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by June 12, 2010
Stepping Stones Nigeria is dedicated to supporting the rights of vulnerable and exploited children, such as the so called child witches and wizards of the Niger Delta. Working with local community organizations, we deliver education, shelter, healthcare and hope for a brighter future. Through advocacy and research we passionately campaign at a local, national and international level to put a stop to the abuse of innocent children.
We see a world where every child is free. By focusing our efforts in the Niger Delta we hope to establish an effective model to eradicate the stigmatisation of children as witches and wizards, while inspiring and supporting others elsewhere in similar circumstances.
Our approach focuses on four main themes:
Street Children: Working with the Child Rights and Rehabilitation Network (CRARN) and our sister NGO - Stepping Stones Nigeria Child Empowerment Foundation (SSNCEF) to protect, save and transform the lives of children who have been stigmatised as being witches.
Education: Supporting the Stepping Stones Model School and the Bebor International Model Schools to provide an outstanding level of education to orphans and disadvantaged children.
Literacy: Training and resourcing primary school teachers in the use of synthetic phonics to significantly raise literacy levels.
Advocacy and Campaigning: Advocating for child rights at a local, regional, national and international level through our Prevent Abandonment of Children Today (PACT) campaign.
Stepping Stones Nigeria is a young charity, which has come a long way in a short space of time. The idea behind Stepping Stones Nigeria began in 2003 when Gary Foxcroft, the current Program Director of the charity, spent 3 months in Akwa Ibom State carrying out research in community perceptions of the oil industry as part of the British Council Funded Lancaster University - University of Uyo Link Programme.
During this time Gary visited numerous schools and was shocked at the lack of resources and low teacher morale. He also came across groups of young children, some as young as four or five, sleeping rough on the streets. A head teacher, Grace Udua, who lived in the same compound as Gary during his research visit, offered to donate her family land for a school for disadvantaged children such as orphans and street children. Gary vowed to return to Nigeria one day to help such children. After returning to the UK, Gary teamed up with Naomi Chapple and decided that they would work together to set up the charity, which was named Stepping Stones Nigeria, in order to help meet the needs of disadvantaged children in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. For more about how this was achieved please see Our History
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