Sponsor Akindele joined the FLA Kids at Valentine
I didn't want to do it... That is, base our report on the pandemic that has swept the world! Surely, that's what everyone is wrting and talking about. But the truth is, it has become our reality.
Before Coronavirus, we knew we had problems in the world, especially in my country, Nigeria! But with Coronavirus, all the issues became magnified in the way they made responding to or thriving through the crisis difficult. As a charity, we knew that poverty was a HUGE problem in our country, and it's one of the things we are tackling through our initiative. But suddenly, with the entrance of Coronavirus and the compulsory lockdown, it seemed like the poverty we had been 'managing' was what would actually kill us before the Coronavirus we were all so afraid of!
While other citizens could boast about the support they got from their governments, we could not even dream of it. The rich managed to take care themselves well by stocking up, but how could someone who lives on everything he makes each day stock up?! How could someone who relies on his monthly income to live and provide for his family, and extended family even, stock up when he probably no longer has a job? How could the homeless practice social distancing, when they don't even have their own place to sleep? It didn't take long for the rich to begin to fear for the crime that would result from such imbalance and negligence of government.
Seriously, the issues are too abundant to talk about. But something happened that brought it a little closer to home for us at Fair Life Africa Foundation. A fire broke out in an already impoverished neighbourhood, where several of our children reside. Fortunately, only one of our kids' homes was affected, but hers was one of 100 families whose homes were destroyed by the fire at "Dustbin estate", Ajegunle, where she lived with her mother. How do you respond to such a crisis, in our state of enforced lockdown brought about by the pandemic?
Fortunately, another organisation, which had referred Naomi to us, were based at Ajegunle, and were on ground to provide assistance to those affected. They were also able to confirm some statistics for us, and the real state of affairs. Through our liason and partnership, we were able to raise funds to support 15 of the families affected, including our very own Naomi. We wrote a post on our blog, which we circulated to raise awareness. Our support addressed their immediate needs for food, medicine, and clothing, but they had to make do with squatting with friends or at Churches and available spaces nearby. We really wish we could have done more, but we are happy to have been able to do anything at all.
This Valentine period, before the virus came to Nigeria, we organised a special brunch for our children, which we held at Foodies Restaurant, Lekki on the 16th of February. We invited their sponsors to join us and were happy that several honoured our invitation. The children really enjoyed it, as it was a nice change from the other brunches and parties we organised at our centre. We also wrote about this on our blog.
We really hope that the time will soon come when we can gather happily together again, without face masks, to enjoy our humanity and freedom. But even more than this, we look forward to the day that 'charity' work will no longer be necessary, because poverty and disease will be no more... Can we dream a little?
Until then, thanks so much for joining us in our efforts to make a difference in our world!
A nice, new experience for our kids!
Sponsor Yewande with her sponsored child
Dustin Estate burned to the ground