LAS VEGAS — In 2008, Doctor Bonaventure Enemali set out to establish an organization that would give Africa’s children a reason to look forward to their future. It became the African Child Social Empowerment Center, or ACSEC, located in Nigeria, working to improve the social development of young children in Nigeria and throughout Africa.
Dr. Enemali recognized the importance that education and useful skills and talents played in the development of children when he completed his education in Nigeria. However, he also found that services that provided children with these resources were considerably lacking in the country, and those that did exist, needed a substantial boost in support. With the help of partners in education, health and community and social development, Dr.Enemali successfully founded ACSEC, out of the desire to teach and cultivate within African children an appreciation for their skills, talents and abilities.
Dr. Enemali said, “Every child aspires to be great while growing up but situations sometimes make their dream not to be achieved. The whole idea about African Child (sic) was borne out of my passion to help advantage and disadvantaged children and youths imagine their future as they deserve it.”
The ACSEC is known for its programs that promote the growth of children based on moral principles. One of the critical issues the ACSEC was designed to tackle is dependency among women and young people. In many households throughout Nigeria, men earn the principle or most substantial income, which leaves women and children dependent on them for support. However, according to Dr. Enemali, the necessity of providing for someone other than one’s self, leads many men to corrupt practices of earning money in order to generate more income for their families.
Therefore, the ACSEC aims to hone the skills that are needed for children to break the cycle of dependency, by promoting education, skills training and team building. The ACSEC’s biggest project, the Good Education for Africa Project, offers basic educational training to adults and youth as well as sensitization programs that focus on HIV/AIDS awareness and other health related issues.
Not only does the ACSEC work to provide educational services, but it also hosts a variety of activities and sports for youths to participate in. Last year’s events were attended by over 1,000 children and young adults, engaging in sports such as soccer, basketball and table tennis. These sporting events allow them to be engaged in activities that are fun but also enhance their self-esteem.
Recently, the ACSEC hosted the African Child Awards, which recognized the achievements of other individuals committed to advocating for the social development of children in Africa, so that they have the potential to be assets to their communities. Award recipients included founders of other NGOs, such as Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, the wife of the governor of Anambra State in Nigeria, whose organization Caring Family Enhancement Initiative helps families that are less privileged.
Since its inception, the ACSEC has grown substantially and now provides twelve well developed projects, ranging from self-awareness and family counseling projects to entrepreneurship and music clubs. Social involvement can have a profound impact on the way a child sees the world, therefore organizations like the ACSEC must be acknowledged for doing their part in developing positive, productive and well-formed communities.
– Candice Hughes
Sources: African Child Social Empowerment Centre, African Child Social Empowerment CentreThe Guardian