As well as their Esteem Clubs for older children, ACET Nigeria trains and supports volunteers to run Children’s Clubs for those between the ages of 5 and 12.
16 new Children’s Clubs were formed in the latter half of 2021, adding to the existing 40 clubs, expanding this outreach in underserved, rural areas considerably, enabling ACET to now reach 1,688 children.
The clubs provide a safe place for children to play, make friends, develop relationship skills, and learn how to keep themselves healthy. The clubs also provide much-needed homework support, helping the children consolidate and understand their learning from school.
The children often feedback that they get much more attention during homework support at the clubs than they do at school (the average school class size in Nigeria is 51, with some states reporting much higher numbers).
10-year-old Eric: "My grandparents take care of me and feed me well. When I was with my father and my stepmother I hardly ate and no one used to bathe me. Children’s Club taught me how to bath, to be clean, and take care of my body. I learnt that the only way one can know he has no HIV is to go for HIV testing.
Before Children’s Club, I did not have confidence in my abilities because I am small but now I have confidence that I can do many things. I now believe that both boys and girls can work around the house, go to school and do any job they choose to do. Girls and boys are equal in value. I have learnt to cook, I hope to be a caterer.
Even though the homework support from the Children’s Club takes my time of rest at home, it is very helpful because I understand more here than at school. I feel safe and happy here as I know an adult who I can trust and talk to if I am having issues."