UNIC Lagos, in collaboration with the NGO – Women’s Board Educational Co-operation Society (NGO in Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the UN, working for the development of the Nigerian woman), organized an NGO/Media Forum on Wednesday 15 May on the Preparations of the twentieth anniversary of the Year of the Family and the Observance of the International Day of Families 2013.
The forum was held to create awareness of this anniversary and spread the importance of the family in the society in the context of the themes to guide the preparations for the twentieth anniversary, which are: confronting family poverty and social exclusion; ensuring work-family-balance; advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity of which the theme for 2013 International Day of the Family is “Advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity”.
About 61 participants including NGOs, Civil Society and Media organizations attended the forum, which was held at the UNIC Lagos.
Guest speakers were Dr. Franca Attoh, a Lecturer at the Department of Sociology, University of Lagos, who spoke on “Advancing Social Integration and Intergenerational Solidarity”; and Dr. Oscar Nliam, who has a doctorate in Law, and is a senior associate at Kenna Partners, Barrister/Solicitors, spoke on “The Family in the Nigerian Law: The Legal Mechanisms for empowering the Nigerian Children through Education”.
In her speech, Dr. Attoh spoke about the Marginalization and Identity Crisis of our youth who are neither Nigerians nor Westerners. She proffers a solution by suggesting that a policy of mentoring should be established so as to encourage the older generation to work with young persons in order to impact knowledge and entrust them with certain roles. ‘The youths being the future of this great country, we cannot but shape them right’. Dr. Attoh is of the opinion that in this 21st century, society should look beyond these two factors (that is Social integration and intergenerational solidarity) and begin to focus on new frontiers such as bridging the general space and resuscitating the core values such as integrity, hard work, fortitude and justice which hitherto were the bedrock of the human society.
Dr. Nliam, in his speech enumerated the International and Domestic laws on Education. Education being a fundamental Human Right. He dealt extensively on Education as tool to empower the families and how the Nigerian Law supports this tool but this must not be regarded as a government function but as a function of all citizens concerned.
Dr. Nliam went further to stress that education was a tool for empowerment and should aim to impact positive change morally, socially and intellectually on the child. It should also aim to stimulate critical attitudes in young children, inculcate the habit of social solidarity, tolerance and integration for a better and peaceful society. He concluded with a quote from ‘Hosea Ballon’ that says: “Education commences at mothers knee, and every word spoken within the hearsay of little children should tend towards the formation of character”. This should be the aim of any responsible parent.
The discussions, remarks and questions after the speeches gave credence and support to the speeches of the Speakers.