My name is Oluchi Nwachukwu, I am a young lady who has the vision of reaching out to the unreached children and their communities in my own little way. I started up my vision as a philanthropist in the year 2014 which led to my first event called “LET THE ORPHAN SMILE”. With my little savings and the help of people around me, I got funds to organize the program which was a huge success.
In 2015, I stopped working to pursue my education; therefore, I wasn’t able to finance a program as I had to kickstart it before asking people to help bring a program to reality. In 2016, I got a new job, therefore, I also began thinking of who to reach out to, but this time around I decided to search for people who could work with me, people with the same vision and passion to help children. I put together a team and our dream is to become a charity foundation with special interest in children in remote villages.
We believe that if a child obtains a bright future, their community will be secure. Our vision is to reach out to the unreached children by helping them obtain a brighter future and our mission is to cause breakthroughs in the life of the unreached children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives.
This year, I got inspired to help children in the remote village because these children and their community are sometimes not remembered in our society, I therefore decided to visit one of the remote villages. Below is my story and experience on my journey to a very peaceful community that is suffering neglect and dejection.
On the 13th of September, 2016, I and Adebayo Olagoke Temitope, a member of my team, embarked on a journey to Fadayin Lisa Village, near Ewulemo, Ogun state, under Imota town, Lagos state Nigeria. On arriving at the community, we met one Mr Segun Adeleye, a teacher in his late 50s, who took us around the village and also told us about the community. We were shocked to hear that the community has no school and few children who have the energy have to trek about 12km to another local government just to go to school. We asked why there was no school in the village and he narrated a story to us. According to him, the people who reside in that community are famers who practice Islam, they paid little or no attention to formal education, therefore, the children are introduced to farming at tender ages. But one man, popularly known as Alfa started an Islamic school and few children attended. After some years, Alfa came to understand the importance of formal education and built a small mud house which was used as a school. He was able to convince about 50 children to start schooling there, meanwhile, some children had already started schooling in the other local government, but after a while, some of them started coming to Alfa's school. Everything was going fine until Alfa was mysteriously murdered in cold blood. The community was shattered and many people ran away for their safety; after a while, they came back, but the population wasn’t as much as it used to be. The school built by the late Alfa collapsed so the children had to look for other alternatives.
Mr Segun Adeleye took us to one Mrs Christiana E. Adobogun, who is also from Fadayin Lisa Village. She was very delighted to see us, and after introducing ourselves to her, she began pouring her heart to us. She said her grandchildren don’t go to school always because of the distance, the children don’t understand what they’re taught, they can’t even speak English Language apart from their native language (Yoruba). We also asked her the reason why the community had no school and she narrated the same story Mr Segun had told us. During our chat with her she showed us a church building she had almost completed and volunteered to give it out to the community to be used as a school, but all she needed was for us to complete the building and provide everything that could start up a school. We went into the building to have a look, and discovered that we could make out four classes from it. We were stunned, amazed and struck speechless at how the elderly ones are willing to sacrifice their possessions, time and energy just for a school to start up in their community.
Mr Segun took us to another family who lived just a stone throw away from Mrs. Christiana. On getting there, we met some children who could barely communicate with us in English. I remembered asking an eleven-year old girl who is in Primary 4 to introduce herself to us, but she kept looking at us like we came to kidnap her; we asked an eight-year old boy who was in Primary two to recite the two times table and he was shaking his head, indicating that he didn’t know it. A girl of five couldn’t even communicate with us at all. Another girl of eleven couldn't read three letter words and a four-year old child hadn’t even begun school due to the long distance. A boy of fourteen couldn’t even tell us where his father went to because he couldn’t communicate well in English. We were utterly speechless and very sad for these kids who found themselves in that community. These children live in the bush where mud houses are built and only few families are able to afford and live in block houses, and I became to wonder how their environment influences them.
One aspect that struck me was the bitter complaints of Mr. Segun and Mrs. Christiana who said that some Nollywood producers came to their community to produce local movies and left them with nothing. The only people who benefitted from them were those who sold things they could buy. They made use of their houses and lands, and at times put them through discomfort, but they didn’t bother to ask them about their needs; they didn’t even notice that the children weren’t getting quality education. They could have been advocates for this poor community but instead they acted as PARASITES.
Now, how can we help this community?
Mrs. Christiana has volunteered her uncompleted building to be used as a school which, from our inspection, can make out four little classrooms for a start.
Below are some of the things we need to start up a school in that community.
- 1. A cemented ground and walls
- 2. A roof to protect them from rain and sun
- 3. White boards and markers for all classes
- 4. Restrooms for pupils and teachers
- 5. Writing materials (books, pen, pencils, etc)
- 6. School uniforms and bags
- 7. Textbooks
- 8. Desks and chairs for pupils and teachers
- 9. Woods to demarcate the hall into four classes
- 10. Playing materials
- 11. Ceiling fans
- 12. Desk top computers, etc.
Now, tell me, if a child comes into his or her classroom and sees these things placed in order and his class welcoming him with lot of exciting things to explore, how won’t he learn and become great? Remember, give a child the weapon called Education and you will help him or her win the war called Poverty. It begins with you and I. We can change their lives!