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NGO to launch national campaign against drug abuse



Vanguard Against Drug Abuse (VGADA), an NGO, has launched a national campaign to tackle the menace of drug abuse among youths, children and women.

The President of the organisation, Dr Hope Abraham, disclosed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

Abraham said that the campaign, tagged “Nigeria kicks against drug misuse”, was officially launched on May 8 in Benue.

He said the campaign was to raise the level of awareness of the inherent dangers of drug abuse to discourage youths who were the prime victims of the practice.

“The project is also a way of presenting a united front against the menace which had eaten deep into the society.

“The alarming rate at which incidences of drug abuse had permeated the society in recent time is worrisome. The trend calls for caution and needs serious action from government and all stakeholders.

“The engagement approach will be held with stakeholders to deliberate on the menace and proffer likely intervention to tackle it holistically.

“Stakeholders will include parents, youths, patent medicine sellers, pharmacists, commercial drivers and commercial motorcyclists, among others.

“No one will be left out in this fight as we have come up with various strategies which will ensure that youths who are the most vulnerable are reached.

“Their health and optimal development is critical to national development and deserves significant attention,” he said.

Abraham explained that various approaches involving events, engagements and awareness using schools and communities, would be employed for maximum results.

“The approaches to be used will be centred on what youths like to watch and listen to,” he said.

He urged mosques, churches and other religious bodies to dedicate time to enlighten worshippers on drug abuse and canvass support for the fight against the menace.


Food security: NGO distributes farm implements in Nasarawa



Stephen Abraham Narai Agricultural Support Scheme, an NGO, has distributed agricultural implements to 200 farmers in Nasarawa State to boost food production.

Presenting the items in Karu on Saturday, the donor, Mr Stephen Narai said the gesture was to complement Federal Government’s agricultural policy towards attaining national food security.

He urged the beneficiaries to use the implements to boost agricultural activities that would facilitate food production in the state and the country at large.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the items distributed were 80 sprayers, 150 bags of  hybrid maize, 50 cartons of herbicides and 22 bags of fertiliser, among others.

According to him, the scheme is a Karu-based NGO saddled with the responsibility of assisting farmers with agricultural tools to support agricultural activities in the area.

“No farms no food, no food no nation! We aim at focusing on how to address challenges farmers face in terms of provision of tools that can help.

“To encourage farmers improve their farming system as well as to generate income that will make them self-reliant, hence the importance of agriculture to societal development cannot be overemphasised,’’ he said.

Narai assured farmers of the organisation’s readiness to continue to support agricultural policies and programmes that would boost food security in the country.

Speaking at the event, former ASUU chairman, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Dr K’tso Nghargbu, commended the donor for donating the items.

He called on the beneficiaries to make use of the implements as expected to enable them have bumper harvest.

Responding on behalf other beneficiaries, Malam Usman Suleiman and Ms Blessing Amos, commended the organisation for the support and promised to utilise them properly to boost their farming activities.

NAN also reports that the event had in attendance the Deputy Speaker, Youth Assembly of Nigeria, Nasarawa State Chapter, Mr Shuaibu San; the President, National Youth Council of Nigeria, FCT chapter, Mr Umar Jijiwa; and former Overseer of Karshi Development Area, Mr Adamu Abdullahi, among others.

Edited By: Abigael Joshua/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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NGO empowers 23,817 young girls, women in Kaduna



A Kaduna-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), said on Saturday that it had empowered 23,817 young boys, girls, and women in the last 12 years.

The Programme Officer of the NGO, Ms Grace Isah, made this known in a statement in Kaduna, as part of activities to celebrate 12 years of service to humanity.

Isah explained that with the support of partners, committed staff and mentors, EWEI had been delivering multi-sectoral interventions for the empowerment of girls and women.

Over the last 12 years we have watched with humility and thankfulness the 23,817 lives we have been able to touch positively, and this has kept us going.

“We have learned from our mistakes and successes over the years and we will continue to support women and girls access opportunities and resources they need to improve their wellbeing,” she said.

She said that the young girls, boys, and women were empowered under the NGOs various programmes and projects designed to impact positively on their lives.

She explained that EWEI’s Civic Education and Participation for Women Project (CEPWOP) addresses the under-representation of women and excluded groups in the political space.

Through CEPWOP, we are giving voice to women and girls and encouraging them to participate in governance.

Also, EWEI’s Educational Subsidy Programme (ESP) was designed to support girl child education, while the Economic Empowerment Partnership (EEP) programme builds the capacity of women and girls.

EEP assists economically disadvantaged women and out-of-school girls to source for micro-credit facilities as part of effort to help them out of poverty,” she said.

The programme officer added that EWEI also engaged young women and female professionals from Nigeria and around the world via its online chart platform for horizontal learning, networking, exchange, and mentorship.

She further said that the NGO, through its Getting Involved (GI) programme, was supporting and equipping youth to raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals in their communities.

Similarly, since 2011, EWEI’s Know and Say No programme, had been raising awareness and strengthening institutional capacities to address gender-based violence (GBV).

“Our Safe Spaces project (OSS) equally supports women and girl survivors of gender-based violence by providing access to psychosocial support systems and economic empowerment opportunities to facilitate normalisation of their lives,” Isah said.

The officer said that EWEI would continue to encourage girls and women to harness their abilities and take more active roles in decision making and policy formation.

This, she said, would ensure that their voices were heard and taken seriously, following the hardship caused by insecurity, gender-based violence and poverty, as well as the uncertainty created by Coronavirus pandemic.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that EWEI was established in 2008 by Ms Safiya Ibn-Garba, to empower young girls and women through multi-sectoral interventions.

Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Mongolia’s capital holds annual book festival to promote reading amid pandemic




The 27th annual Ulan Bator Book Festival is underway here to promote a reading culture, especially among children and youth, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three-day festival starting on Friday is held both online and offline for the first time, attracting around 500 authors, publishing houses, organizations as well as thousands of readers.

Co-organized by the city’s cultural department and non-governmental organization Nomiin Soyolt Yertunts (World of Book Culture) under the auspices of the country’s education ministry, the festival includes a wide range of activities such as meetings between authors and book lovers, book exhibitions and the launch of new books.

As of Saturday, Mongolia has confirmed 193 COVID-19 infections, including four foreign nationals.

All the cases are imported ones, mostly from Russia, with no local transmissions or deaths reported so far.


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Mongolia reports 2 new COVID-19 cases, 193 in total




Mongolia reported two new cases of COVID-19 over the last 24 hours, taking its total to 193, the country’s National Center for Communicable Disease (NCCD) said Saturday.

“A total of 255 tests for COVID-19 were conducted across the country on Friday and two of them were positive,” the NCCD’s head Dulmaa Nyamkhuu told a daily press conference.

The latest cases are Mongolian students who returned home from Russia via Altanbulag border point on May 28, Nyamkhuu said.

All the confirmed cases in Mongolia, including four foreigners, were imported, mostly from Russia. No local transmissions or deaths have been reported in the country so far.

One more patient has recovered from the disease, raising the total number to 71, said the official.

On March 10, a French national tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Mongolia.


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COVID-19: NGO takes sensitization campaign to market, community, women leaders in Kaduna



An NGO, Second Chance Humanitarian Aid Foundation, on Friday organised a one day seminar on COVID-19 preventive measures for market, community and women leaders in Manchok, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Speaking at the event, Mrs Ladi Bala, founder of the foundation, said that the organisation considered it necessary to complement government efforts in creating awareness on coronavirus at the grassroots.

The founder, who was represented by Banta Bala, Project Coordinator of the Foundation, said people at grassroots needed much sensitisation because of their vulnerability, and creating such awareness would further give them  a sense of belonging.

“The rural dwellers need to be well informed on measures to avoid contracting and transmitting the virus.

“The government is doing her best but the bulk of the responsibility is on the people to do the needful, as such, we considered it needful to contribute our token in the fight against COVID-19,” she said.

Mr Peter Ibrahim, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, harped on the need for behavioral change on the part of members of the public in the face of the pandemic.

“As much as the State Government is considering easing of the lockdown, people’s attitude especially in observing social distancing was a major challenge.

“I commend the organisers of the event, as it is part of government’s plans to engage critical stakeholders including, traditional and religious leaders, market groups and associations, amongst others in combating COVID-19,” he added.

Ibrahim urged participants to leverage on the lessons learnt at the seminar to further educate other members of the community.

Also speaking, Mr Sunday Tabishi, the Council Secretary, Kaura Local Government, commended the initiative, which according to him, was timely.

Tabishi urged the people to exercise more patience as the government was doing all within its power to bring succor to the people, particularly those at the grassroots.

Earlier, Mr Isaac Auta, a member  of the foundation, who spoke on Personal Hygiene, told participants to ensure regular washing of their hands, use of face masks and observe social distancing.

He said although there had not been any reported case of COVID-19 in the area, residents needed to observe the necessary precautionary measures, bearing in mind that the virus was real.

Malam Musa Buga, Head of Manchok market and Mrs Mageret Musa, Head of Women in the market, in their separate responses appreciated the NGO for the sensitisation, noting that it gave them a sense of belonging.

They assured the foundation of judicious use of the items they received and promised to enlighten others on lessons learnt at the seminar.

NAN reports that the seminar tagged, “COVID-19 Intervention Project”, saw presentation of 1,000 face masks as well as 10 hand washing basins to be placed at the Local Government Secretariat and the market place.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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NGO urges FG to introduce free HPV vaccination, screening



A non-governmental organisation, Onyebuchi Chris Ifediora (OCI) Foundation has called on Federal Government to introduce Human Papilomavirus (HPV) vaccine into the national routine immunisation for young girls in the country.

Dr Chirs Ifediora, OCI Founder, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Onitsha on Friday.

Ifediora said more deaths from cervical cancer, which is caused by certain types of HPV, may occur by 2025, if the Federal Government fails to tackle the menace head-on.

“These are not just women, but wives, mothers, sisters, aunties, in-laws, associates and so on.

Ifediora said the government could partner with institutions and international agencies to prevent cervical cancer by ensuring free vaccination, screening and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions as well as treatment of invasive cancer.

“In most developed worlds, these things are free. In Nigeria, we acknowledge that there are challenges but it is doable,” he stressed.

He said his foundation had launched Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign, which seeks to introduce anti-breast and cervical cancer campaigns into the regular curriculum of all senior secondary schools.

Ifediora said the campaign had begun in all eligible schools in Anambra and Benue States and would have been inaugurated last month, but for the COVID-19 lockdown.

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) is also going to introduce some breast and cervical prevention teachings into their three-week orientation program across the country.

“The programme is evidence-based, and has been endorsed by the Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organsation (WHO),” he explained.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)


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World Environment Day marked in Yangon, Myanmar




A tractor works at a dumpsite in Yangon, Myanmar, June 5, 2020. World Environment Day, a United Nations (UN) campaign to raise awareness about the protection of the environment, is celebrated every year on June 5. (Xinhua/U Aung)


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World Environment Day: NGO tasks youths on nature preservation



A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Leadership Entrepreneurship and Advocacy (LEAD) Network, has urged youths to lead advocacy on nature and environment preservation from the community level.

The Executive Director of LEAD Network, Mr Chukwuma Okenwa, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Friday.

Okenwa spoke on the sidelines of the World Environment Day, which is commemorated worldwide on June 5 and this year’s theme is “Celebrating Biodiversity’’.

He said that youths could make a difference even in their local communities by engaging in positive environmental enhancement practices and persuading others to treat the environment with care and respect.

According to him, what can youths do differently? They can educate others on the need to respect our environment, engage in clean-up campaign and finally go and plant a tree.

Okenwa said: “It is instructive that this year’s World Environment Day comes at a time when the world is united in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many nature advocates believe that the only possible benefit of the lockdown, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, is the fact that the earth enjoyed a holiday from human’s constant exploitation.

LEAD Network believes that though our environment has supported us greatly in terms of the air we breathe, food we eat, the water we drink and the sun rays that reach us, there has not been a commensurate kindness and regard to the same environment and nature itself.

“Man is part of the ecosystem. Unfortunately his tendencies to exploit the environment has been without regard to other life forms and posed a threat to sustaining lives under water and on the land in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“Man’s negative and exploitative approach to the environment makes it imperative that youths, who are the active occupiers of the world, must stand up and advocate for positive and sustainable environment that will support them and generation to come’’.

The LEAD Network boss also lamented the “unfortunate’’ mass felling of trees in the country, which would soon result to a threat to the climate and the survival of other forms of life.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)



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President Geingob proposes liquidation of country’s flag carrier Air Namibia



Namibian President, Hage Geingob, has proposed the liquidation of the country’s flag carrier, Air Namibia.

Speaking to lawmakers while giving the State of the Nation Address, Geingob said since the airline was not making a profit, the country could not afford to keep rescuing it.

Air Namibia must be liquidated; we have a serious problem with Air Namibia.

“It must be restructured; it is not making any profits and it is just being bailed out.

“We must do something about it,’’ the President said.

Since October 2019, the airline has been forced to cut its operating costs to the bone after the treasury refused a 2-billion-Namibian-dollar ($118 million) bailout.

The airline had warned in November that it might be forced to shut down operations if it did not receive a rescue package.

The situation has been made dire by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which saw the airline freeze operations for about two months as the country was on lockdown.


Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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