaign against modern slavery spread across six continents and 100 countries with the theme #MyFreedomDay is part of the CNN Freedom Project aimed harnessing youths to end slavery.
The campaign drew attention of people, government agencies, and organisations on the need to protect children’s rights. This is the only way to end the new trend of slavery devouring the dignity of children, the bank said.
Director, Slum Art Foundation and four-time Guinness World Record holder, Adetunwase Adenle expressed delight in the ability of unexposed children to create a unique work of art, which showcases their creativity to be productive in their community.
He stated: “The project is one driven by a global scourge which has become prevalent in present day societies where children are being saddled with the responsibility of supporting their homes from a young age rather than living their lives and experiencing the joys of childhood with their peers.’’
Adetunwase appealed to parents and foster parents in underserviced communities and shanties to brace and act more responsibly in protecting the rights of their children and liberate them from compulsion, verbal threats, coercion and other actions or inactions that could rob their children of their childhood unlike their counterparts around the world.
Adenle appreciated the support of Sterling Bank, Flour Mills and Project Volunteers, which made the project a reality, thereby ensuring that the children of Ijora Badia had an exciting experience. He pledged to promote the rights of youths in slums by equipping them with creative skills and education to make them more productive.
Corporate Communications Manager, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Samuel Iboroma added: “We are truly excited to be part of the CNN My Freedom Day Project. While this is a very small step towards raising awareness for the realities surrounding human trafficking, child labour and how it affects children, we believe that it is a step in the right direction. Children like the ones that are taking part in the painting and art deserve the opportunity to grow to their full potential.’’