TO further actualise the goals of Adolescent and Youth Friendly Health Programme (AYFHP) in Ondo State, the state government and several Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have feted teenage twin authors, who wrote a novel to sensitise peers on girl-child development and sex education.
The authors, Taiwo and Kehinde Adegbola, were celebrated by the state Ministry of Health at the premiere of a soup opera titled: “Make Hay while the Sun Shines,” in Akure, the state capital last week.
Their novel, entitled: “The Stigma that Refuses to go,” as reviewed by the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dayo Adeyanju, will be a complementary effort to the strategies employed by AYFHP to actualise its objectives among the adolescents and youths.
“It is a short play that depicts life and attitude of a girl named Tayo. She was influenced by peer pressure and this made her to end her life sadly, left with an everlasting stigma.”
Taiwo and Kehinde, who are SSS1 students of Federal Government College, Idoani, said they were motivated to make a difference, creating an opportunity for others to learn from their positive belief about life.
The twin authors averred that the 107- page novel will help to instil values in youths and get them properly informed on sex education, imploring the state government to recommend it in the school syllabus.
According to Adeyanju, the ministry purposely created the soap opera, which he said is a 13-week episode, to engage youths throughout their vacation so that they can gainfully use the holidays for self-development and rediscovery.
He hinged the twin occasion on the visions of mother and child initiative that does not only ensure “pregnancy is not a death sentence, but also to monitor the children after birth;” and to dissuade parents from neglecting their wards.
“Children who have no parental attention go from subtle to mild and wild. We build the best houses, ride the best kind of cars but we don’t build our children,” he said, urging the parents to devout more attention to the growth of their wards.
The commissioner disclosed that the lessons in the novel and the 13-week soap opera would help parents, children and society at large to cooperate with government and other critical stakeholders to get rid of child abuse and other child-related crimes.
He averred the commitment of the ministry and AYFHP to partner with the young authors and to develop such talents among young people, declaring that the book will be recommended for all schools in the state.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Mr Steve Awosika, lauded the teenagers for their precocious contribution to the development of the state.
Awosika assured them that the ministry would ensure the book is distributed in all the schools across the 18 LGAs of the state and their libraries.
While the Executive Director of Melville Women Initiative, Chief Mrs Module Adetula, recounted the numbers of cases of child abuses, especially on the girl-child which her NGO has handled in the recent past.
Adetula, who spoke for all other NGOs in the state owned by women, declared that all the NGOs in the state would also partner with the twins and make them role models to other youths in the state on the core values of girl-child development.