The Executive Director of the Victims Support Fund, VSF, Sunday Ochoche, says the fund will scale up its interventions and activities in the North East in 2017.
He made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Abuja, explaining VSF’s line up of activities and interventions for 2017.
Mr. Ochoche said VSF scale up of activities will include establishing VSF offices in the North East, increasing the engagement of local partners, improving the education, protection and health interventions.
“We have to scale up a number of our programmes this year; in the first quarter we are going to establish our offices in the North East.
“We would be establishing an office in Maiduguri, and another in Yola, the office in Maiduguri will be coordinating our interventions in Borno, Yobe and Bauchi.
“The one in Yola will be coordinating Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe.
“We are also increasing the level of local partners, the NGOs that will be our eyes and ears on ground with the sufficient empowerment to help us work closely with communities, local agencies to implement our programmes.
“Our programmes are being scaled up in the area of education where we would be increasing the number of pupils and students that we support and the reconstruction of the number of schools,” Mr. Ochoche said.
Besides, the executive director said in addition to rebuilding schools, provision of school books and materials it would enhance the capacity of teachers by taking them in through refreshers trainings.
He said the training would be done in collaboration with appropriate institutions like the National Teachers Institute to further equip the teachers to deliver effectively.
Mr. Ochoche said VSF supported the Federal Ministry of Health to develop intervention measures for the ministries of health in the region and would ensure the implementation of the frameworks in the states.
He said the issues of protection remain very key to the Fund as it is already running some foster care programmes in 2016 that would also be scaled up in the year.
“We are doing some pilot programmes in a few local governments to support the victims of sexual violence and will also be receiving considerable attention in the area of peace building.
“Peace building is one that we will move into especially as people are beginning to return, we want to want work toward ensuring that there is more seamless engagement between the returning communities.
“We have already had challenges in some communities where Muslims and Christians have separate market days and as we know, a society cannot function efficiently under such circumstances,” Mr. Ochoche said.
He explained that there may not be new areas of intervention but there would be a significant scaling up of VSF’s interventions like expanding its agricultural support project.
Mr. Ocheche said the funds would restructure its Women Economic Empowerment Programme to move beyond an individual support to a more community driven intervention.
He appreciated kind hearted Nigerians who have made their donations for the assistance of the victims of insurgency as the little amount speaks more than the individuals who make big pledges and fail to redeem.
He said VSF has been very transparent in its activities and this had made more Nigerians and international organisation to have trust in the foundation, and it would encourage them to donate to its activities.
Mr. Ocheche said that VSF still has a long way to go in the recovery of unredeemed pledges.