GLOBAL POLICIES ON THE FAMILY
The Sustainable Development Goals treats the family as one of the most important determinants of development. A summary of the report of the Year 2016 FAMILY EXPERT GROUP MEETING sponsored by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs points out that ”Poverty disrupts family functioning. It results in a reduction of stability, security, quality time together as well as access to resources. It may result in risky behaviors. Despite negative effects on family functioning, most anti-poverty programs have focused on the individual rather than a family as a unit, or typically focus on women and children.
It continues: ”The post-2015 development agenda can benefit from family
centered interventions with a number of family policies helping with
poverty reduction in many of its dimensions. Primarily, it is vital to create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional, and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies. Policies targeting families in social protection provision and access to basic services have had the largest impact on family poverty reduction.
According to World Value Surveys, the family remains the most
important institution, valued by the society, in particular in Latin America. Nevertheless, Governments do not invest in families in line with this societal perspective. Strengthening of family stability, and improving of communicational and behavioral skills of family members could contribute to developing individual and relational capacities, which would in turn have a positive impact on other areas of well-being and social life. (Pix credit: The Guardian Newspaper)
For over 36 months, TERRIFIC HEADLINES, an information outfit established and headed by Femi Adelegan, a professional communicator has continually preached family values and virtues on its network. Adelegan, strategic planner, publisher, author, and writer, has had a long walk in the corridors of power as Chief Press Secretary to four consecutive governors of Osun State from 1994-2000; after which he served as Chief Private Secretary/Special Adviser (Policies, Programmes and Plans Implementation to the governor of Osun State from 2003-2010. In this compilation, Adelegan unfolds details about the family values campaign that is being promoted by his information outfit. – TERRIFIC HEADLINES & Associate Channels
Origin of the family values campaign by Terrific Headlines and associate channels
This idea actually dropped on my mind in the first quarter of 2018 while reflecting. I try to read any literature that comes my way, except it is esoteric or too technical. I get influenced by that. Then, each time I have travelled out of Nigeria, I observed how things work and how citizens of those developed nations conduct themselves. It occurs to me, from my observations that our hard-earned democracy would achieve the objectives we set only if we devise appropriate remedies for our perceived shortcomings. It is important that we discuss our changing social, economic and political circumstances in order to reconcile all opposing interests and assuage our various feelings. And it seems to me that we could commence this process from our individual homes. And it is never too late for any parent, no matter how old, to get closer to the children or even grandchildren. What we are saying is that we cannot be too busy to take care of our families. We must pay attention to our families, to our children. In the words of Elder Felix Ohiwerei, any nation that neglects its children is destroying its future.
On Passion for family values:
Like I have explained, I have a very strong passion for reading and writing cultivated over the years. I also believe that Nigeria is a country that is destined to be great by the grace of God. My social life is almost nil, and that has been prompted by some unfortunate incidents of the loss of my beloved junior ones in the 1990s. I just discovered that I started withdrawing from the social scene and my old friends and extended family members kept wondering what was happening and some counted this against me. The situation was such that if anybody knocked on my door, the sound reverberated in my heart and I was told it was the tremendous shock that I experienced that caused that. At that time, I was Chief Press Secretary in Osogbo and was living alone in my official apartment. I never wanted to entertain visitors any longer. But I knew what I went through and my decision to embrace Jesus Christ fully brought me out of that unpleasant situation. I was in a state of shock for 3 years and I could have died of heart attack but for God. How many people would I explain this to? The responsibility for socials got devolved to my wife till today, and I encouraged my siblings, relations, and church members to deal with her on socials and functions generally; while I pay attention to working on my computer to make a living. So, I have kept on reading and reading and got more deeply involved with serving my God. Again, that state of shock was brought about by the deep love I had for my junior brothers, who were excellent first-class brains; but God knows best. Our bond was the result of family values.
On the campaign for family values:
It is a product of reflections. I also want to believe that my interest is being influenced by nature and nurture. I had parents who demonstrated those virtues and who appeared inseparable. They wore same clothes, went out together; were at the dining table same time and so on. But I feel the fast life that we now live do not permit of total emulation because of some complex situations but we could at least imbibe most of those things our old ones did. Like Baba Obafemi Awolowo appreciating his wife as his ‘’jewel of inestimable value’’ things like that. I decided that I should lead an advocacy and public enlightenment campaign to promote family values as part of our mandate of encouraging virtues and values that are worth emulating for the purpose of re-orientating the society, particularly the growing ones. How do we redistribute wealth? How do we bring up the younger ones to believe in us the older generation?
All over the world, most of those engaged in parental responsibilities have not really played their parts well. The effect of the invasion of the airwaves by the foreign media has resulted into grave problems such as armed robberies, violence, and other wrong attitudes. It is our conviction, that there is the need to engage the relevant segments of the society in the conscious move to combat this dangerous phenomenon. Women are the pillars of families and are best placed to sensitize the citizenry on the role of family units in preventing security breaches. Parents, as well as parental figures like teachers, priests, peers and the media play prominent parts in influencing the society, particularly through bringing up the child. My parents were strong influences in the lives of their children. They were inseparable as they wore the same clothes all the time, were at the dining table together, went out together and earned one another’s respect ad confidence. They were very sincere in their relationship as husband and wife.
Our dad was a man of very high integrity who was an educationist and Deputy Speaker Western Region House of Assembly taught us to avoid blemish by all means. Only God empowers. Human beings will remain human beings and God will forever be GOD. And so, it is only GOD ALMIGHTY that must take the glory. You will find on the first page of my book publications my appreciation to the Creator to Whom I am hugely indebted: ‘’Who am I oh Lord, and what is my house that you have brought me this far? 2 Samuel 7:18. It was that great preacher Charles Spurgeon who said: ‘’ If you ask your fellow mortals to justify you, what can they do? You can make some of them speak well of you for small favours, and others will backbite you for less. ‘’Their judgment is not worth much.’’ They taught us that there will always be rough times and hard tackles and whenever we were disturbed, our dad would ask: ‘’Where is your God? Only God justifies.
On challenges: There will always be constraints in the lives and programmes of human beings because we are not God. Nobody is going through this world unchallenged. Periodically, God permits challenges to arise so that we can magnify His holy name. But every challenge has a bus stop and expiry period. During these periods, all sorts of things happen that test your faith as a child of God. But we are taught not to put our trust in man, but in Jesus Christ, who is able to calm every storm. People must disappoint. Only God never disappoints and He creates ways of rewarding faithfulness. Being alive alone is worthy of praise to God given all I have gone through in life. By the reckoning of man, I am not supposed to be alive. And that is one of the reasons I quote my favourite Bible verse in which I appreciate God all the time. It is boldly inscribed on the opening pages of every book that the Holy Spirit has enabled me to author: ‘’Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?’’ So, we continue to hold on to Jesus Christ who is the Author and Finisher of our faith and who knows all things and who can do all things. I have come to discover that most of those things that thrill people no longer seem important to me. It is better to give God full control of our lives.
PROVERB 22: 6 states that: ‘’Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it’’ As a result of our belief that family units and values are indispensable, TERRIFIC HEADLINES working through this channel has been proactively engaged in the campaign for family values for over three years. . We are convinced that Nigerians, including citizens in the Diaspora, and indeed AFRICA need to be mobilized for development. A new attitude and a new orientation are required for sustainable growth and development. We believe that every reasonable person must be socially responsible. The problem is that youths now look for the easiest way to make money. It is also very sad to note that several people commit innocent mistakes by aiding and supporting social and criminal and social vices without knowing that they are really doing so. We are the sole sponsors but we believe that partnerships and sponsorships would go a long way in sustaining this agenda in the national and global interests
THEREFORE, OUR NGO — TERRIFIC HEADLINES INITIATIVE FOR FAMILY VALUES, GLOBAL PEACE & DEVELOPMENT also caters for the following
•Promote Family Values and unity of couples
•Educate the target audience including parents, as well as parental figures like teachers, priests, peers and the media play prominent parts in influencing the society, particularly through bringing up the child
Promote Peace & Understanding through a public enlightenment & sensitisation campaign to prevent and attack criminal and social vices
•Promote greater involvement of women in national development and resolution of chronic issues. Women are the pillars of families and are best placed to sensitize the citizenry on the role of family units in preventing security breaches.
Promote activities that support gender equality, empowerment and youth development
•Promote and support Initiatives that promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals with regard to family values
Support activities that that reduce poverty; including skills acquisition
•Promote issues dealing with deradicalization of the young ones, An analogy: If you remove all criminals who are adults, what happens to those who have been indoctrinated and are waiting to blossom to replace the older renegades
Promote the ideals of the African Union as they pertain to 2063 Agenda of the organization
Get involved in UN/UNESCO’s Agenda for the Decade of People of African Descent – 2015-2024
•Promote Good Governance which is the necessary ingredient for development
•Collaborate with organizations with similar objectives for the prosecution of the objectives stated above