The OIF May 2018 newsletter; the different world of Makoko kids and Island kids.
VOL 2. NO. 5
MAY 2018 NEWSLETTER
MAKOKO KIDS vs. IKOYI/VICTORIA ISLAND/LEKKI KIDS – TWO VERY DIFFERENT WORLDS?!
We shall be examining the differences in the world of the rich and the poor child. As a Foundation focused on promoting the welfare of children, especially orphans, we have come in contact with children from both worlds. We have also observed firsthand the luxury, abundance and opportunities available to and enjoyed by rich children and the lack, poverty and hunger being the wont of the poor children.
Rich children seem to have it all – beautiful houses, the best education, more than enough to eat and drink and finally, a seemingly bright future. They usually have little to worry about as their parents would most likely “take all the worries off their pretty/handsome heads”. If at all they do worry about anything, it would be trivial things such as, which designer dress to wear, which restaurant is the most exclusive for a birthday party, or which of the Ivy League universities to attend? These children grow up in the right environment and are exposed to the right people and their future is generally shaped in the right direction. It is a given that the children of the Dangotes, the Ovias, the Otedolas, the Emefieles,the Adenugas, the Gates, the Zukerburgs, etc of this world will not have to worry about food, shelter, schooling expenses and a prosperous future.
On the other hand, children from poor families have very little and a lot to worry about. They live and breathe in LACK on daily basis. The beauty of innocence however is that for the much younger ones, they can barely tell the difference between them and the rich child. They bask in the sheer joy of mixing and playing with their mates despite returning home to the lack of basic amenities of life such as good food and a healthy environment to live in. For the much older ones, they are somewhat wiser and live with the constant fear of what tomorrowwould bring not only to them but their parents whose daily struggles they are painfully aware of and feel totally helpless about.
Oh, shall we deviate a little bit from their personal lives to their neighbourhoods? How best shall we describe this but to take you down photographic memory lane as we refresh your memories with pictures of our very first child abuse case study – the late Sarah Ibikunle who was killed by a stray bullet on the famous Admiralty way in Lekki phase 1 whilst hawking smoked fish for her mother in order to raise funds for her school fees. Below are pictures of the environment Sarah lived in with her family and where she was killed a few miles from home. By the way, it is worth noting that Sarah’s slum sits right in the heart of Lekki phase 1, on the Lagos Island, where the rich and might of our great city also reside!!!
Moving on from Sarah’s neighbourhood are pictures from our last visit to the Makoko slum on the Lagos Mainland where we met some of the most adorable children of our time with whom we decided to spend our Valentine’s Day alongside our own Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki children. The difference was obvious but we are proud to say that our children (students of EDGEWOOD COLLEGE AND DOWEN COLLEGE) were the best behaved of rich kids (see below).
Sometimes, poor kids lose out on education and/or have stunted education. Some may have to drop out of school or stop schooling after their primary or secondary education. They may also have to support their parents by hawking on the streets thereby exposing themselves to unsavory characters and dangerous situations just like the story of Sarah Ibikunle.
So, the question remains – whose fault is this and how do we alleviate the situation in order to make life just a little bit better/bearable for others especially our children? In previous episodes of our annual magazine, “Managing Intolerable Neglect and Domestic Situations” (MINDS), we have attempted to address similar issues and blamed our parents, the government and even the society in general. However, in actual fact, who is the government but each one of us? We are ALL responsible for our society and the welfare of our children. It is our responsibility to ensure that our children live in safe and secure environment. It is our responsibility to give them good and quality education so that their future can be secure and just a little bit brighter than they currently appear to be.
Maybe, just maybe if we take a few moment in each day to remind ourselves of the inevitable fact that our children and the less privileged kids will someday grow up in, mingle and serve the same country only with two very different perspectives to life, then, it might be a gentle nudge to us of the need to lend a helping hand to others. If you remember that there is a chance that a poor child might grow up being bitter towards the entire system with one single aim in mind – to destroy as many as he comes across on our streets as an adult, maybe then, we’ll take CHARITY/LOVE more seriously. Consequently, we might just be able to gradually put an end to the ills of our society such as rape, armed robbery, prostitution, child abuse, etc.
This is what we at the OBI IKENCHUKWU FOUNDATION (OIF) and our Partners, WOODHALL CAPITAL FOUNDATION (WCF) are here for – to, as much as possible within our limited resources and God given abilities, support as many children and girls as we can afford to.
The OIF in collaboration with her partners, WCF (which feeds one hundred children of Makoko Community School daily as well as sponsor the education of many children through their scholarship program) and students of Dowen College and Edgewood College visited Makoko community on the 14th of February 2018, Valentine’s day, to share love and celebrate with the children of Makoko Community School. We were appalled at the living conditions of the community. There were no roads, electricity or water supply, no hospitals or clinics and the community school which catered to all the children of the community was in a deplorable state. There were no classrooms, chairs or tables. The children from Edgewood and Dowen College, saw firsthand how the less privileged live and we know they left Makoko with a renewed mind and a fresh perspective on life. We hope that they have learnt to be thankful to God and their parents for the life they have.
The death of Sarah Ibikunle and our experience at Makoko Community School strengthened our resolve to continue to cater to the welfare of children especially orphans as well as ensure that they are educated. We at the OIF believe that EDUCATION is key to a successful life and we hope to touch as many lives as possible through our various Scholarship Schemes, namely;
- The General Obi Ikenchukwu Scholarship Scheme: which is open to children still in primary and secondary school.
- The Grace and Genevieve Ikenchukwu Scholarship Scheme for Girls (GGISSG): which is specifically for the girl child of university entrance age, who is already a student of a university or awaiting admission into the university. Application for the Scholarship opens in June 2018. Please check our website for more details.
We wish all children in Nigeria Happy Children’s Day and encourage them to pursue their dreams irrespective of the limitations on their path.
LAUGH IT OFF!
How does the rich child address his/her parents?
Rich Child: Mom! Dad!
…..and the poor child?
Poor Child: mooomiii! Daaddii!
***The OIF WEBSITE is currently undergoing an upgrade and should be back on shortly.
The OIF would be pleased to have you join us in making a difference. We will appreciate your support towards our initiatives either by donating, sponsoring a GGISSG awardee or any of our other projects, subscribing to/ purchasing our bi-annual magazine “MINDS” or partnering/ collaborating with us. It all depends on how far you can go.
To support our cause, please find below the OIF account details:
Bank Name: Zenith Bank
Account Number: 1013842933
Account Name: The Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation
Bank: Access Bank
Account Number: 0762932298
Account Name: The Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation
Feel free to contact us via the contact details below or visit our website by clicking on theOIF logo above.
N.B: For any legal advice/opinion please contact Sceptre Legal Services via any of these numbers 01-4605611; 08098300333.
Sceptre Legal Services is the preferred law firm that represents The Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation in all legal related matters.
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