A CRY TO SAVE OUR SOULS
As an NGO in charge of Child/Youth Development and Empowerment, we have many out-of-school children and young persons. Most of them go hungry every passing day as they barely complete one and half square meal, let alone of the normal three square meals. In Nigeria, people don’t talk about balanced diet; rather, let there be something in the stomach.
Hunger and homelessness can make a man do incredible things just as the saying goes; “a hungry man, is an angry (confused, stupid, poorly-mental) man.”
I the writer of this public request for fund, am an accountant by profession and has donated almost all my recent income to help save lives of some of these helpless children and young persons.
Last week, as the foundation was carrying out The Humanitarian (Monthly) Feeding and Clothing Support Program in some local areas of Lagos State, like Ilasamaja, Isolo, amongst others, we met one of the most shocking incident or miracle (whichever way you may call it). As the members were distributing food and clothes,
I noticed a particular girl who was so busy grabbing both clothes and food as much as she can into her tattered bag of which she kept in the custody of another smaller girl. Suddenly, I was moved with compassion upon sighting the condition of the bag and asked a volunteer among us to keep an eye on her and never allow her leave the muster point until we are through with our humanitarian activity for that very locality.
According to our custom, at the end of every program in any location, we always look out for anyone whose condition is more critical than others so that we can intervene as much as we can since we are not financially buoyant currently. After the little girl narrated their ordeal, some of our female members and volunteers could not control their tears.
The two little girls (names reserved) had been living on the street as vagrants for about thirteen months. The younger girl is about four and half years old while the elder one is a little above six. They eat and bath on the street, and sleep in front of people’s shop when they close for the business of the day.
Their parents died from ethnic conflict and their escape is story for another day. All they were doing was to move from one locality to another since their arrival from the northern part of Nigeria to Lagos State via cattle-cum-human shipment method of transportation that is common in some areas of Northern Nigeria.
My heart melted with tears while carrying those two children and seeking a government approved child care-giver like The Humanitarian Foundation. Most motherless homes would categorically tell you that they are not receiving children any more with several reason; all thanks to tough economic and insecurity state of the nation. They, on the other hand, felt they have found love for the first time in their entire life.
The Humanitarian Foundation clothed and fed them on that faithful day just like other children and young adult (including real adult men and women). I wondered the level of danger those two little kids were exposed to on a daily basis.
In this part of Africa, we are confronted with insecurity, kidnapping, rape, ritual killing and generally poverty – the mother of all wickedness. Pray never to be poor! All I observed and was thankful for was both children could still manage to speak good English and look partly healthy.
We have encountered many children and young persons like this on several occasion. But the foundation has neither sponsors nor donors yet to assist us shoulder this huge burden. We use this very medium to call for donation, no matter how little or great it may be.
Back to the story of the poor girls, when the older girl was asked how they were feeding before we met. She narrated how they would go from shop to shop begging for food, water and money. She also said, on a several occasion she worked as restaurant or shop-rat (shop-rat is a name given to a little homeless child whose duty is to wash plates and do some errands for shop or house owners with feeding and/or partial shelter as his/her reward – Igweike Raphael Otum).
“Washing plates and doing other house chores are very easy for me since I was my mother’s errand girl before her death”, she said. Such children are many in this part of Africa. Their hope of schooling is usually gone and most of them end up in motor parks – smoking, drinking alcohol, taking other hard drugs, stealing and doing menial jobs.
Narrating her most terrible experience, she said on a faithful Friday afternoon, there was a heavy rainfall and the weather was extremely cold; her little sister was vomiting and stooling at the same time. While the little sister was trying to come over to where she was doing her job (washing of restaurant plates), fell in front of the shop and mess up the entire place with her vomit. The Madam (shop owner) began to curse the little girl that she is demonic.
She the elder sister was ordered to stop washing the plates, clean up the mess and leave the premises with her little sister with immediate effect. She said that was almost one month of their stay in that shop and have almost started feeling at home. While under a building under renovation around 9:00pm, she said; “suddenly, the whole body of my little sister became very hot and she was also shivering terribly.
All I could do was to pour water on her, put her on my back and ran to a nearby chemist shop for help. I explained our situation to the man. He said both of us have typhoid and malaria fever. He promised to treat us for free for three days of which he equally gave us food. On the fourth day, he said his girlfriend is accusing him of having children outside without her knowledge and that we should stop coming. Sir, just four days from that day we are here with you.” In tears, she said, “God bless you!”
When asked how she got the clothes in their small bag. She said at times, she would pick some from any dustbin and others like the mini-blanket in her hand for covering against cold, was stolen from the front of one compound the day the weather was very cold and they have used it for more than six months. And also, she ensures they take their bath and wash their mouth once they come across a running tap by the wayside.
When asked about her education before the death of their both parents. She said; “I was one of the best in my class of 40 pupils and had enjoyed double promotion.”
The story of this poor Nigerian girl is but a little compared to what we have encountered so far in the field of serving humanity and it makes my heart bleed each passing day.
Donate to assist The Humanitarian Foundation carry out her planned project of setting up a structure for motherless children/helpless young persons and a skill acquisition centre to ensure absolute empowerment process. The foundation is in need of about $85,000.00 to help finance this project and meet some other urgent material needs such as, logistics and electronics, feeding and clothing items. Any amount of money from everyone with a big heart to assist would be highly appreciated.
I maintain that we have most children like these little girls around us. A token from you can help The Humanitarian Foundation do some great job. You may decide to sponsor a child’s education by donating a little frequently and according to your capability. Also, do well to share this very message to friends and family and encourage them to donate – this is also part of service to humanity.
Finally, we appreciate everyone that donates, supports and volunteers to benevolently share this message and encourage other to do same just to ensure others are blessed through what we do – serving others and encouraging others to serve others.
Service to Humanity is a weekly publication to encourage Humanitarian Activities (financial donations and material support) across the globe by The Humanitarian Foundation Press Department. Igweike Raphael Otum (Founder and President, Councilor, Author, Businessman, Accountant, Evangelist and a Humanitarian) is the author of this wonderful publication, Service to Humanity.
Contact us and make donations:
Do well to visit and refer others to our website: www.thehumanfound.org
For enquiry, email us; firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions on how to be a volunteer, partner, sponsor and donor, email us; email@example.com
Or call; +234 (0) 703-9886-719
3, Ayo Ola Close, Awoyaya, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria.
This story really touched me, especially the area of visiting the pharmacy at odd time. Please accept the little donation I made last month to this regard. Thank you