No fewer than eight Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have embarked on counselling of youths in Ogun State against cultism and other vices.
Under the umbrella of the Nationwide Teenage Sensitization (NATES) Project, leaders of the NGOs urged the youths of Mosunmore in Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area, who recently reportedly engaged in cultism to pursue education for their progress and put the name of their community in better perspectives.
The Chairperson, Gender Development Initiative, Dr. Olubunmi Ashimolowo, Founder, Initiative for Peace and Comfort, and Dr. Comfort Adenike Onifade, were part of the team to the community where they were received by parents, leaders and the Baale of Mosunmore, who was represented on the occasion.
Others in the team were Prof. Olufemi Sunday Onifade, Miss Oluwafunmibi Ojewale, Mr. Patrick Igoh, Mrs. Anu Dammy-Adekunle, Mr. Segun Ashimolowo, Mrs. Rasiat Bolanle Fasasi, and Miss Eyitayo Adewoye.
In a chat with journalists, Ashimolowo said the team, which included Gender Development Initiative, Young Future Builder’s Initiative, Gender Vanguard, CDS Group (NYSC), Charity Foundation, Adeline Foundation, Wake-Up Call Africa Initiative, and Initiative for Peace and Comfort (IPC), visited the community to provide trauma recovery counselling sessions to victims of cultism, rape cum defilement and other forms of abuse.
She added that they went to the community to collaborate with other important stakeholders in rapid response; provide access to support in cases of abuse in respect to teenagers; reduce the impact of sexual, domestic and family violence on all teenagers; and focus on prevention with respect to teenagers.
According to her, the team counselled on steps to stop the violence before it starts, how to provide resources and support those who have experienced cultism, rape and defilement.
She also said that the group of NGOs spoke about establishing safety and recovery mechanisms, and counselled those who use violence to change their behaviors. Efforts were also made to increase access to, and improve justice for victims of abuse.
Ashimolowo, who is a lecturer at the Federal University of Agriculture, said that various speakers counselled the youths, parents and residents of Mosunmore on the dangers of cultism and the urgent need for them to shun social vices that would damage their names and their community.