Written by Emeke Ndego and Ufuoma E-Ashogbon
On Saturday 17th February, we hosted our third Valentine’s Brunch for the FLA Kids and their friends and sponsors at our Centre in Jakande, Lekki. We always relish the chance of celebrating with our children! Our parties provide an avenue for them to catch up on old times and unwind from demands of school activities. Our sponsors also have the opportunity of meeting their kids, which we always encourage and anticipate.
Twenty-eight of our kids turned up last week, accompanied by their special guest, a friend or family member, as is our custom. This way, they share the love with others. We gained five new children over the last six months. Four of them, Emmanuel, Hannah, Ufuoma and Ayomide, who had been on our waiting list and are now linked with child sponsors, attended the party. Osinachi, who was referred to us by her sponsor, is the fifth, but couldn’t make this year’s party. All the children readily welcomed the new members of our small but growing family.
Ayo and Mrs Obioma represented our team of Volunteers and attended to help in the party preparations and facilitation. The children arrived in good time to help in organising the seating arrangements for the Party while also helping out with the outdoor decorations, supervised by Mrs Obioma. Our Master of Ceremonies for the day was Victor, one of our 2015 Talent Search winners. He has now completed his training with Tenstrings Music Academy and is growing in his confidence and talent. He gave a short rendition and got a loud applause from the everyone in attendance.
Kudus and Ramon were our DJs and did a good job keeping the tempo going with the latest Nigerian jams. There was lots of dancing, and dancing competitions too. The children seemed to enjoy the musical chairs the best. The winner and first runner up of each of the competitions were each given a small bag with some essential toiletries, which were donated to us by YourGreenBook Team. Mrs Obioma also brought cartons of juice and sanitary towels to be distributed among the children, which they appreciated!
Valentine’s Day is also a valuable time to teach the children the importance of sharing the little they have, remembering that every one of them is a beneficiary of someone who has chosen to show them love through us. The children came bearing gifts to be exchanged with another child they had been paired with beforehand, and they exchanged their gifts before the party was over. The children were later asked to nominate the person who gave them a gift, if they thought their gift was really thoughtful. Favour, Dami and Ramon were nominated for giving the most thoughtful gifts, and Ramon won the prize! He was nominated by Chioma, who appreciated the latest edition of the Oxford Dictionary and a picture frame he had bought for her. Her gift also came with a nice rose 🙂
A Valentine’s Brunch won’t be complete without lots of food and drinks. The children enjoyed the jollof rice, chicken, dodo and salad we shared among them and their friends and family. Everyone had fun and was elated when it was time to go home.
On the 18th, Ogo and Oye, two of our faithful child sponsors decided to pay a visit to one of their sponsored children at an orphanage home in Lagos, where the young girl resides. We met Yetunde first at the Juvenile Welfare Centre, and when we told Ogo and Oye her story, they fell in love with her. She was so thrilled to see them when they came bearing gifts of clothes and cupcakes. We also brought some provisions for her to share with her friends at the orphanage. It was lovely seeing her again and to watch them reconnect.
Nathaniel, who is also sponsored by Ogo and Oye, came with two other FLA Kids to visit Yetunde at the orphanage. He was happy to meet his sponsors, and also took home a bag of new clothes they had bought for him! We are always thrilled when our sponsors see their children and realise that they are really making a difference in someone’s life. We really appreciate every sponsor who makes our work happen.
The Valentine fever has simmered for now but the memories it left us is one we would always cherish. We hope you had a lovely Valentine! We hope you will join us next year, or even for our next event with the FLA Kids. Let’s take advantage of every occasion to put a smile on someone’s face. God bless you!