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NGO Trains Military Wives On Mental Health, Psychological Support in Abuja

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Joel Ajayi

In its effort to support and equip Nigeria’s women on mental health, psychological, a non-governmental organization known as ”The Support Nest Initiative” has trained officers’ wives in Abuja to help them navigate through peculiarities of military marriages as well as life.

 

The 5-day training which took place inside the Lungi Barracks focuses on the mental health of the Nigerian Military wives and will enable them to become first respondents and lay counsellors in their communities.

Speaking on Friday at the end of, the awareness, the Director of the organization, Bukola Ugbuji said that objective of the training is to the mental awareness and support to a person suffering from mental health illnesses, especially service, women, and their families.

She lamented that the mental health of the military wife has been neglected and as one of the officer’s wives who know the pains and would not want others to pass through the same.

According to her, while the military has psychologists and psychiatrists to look after the men, it seems as their families are neglected. At the end of the day, there are not enough military psychologists to go round.

“We are going to set up groups and distribute fliers and notification to people across the Barracks. We will tell them to call a particular number if they need to talk. The number will be routed to the women who will then be able to offer to counsel.

“Living and caring for the family member experiencing Pos-TrumaticStress Disorder PSTD could be challenging, that is why we have compiled the list of ways to support the affected family member.”

She revealed that that the organization also holds sensitization workshops and campaigns within the barracks and military formations to raise awareness of mental health issues particularly those common within the military.

Mrs. Ugbuji, the mental health enthusiast added that the 24 women have been trained to become lay counselors who will go into their communities and offer the first line of support to members of their community.

Speaking earlier, the facilitator and Special Programmes Coordinator for ILERA Community Health Initiative, Nigeria, Yomi Oloko revealed that its programme which was funded by the African Foundation for Development, UK was aimed at supporting training on mental health, a topic which is necessary especially with the trauma and stress of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stated that the women are trained to be lay counselors, explaining that the lay counsellors were ordinary people who want to be a helper or support people who have mental issues by listening to them and urging them to open up and talk to find their own solution to the issues they face.

“Lay counsellors are important particularly now that we had a lot of issues around depression and anxiety, especially with the COVID-19. A lot of people are worried and they need people they can talk to sometimes, they need independent or neutral people.”

One of the participants, Kauna Ottah, commended the organization for the training saying it will go a long way to help her handle people with mental health issues.

“Also, our personnel who are out there in the Northeast and Northwest might come back with trauma because of what they have experienced. The training is a welcome development because it is going to have a positive impact on our soldiers, we the spouse and our families.”

 

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Pre-COP Conference reinforces Nigeria’s role as global climate leader – Tinubu’s aide

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Joel Ajayi Comrade Yussuf Kelani, the recently appointed Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Climate Change Matters, attended the UNFCCC SB60 Pre-COP conference.

As a former President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) and a dedicated environmental activist, Kelani’s presence at the conference marks a significant step in Nigeria’s climate action journey.

The Pre-COP conference brought together representatives from various nations and stakeholders in climate action and environmental sustainability from around the globe.

This pivotal event was held in preparation for the UNFCCC COP29, scheduled to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November 2024. The primary focus of the conference was to develop and refine the implementation framework for the global climate finance roadmap.

The year 2024 is set to be a landmark year for climate finance, with countries agreeing on a new global climate finance goal known as the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG). This goal is expected to be a crucial marker for a successful outcome at COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The NCQG aims to mobilize significant financial resources to support the climate needs and priorities of developing countries, including mitigation, adaptation, addressing loss and damage, and facilitating just transitions.

A key objective of the NCQG is to provide clarity on the public funding available for developing countries to implement their next round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and adaptation plans, which are due by February 2025. At COP28, countries agreed to submit their NDCs 9-12 months ahead of COP30, highlighting the urgency and importance of these commitments.

Our participation in the SB60 Pre-COP conference underscored Nigeria’s proactive stance in global climate negotiations. Our involvement facilitated Nigeria’s engagement with global leaders, policymakers, and climate experts, enhancing collaborative efforts and reinforcing Nigeria’s commitment to climate action.

President Tinubu’s SA on Climate Change Matters highlighted that Nigeria’s active participation in the conference has yielded several benefits, including increased access to climate finance.

The discussions at the conference focused on securing substantial financial resources for developing nations through the NCQG. For Nigeria, this translates into enhanced funding for projects aimed at mitigation, adaptation, and resilience-building. These funds are crucial for Nigeria to achieve its climate targets and transition towards a low-carbon economy.

Another significant aspect of Nigeria’s participation in the SB60 Pre-COP conference was the emphasis on technological innovation and capacity building. Engaging with international experts and stakeholders allowed Nigeria to gain insights into the latest advancements in clean energy technologies, climate-smart agriculture, and sustainable urban development. These insights are vital for driving domestic climate initiatives and ensuring that Nigeria leverages cutting-edge technologies to address its unique challenges.

The outcomes of the SB60 Pre-COP conference align closely with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s agenda for climate change and Nigeria’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Climate action is intricately linked to multiple SDGs, including those related to poverty eradication, food security, clean water, and sustainable cities. By advancing its climate agenda, Nigeria is simultaneously driving progress towards achieving these interconnected goals.

Investments in renewable energy, for instance, not only mitigate greenhouse gas emissions but also provide access to affordable and clean energy, fostering economic growth and reducing poverty. Similarly, sustainable agricultural practices enhance food security and promote responsible land use, contributing to SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). These integrated approaches ensure that climate action efforts also deliver socio-economic benefits, thereby promoting holistic development.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is committed to leveraging these gains to implement effective and inclusive climate policies that benefit all Nigerians. Nigeria’s active engagement in global climate forums underscores its dedication to being a leader in climate action and a champion of sustainable development.

As posted on the Facebook page of Comrade Kelani Yussuf,
Special Assistant to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Climate Change Matters

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