(Written by Njideka Raleke-Obiora)
Our field workers can be found out most days diligently scouting for children, with hidden talents, to be assessed for adoption into our Disadvantage To Advantage Initiative. The amount of time and energy put into this work is something only someone with real passion for the needy can do. In the process, we come across different children with real touching stories.
Raped at the age of six, Emma* (name changed) has been left to pay the price of the crime she didn’t commit. Though a very brilliant child with a promising future, she has been forced to stay out of school for two years now, because the little money her single mom earned was spent in the courts, seeking justice for her innocent child. She also lives with the stigma meted out on her by an ignorant community for the atrocious actions of a 35 year old man.
While playing in front of her mother’s food shop on a sunny afternoon, like any other child would, unknown to her mother, little Emma was lured by the molester to a nearby incomplete building. Before a suspecting neighbour could get to the scene and rescue her from his clutches, the evil deed had already been done.
The culprit, a very well known man in the community, couldn’t be bothered because he is one of the people that call the shots in the area. He boasts that his money will buy him justice, and tries to pay Emma’s Mom off!
Poor Mama Emma, single and struggling to raise her two kids after her husband abandoned them can’t get over the guilt. “Why me?” she laments. “Why my child? What did we do to deserve this? How was I not able to protect my child?” These are the series of questions that have plagued her heart ever since the event, two years ago. It was so bad that it forced her to close down her business to be able to cater to her two children and always have her eyes on them.
As the case remains in court unresolved till today, we are concerned that brilliant Emma, with an impressive result from her last term in school, has been out of school since the awful traumatic experience. Added to the stigma is the fact that her mother can no more afford to cater for her school fees since she has no work. And not hers only, but also her elder brother’s, who is likewise very intelligent from our assessments.
This is one of the many cases that we encounter in our quest to identify children in need and empower disadvantaged children. However, despite the urgency, we often do not have enough funds to carry the weight of their needs. Hence, we are putting it out there and seeking your support. If you are touched by the dire situation faced by these children, please lend your support through child sponsorship, or make any donation you can, or help us share about our work with those who might be able to help.