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The Niger state government in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) has trained psychosocial team to provide support to abducted students of Government Science College, Kagara and their families.

Our correspondent reports in Minna on Monday that the one-day training was for evidence building, case management and skills for psychosocial support to abducted children and families.

NAN recalls that 23 students, three staff and eleven members of their families kidnapped on March 17 by gunmen were released unharmed and reunited with their parents.

Hajiya Hannatu Salihu, Commissioner for Education, said the collaboration was with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Child Rights Agency and UNICEF to equip a team of psychosocial experts with skills needed to support the affected victims and their families.

“This psychosocial support is to help the victims overcome the devastating mental and psychological effects on the victims to cope with the deep emotional and scars and adapt to daily lifestyle within a short time,” she said.

She urged the participants to use the knowledge in helping the victims overcome the challenges of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, desperation and mistrust of their immediate environment.

Salihu noted that the collaboration was an effective mechanism for providing strong leadership for psychosocial support for the children outside the school.

Also, Mr Francis Elisha, Education Officer, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, said the objectives of the training were to build capacity of psychosocial personnel to support traumatised children to rebuild their confidence to continue their education.

Similarly, Mr Wilfred Mamah, Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, said the objectives of the training were for participants to understand key psychosocial principles on how to help traumatised children.

He added that other areas were on how to use principles and approaches for psychosocial support for the school children and their families as well as case management data management.

In her presentation, Prof. Hauwa Yusuf, Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Kaduna State University, highlighted the principles and approaches for re-evaluation and counselling and psychosocial support for school children, teachers and family survivors of armed kidnap.

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