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Children key to societal behavioural change, says expert

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Children key to behavioural change, says expert

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Kaduna, June 11, 2019 Dr Steve Daniel, a Communication for Development (C4D) expert, has called for inclusion of children’s views in creating development messages devoid of politics.

Daniel, Theatre Art lecturer at Ahmadu University (ABU), Zaria, made the call in a presentation at the ongoing C4D training for Civil Society Organisations in Kaduna State on Tuesday in Zaria.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the four-day event is organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and supported by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The training, according to the organisers, is meant to strengthen the capacity of the CSOs on C4D, improve their knowledge on essential family practices to develop a C4D 2020 plan.

Steve said that in developing communication messages that can aide behavioural change in the society.

“It is important that you listen to children and hear their views because they are books that society needs to read.

“The children often speak from a perspective that is not couch in politics, is not coming from a predetermined political and religious perspective.

“They are brought up in religious and moral ways, but they don’t speak that way.

“In terms of development, children can talk freely if they are given the opportunity.

“They can talk in perspective we always need as parents. Most times parents want to impose their views on children.

“Yet sometimes parents also realise that once children say things, it touches them, it gets them to reflect,” the expert said.

According to him, children provide solutions to fundamental issues that affect society during their play period.

Over 40 members of two coalitions of CSOs; namely, Kaduna State Accountability Mechanism (KADMAM), and Maternal and Child Health Civil Society Partnership (MCH-CS), are participating in the training.

Alhaji Isah Gidado, Secretary of KADMAM, said the training had created opportunity for CSOs to understand the challenges in communicating messages that change people’s behaviours.

Gidado said CSOs working with communities would have better skills to identify and analyse health challenges in communities.

The CSOs would also be built; new skills that would help them identify the best stakeholders and mediums to address health challenges among children and women in communities in the state.

“We as CSOs really appreciate UNICEF and NOA, for this capacity building on communication for development.

“It will really help us in tackling problems in the various communities where we work,” Gidado said.

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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