Through a Medical Outreach tagged 'Hands of Care', the Destiny Trust, under a partnership with health intervention initiative, Dr. Funmi Alakija Foundation, has provided free healthcare to 218 homeless children at a slum on the Elegushi beachfront, Lekki, Lagos.
One thousand packs of personal hygiene materials were also distributed to hundreds of homeless children and families that turned up at the temporary Point of Care set up in the area on Saturday, November 24, 2018.
The initiative was supported by Wellahealth, a health technology solutions company; Doctoora Health, a short-term healthcare facility provider; and Sanitary Aid NG, non-profit providing free sanitary materials to disadvantaged young people.
“The Hands of Care outreach is an intervention to promote the health of homeless children who can hardly access healthcare services," said Abimbola Ojenike, The Destiny Trust Co-founder. "The wellbeing of these children is at the heart of our work of educating, empowering and caring for them. We believe that no child should be held back in life by the scourge of disease.”
While highlighting the urgency for a broad-based approach to address the healthcare challenges of the urban poor children, Ojenike added: “Short-term health interventions only bring a respite to those who desperately and immediately need healthcare and help us to understand the problem more, so that we have the right information for planning for the underserved people.
"Homeless children who live in squalor on the streets and slums would require a more integrated and sustained intervention. This should include addressing the challenges of homelessness and empowering poor households to take care of the children. In the short term, we are expanding the capacity of our in-centre care programmes for homeless children and lending our voice to the development of inclusive communities where the children of the urban poor can live, thrive and participate in the social and economic system of their country."
The Destiny Trust provides care, education and empowerment to homeless children and young people in disadvantaged groups. Rehabilitated street children are provided shelter, daily feeding, education and equipped with skills in computer programming and other vocational fields.
The Trust also operates community-based education and care interventions for homeless children who cannot be accommodated under its in-centre care programmes.