Taiwo Akinlami’s intimate, focused and committed interaction with the cause of Child Protection began 17 (seventeen) years ago when he had presence of mind and serenity of spirit to take a critical look at his life and found that he had been deeply messed by his childhood upbringing and abuse. He surrendered his life to Christ and began the journey of finding healing for his troubled soul.
Therefore his first interaction with Child Protection was not as a practitioner, thinker, trainer or consultant. Having suffered acute physical abuse, dehumanizing emotional abuse, damaging sexual abuse and constant neglect as a child, his adulthood was messed up. When he attained adulthood, he was yet a child. Akinlami learnt from his personal experience of what he called ‘delayed childhood’ that adulthood does not happen by age but by maturity. According to him, maturity simply means to appreciate the universal principles, which God has put in place to govern the affairs of this world and make an informed commitment to adhere to them.
It was in the process of seeking healing that he found Child Protection. How? He found that the main reason why primary and secondary caregivers abuse children is that they are not aware that their number one responsibility to the child is to protect him/her. He also found that for the primary and caregivers to give full expression to the responsibility of child protection, they need knowledge, skills and attitude and for them to acquire the foregoing, they must be taught.
He further discovers that such enlightenment effort must set out to achieve a two-fold result: first to diagnose and bring the message of healing to the primary and secondary caregivers, who are most likely treating their children today, same way they were treated yesterday; secondly, to help today’s primary and secondary caregivers to build a Belief System, which sees the protection of children as a sacrosanct and inevitable responsibility of the primary and secondary caregivers.
The foregoing discoveries gave birth to the Taiwo Akinlami APPROACH to Child Protection.
Taiwo Akinlami APPROACH defines Child Protection: Child protection refers to, EVERY step DELIBERATELY and CONSISTENTLY taken by the FAMILY, COMMUNITY, STATE and INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, BASED on KNOWLEDGE, SKILL, GOOD CONSCIENCE, PROMPTNESS, INNER STRENGTH and an UNALLOYED COMMITMENT to the PRESENT and the FUTURE of the CHILD to PROTECT through a FORTIFIED SYSTEM of PREVENTION and EARLY INTERVENTION aimed at PROTECTING the child from ALL FORMS OF ABUSE, NEGLECT, EXPLOITATION, VIOLENCE AND EVERYTHING THAT IS CONTRARY TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD, WHETHER THEY APPEAR AS ABUSE OR NOT.
Child’s Rights and Child Protection: The Link
The core of his APPROACH is the philosophy that a people’s experience of childhood upbringing, which forms their prevailing BELIEF SYSTEM, ultimately determines their disposition to children. This BELIEF SYSTEM, which is also known as values and culture must be taken into adequate and compulsory consideration in finding lasting solutions to child protection issues in every part of the world.
Taiwo Akinlami believes that in matters of child protection, the target of all our efforts must be the conscience of the people, with a commitment to stare a revolution, which must change their BELIEF SYSTEM to align with the universal principle of doing all things at all times in the best interest of the child.