On Saturday 8th September, 2018, I went in the company of my YALI fellows Doreen Kenneth and Ajayi Tolulope to check on street kids who reside under the bridge at Abayomi waterside, along Iwo Road Ibadan. Earlier checks had revealed that these under-15 boys dwell in an uncompleted building by the polluted river where they defecate, wash their clothes and have their bath. The children had also taken to delinquent lifestyles like smoking of Indian hemp and thuggery.
When we arrived at their abode, we tried to make them feel save they had earlier made attempts to flee, thinking we were of the police force or disliking community, but seeing that we had come in peace, they eventually grew to trust us.
For about 30 minutes, we interacted, getting to familiarize with them and discovering how each of them found their way there. Their stories were saddening. Some said they lived with their guardians who maltreated them to the point that they had to run away from home, some said their biological homes were too poor to cater for them that they had to find a way to survive by themselves, a boy said he was accused of witchcraft and was sent away by his aunt. Their stories were pitiable.
After hearing enough sad news, it was time to turn the table around. We wanted the boys to know that despite the cruelty that the world had showed them, there were still people who cared. We took them out and bought some pair of slippers for those who had none. We then took them to a nearby restaurant and had them served with the meals of their choices, each boy with a plate to himself. The boys ate happily and horridly as they hadn’t had such in a while.
After, the meal, we then began ask them what they would want to become in life. It was pitiable to hear them say things like barber, vulcanizer, mechanic , ’conductor’ as though they hadn’t been exposed to a learned society. Of a truth, it would take some time to bring them out of their myopic reasoning to see the brighter world. We tried to convince them that there were professions better than those and that if they would go to school and work hard, they would be great persons in life.
We saw them back to their abode and promised to check on them soonest.
There were two things we gained on this day. First, a young man who saw us at the restaurant indicated work with us. Yesterday, he said he would be joining us on Thursday to share some clothes to the kids. Then, second was a pastor we met whose church is close to these children’s abode. In fact, seeing us have interest in them gave him so much relief. He said he was thinking of doing something about them too. So we took his contact and promised to meet with him to for discussions on how to collaborate with him to rehabilitate the kids.
On Monday, 10th September , 2018,we arrived at their base as we had promised and met 23 of them anxiously waiting for our arrival. In fact, they ran towards us to give us a welcoming hug. Unfortunately Ajayi could not make it that day, it was just I and Doreen. Unlike the Saturday before, they were calm immediately we began talking to them. We gave them more advises and we could see their willingness to heed. We then fed them.
We contacted the pastor and went over to see him. His responses were really encouraging. He has a well structured intervention plan. We hope that these plans fall through. In summary the plan is to hold a public lecture where identified stakeholders would be invited and a fundraising event would be organized. We will identify well-managed orphanages within Ibadan and put these children while we fund their upbringing and welfare with donations. We will also work with sociologists and psychologists to rehabilitate children and check on then often to ensure their wellbeing.
With God’s grace and contributions of from generous members of the society, we will take off homeless kids from the streets and give them a better life, so that in time to come, they will not become a problem to the society but a blessing to their generation. It is possible.
For now, we check on them and feed them at least thrice a week to show them love and re-orientate them. We are also trying to draw as many of them as possible from other camps to settle down together where we normally meet them. Gradually, we will work on putting them in homes and sending them to school.
If you would like to contribute in anyway call or send a text to me (Ako Eyo) or Doreen Kenneth on 08183931775 and 08165753943. Thank you.
11 thoughts on “IBADAN STREET KIDS- HOW CAN WE HELP?”
Thanks for this humanitrian Services May God bless you people, i think i have to do the same thing
Wow, tnk u for ur effort.
Kudos to u guys.
Kip on the gud work.
Well done. photos speaks volume
Very commendable. Keep up the good work.
Amazing work you guys have done. More strength to you
Well done. More strength.
Kudos! u deserve
Any development in them ???