Chronicles of a Social Worker – The Beauty of Dreams

A better car, a better house, better grades…  The list is endless as to what every individual wants in life. Human want is insatiable.  There’s never a state of utopia as different stages of our lives demands we go higher than our current levels.

Every significant movement up the ladder of progress has its share of tales.  As always, there will be instances of despair, when it seems nothing is working, as well as those brilliant moments of victory and a sense of fulfillment, before the pursuit for something better continues again.

In the course of getting to our destinations most times, we sometimes fail to recognise the beauty of life in those moments of despondency when all we did, or could do, was to hold that mental picture of what we wanted our future to look like.  Those were times when we never gave up on our dreams, as we believed the light at the end of the tunnel would brighten those days of sorrow.

Dan is a 16 year old boy I came across at the motor park after a visit to a school to distribute forms to children as our search for brilliant students from disadvantaged background continues.  Dan sells Plantain Chips with his younger brother and one cannot help but get fascinated watching as he tries to get customers’ attention.

“Think big, eat plantain chips and enjoy your money!  Think big, eat plantain chips, enjoy your money!” he would say repeatedly.  Like the other passengers, I couldn’t help but laugh at this innovative way of advertising.  I decide to engage Dan in a discussion, as we wait for more passengers.

Me: You must be joking, right?  What’s the connection between eating plantain chips and thinking big?

Dan: Aunty…you should know nah…  It’s just a strategy so people can notice us,  but beside that, plantain is a rich source of iron and I’m very confident customers would get the value for their money once they patronise me.

Me: You’d make a good marketer…  Why are you not in school?

Dan: (Smiles) Aunty, you know what they say nah, “na condition make crayfish bend.” The summary is that I don’t have anyone supporting me that’s why I’m doing this work.

Me: But at least you got to finish primary school going by the way you speak.

Dan: I left secondary last year.

Me: So, have you seen your results?

Dan: (Excitedly) Yes, I got distinction in five subjects and credits in three subject. I just want to raise enough money to buy my JAMB form.

Me: Can you present your results if asked to and can you defend it?

Dan: (Smiles) Yes nah, I can defend it any day…  I brought the result from the East where I used to stay with my parents before relocating to Lagos.  Nothing much is happening in my village and I need money for my education.

Me: So who do you stay with?

Dan: I stay with my friend’s relatives.  We are from the same clan.

Me: What do you want to study?

Dan: Economics.  I want to be a Banker.  Maybe I could become the Central Bank Governor someday, God willing.

Me: It’s not wrong to dream.  Anything is possible.

Dan: You’re right ma.  Anything is possible…  But Aunty, you’ve not patronised me o…

Me: How much do you sell?

Dan: It’s just N100 each

Me: Oya give me five… (Hands him D2A form).  I work with a Non Governmental Organisation that seeks to empower bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds.  As long as you’re below 18, you can apply.  You need to attach a copy of your result.

Dan: I’m 16 years…  Please can I make photocopy, my friend would also need this opportunity.

Me: Yes you may.

Dan runs after us as the bus leaves the park

Dan: Aunty, how do we submit the forms?

Me: I would come to the Park by 2:00pm tomorrow to pick up the forms.

Dan: (Excited) We will be waiting for you.

Dreams and a burning desire to achieve goals resonates with us, as a Charity that helps brilliant and gifted children attain their true potential.  So many more children are daring to dream because of the support Fair Life Africa Foundation is offering today through our Disadvantaged to Advantage Initiative.  We really wouldn’t be able to do much without the support from our child sponsors, who are helping them to realise their potential.  We also appreciate these periods which serve as a refining process for the children.  It’s indeed a beautiful thing to dream.

Written by Emeke Ndego

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