Here goes our first report from Lagos, Nigeria on our project to 'protect and empower Nigerian street kids'. I hope it finds you well and hearty, and I also hope that you will be encouraged by it. Before I say anything, I would just like to say a BIG thank you for your amazing support. It is really amazing because it is uncommon. Your generousity continues to impact lives even after your donation is spent, because we are encouraged beyond measure!
Since we posted our project on GlobalGiving UK in November last year, we have been able to raise £2236 online towards our work. We still need to raise a lot more to enable us to deliver effective interventions into the lives of vulnerable street children in Nigeria. We also have support from friends in Nigeria, who have been giving in cash and kind what they can, and we have made some progress over the months. We have touched the lives of three families and hundreds of children.
The long awaited opening of our CCC Respite Home is drawing nearer, and we are looking to receive children into the home, located at Lekki, by the end of March. Right now, we are doing the hard work of setting up, administration, building our staff capacity and resources. Peace and Ayo, were passionate volunteers for the cause, and are now full-time staff, who are helping to prepare the home for our first batch of boys. Ayo, a support worker, visits Kuramo Beach regularly to observe the boys on the streets and spot new arrivals, whom Fair Life Africa can assist towards reconciliation.
While we are setting up, we have maximised opportunities to collaborate with others to support and create awareness on the needs of street children everywhere. Our most recent collaboration was the Valentine's Day visit we planned to the Juvenile Welfare Centre, a police-run facility for lost and runaway children in Lagos. We partnered with three other organisations to make the day beautiful for the children there. One of the activities we did on the day was card-making, which was a lot of fun for all of us. I enjoyed making cards with seven year old Amdia, a new arrival at the centre, who had been abandoned at a nearby police station by an 'aunty'. At Christmas time, we held a New Year’s Eve Party at the Correctional Centre for Boys, in Oregun, and catered to 110 children. The facility is run by the Lagos State Ministry of Youths, Sports and Social Development, towards rehabilitation and reconciliation.
Tom, a 16 year old former street boy, whom we reconciled with his family in October last year, celebrated his birthday in January. Fair Life Africa took him on an outing with three of his friends to mark the day. He has been well behaved at home, and is settling back into school well too. His family was visited over Christmas and given food and clothing provisions, as well as sanitary gift bags from Fair Life Africa to promote their hygiene. We have also been able to intervene positively in the lives of two vulnerable mothers, Martha and Folake, whose children were at risk of becoming street children. We supported both families with suitable housing, and also continue to monitor the situation, alongside other organisations to meet their diverse needs.
Well, I’ll leave it there for now and report back soon. We wish to pass on the blessings we have received from our beneficiaries, who are constantly praying over us when we visit: ‘whatever you seek, you will find, and you will lack nothing good’ – paraphrase of Mrs Smith (Tom’s grandma), who speaks Yoruba.
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