By Oluwadamilare Jesuferanmi
The less privileged children that are paid little or no attention to, when they were still in their youth, turned out to be the less privileged old men and women in the society. The most shameful thing that a man can boastfully do is to be satisfied with leftovers. The most successful of these men turned out to be local drummers for ceremonies (though uninvited), while the rest follow them to the ceremonies, sometimes with sekere and maybe empty handed as ‘jolly’ friends.
It’s so pathetic to see some well-to-do mothers treating these children like rags, they won’t bother to give them anything during events; wind up their car glasses in the traffic, to keep them and their repulsive odour at bay; keep their purses in the air in market places. They are to be helped and not neglected. The load carriers in bodija market, foundly called ‘alabaru’, I so much pity them that I will be forced to give them a small change without benefiting from their service.
There was a case of a particular woman I witnessed, couple of years ago at Aishi Bodija. This woman appeared to be undernourished and she just had a baby, definitely she can’t produce enough breast milk, the only edible she could afford to give her baby was water from garri diluted with sugar in a feeding bottle. Though her case was solved, people came to her aid. There are countless mothers as such out there, you should assist those you can in your immediate environs.
As much as I am not against visitations to orphanages, there are lots of people catering for them, but one thing to be noted is that there are more lost souls out there as there are orphans in the orphanages. It is important to note that, if in your compound, your neighbor who’s in dire need, asked for your help and your response was that you only donate to the orphanage, you are the most hypocrite of all!
Helping these children have to start from you and I, though change can’t be forced, it’s by choice, no brick thrown at a glass goes unnoticed. You don’t necessarily have to give something edible but it’s part of it; I saw some kids at an event, some were with no shoes, some with no shirts on, some almost came naked with only their pants on, I was immediately moved by pity. I had to walk up to them; they were in groups as usual. My first question to them was “kíni èún se ní bí nitorí bí ese múra yií, dájú dájú won ò pè yín (what are you doing here dressed like this, because it’s so obvious you are not invited)?”, the eldest among them replied me “ìyáa wa ló ní ki a wá sí bí kí a wá jęun n’bi (Our mom’s told us to come here to eat)”. I went on advising them not to come dressed like that to any event so as to sit among respectable people there, they promised to change and I hope they did. Events of such came repleted with bright hopes for them to see the next day. It’s way beyond how they look or the appearances they put up, but is their earnest struggle to forage a living by scouting daily for “daily bread” wherever events are held. It is the case where the stomach must come first on their scale of preference.
Have you ever seen their faces at any event? They regard themselves as “inferiors” – seeing that in their lack, whether or not they live depend on the kindness of other people, whom beyond always being a burden to them may forever have nothing to offer them, while the disoriented humans not only see them as such but also treat them as much.
Ever wondered why they were referred to as ‘less privileged’, it’s because they lack what you and I have. They lack care; parental care, as vital as it is, these children had none or little. They were not cared for at all, that’s why you’ll see some old women still struggling for daily food while their raised, uncared-for children don’t cater for them because it’s either they are still struggling or they are nowhere to be found. They also lack humane care, the affection shown and the attitudes drawn towards them by privileged humans make them act and think inferior, which they are but they are not. This attitude has to be changed to correct this error in creating a better future for them.
The government, despite trying their best don’t put anything in place for them. The ban on child hawking, aimed at getting these kids to attend school, school? I have seen some kids sent home from public schools for not paying a particular stipend; and that is the education the government proclaimed free. Though some parents of these children are irresponsible and yet the government is unable to create a substantial job, shelters and not even free education, thereby with these effects they all struggle in cycles. The parents may have only primary school certificate or recieved no formal education at all, while their coming offspring is going into the same drainage. Currently in Nigeria, to get a job as a cleaner, an applicant has to be a HND or an OND holder at least. So tell me, which company will take in such individual with primary school certificate?
There are many saviours out there saving this children, bringing them into perfection, you can change and be the saviour they seek today, for tomorrow may be too late. Stop procrastination; save a soul today, join a Non Governmental Organization catering for the less-privileged children today, advocate for them; creating a better tomorrow with a glamourous society.