Thu. May 23rd, 2024

By Ojukwu Emmanuel Chiadikaobi

 

The Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (Canuk), an umbrella body for the Nigerian diaspora, has reported a sharp increase in membership inquiries following two highly impactful online seminars aimed at addressing key issues faced by Nigerian families and individuals in the UK.

Established in 2005 by the Nigeria High Commission in the United Kingdom, Canuk has played a pivotal role in supporting and uniting Nigerians across the UK under a single representational body. This initiative ensures the community’s welfare and interests are effectively voiced and managed.

The first seminar, held on May 4 and chaired by Canuk’s Vice Chair of Associations, Flora Njoku, focused on “Support for New and Existing Nigerian Families in the UK: Preventing Child Safeguarding Breaches and Understanding UK Social Services Interventions.” The session drew notable figures such as Ekanem Robertson of Africans Against Child Abuse (Afruca), Tolulope Abegunde of the Association of Nigerian Healthcare and Socialcare Workers (ANHCSCW), Juliet Benson from the British Nigerian Law Forum, and Oluyemisi Jenkins of the Home Office. Nearly 300 attendees benefited from their insights on navigating complex child safeguarding and social services issues.

Ms. Njoku highlighted the impact of the seminar, noting, “The practical knowledge shared was crucial for the safety and well-being of Nigerian families in the UK, prompting many to inquire about joining Canuk member organizations.”

Following the success of the first event, Canuk hosted a second seminar on May 11, focusing on legal issues faced by Nigerians in the UK. The session, led by Canuk’s legal advisor, Kayode Okenla, featured discussions on employment in the care industry, UK immigration laws, and general settlement advice by solicitors Elizabeth Eigbefoh, Jennifer Obaseki, Emmanuel Sodola, and Jennifer Okafor.

Both seminars have significantly boosted interest in Canuk’s activities, with the secretariat receiving numerous emails from potential members. According to Rose Graham, Canuk’s publicity secretary, the response has been overwhelming. “Our vice chair, associations, has been tirelessly directing newcomers on how to engage with Canuk via member organizations based on their state of origin, profession, and UK location.”

Canuk’s website and dedicated email, info@canukonline.co.uk, have become essential resources for those seeking to join the community, underscored by a recent uptick in the number of registered associations.

Looking ahead, Canuk plans to hold its annual general meeting on June 8, 2024, aboard a River Thames cruise, with about 140 organizations expected to participate.

The surge in interest and active participation in Canuk’s activities highlights the vital role the organization plays in ensuring the well-being and success of the Nigerian community in the UK.

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