Written by Ifeoma Keke
Our Summer Camp Week began with a visit to the Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Office on Monday, 5th August. The Chairman was not available, so the Vice Chairman welcomed the FLA Kids. A talk was given about the Local Government Area (LGA) and how it runs, including the political and administrative leaders. The talk was on this year’s theme, ‘The Leaders of Tomorrow, Today’. They enlightened the children on how they get funds, different units in the LGA like the Legislative Dept., Educational Dept., Agricultural Dept, Finance and Treasury Dept. and so on.
In the afternoon, Mrs Iretiola Olubi, from the Foundation for Moral Value Reorientation, took the children on their first class of the week on The Importance Of Citizenship and Voting in Our Country. It was an informative class and the children asked lots of questions.
On Tuesday, we set off left early to go to the Ministry of Youths and Social Development, where the children met with the Permanent Secretary, Dr Bolajoko Balogun. She gave the children a good talk about what it takes to be a leader, and shed some light about her own experience of leadership, which she emphasised was about working in a team and building everyone’s strengths.
On Wednesday, our excursion was to the Ikoyi Minimum Security Prison. An educative lecture was given about the history of the prison; its capability and the kind of inmates that are admitted into their facility. We were not able to tour the prison, because most of our kids are not up to 18 years, and though they intended to let those up to 18 years in, there wasn’t sufficient time after the lecture.
The kids learnt that the prison was built in 1955 and currently has 2,966 inmates, beyond its 800 in-mate capacity! Shockingly, only 570 have been convicted, and the rest are awaiting trial. We bought toothbrushes, hair brushes, bathroom slippers, detergents, milk, toilet tissues, cornflakes, toilet soap, tooth paste and pain relievers for the inmates.
Thursday was another early start, especially as we had two places to visit. The children headed to the Muritala Mohammed International Airport to receive a tour organised by Bi-Courtney Aviation. The tour commenced by 9am prompt. The kids were given a brief history of the airport and learnt that it was formerly owned by the Federal Government, but after the fire incident of the year 2000, a Private company, Bi-Courtney Aviations took over its operations in April 2007. The first airline to fly after refurbishment was the Chachangi Airline.
The children were taken round the airport, from the departure side, to the waiting area, luggage check, security check, arrival side and lounging area for the VIPs. They also had a tour of the aircraft field where the planes take off and arrive. They got to enter one of the planes and an engineer, who was available, Engr Bolaji, tutored them on safety precautions and how the plane takes off.
We left the airport by 12pm and got to the Special Correctional home for Boys by 1pm. The Home is owned by the Lagos State Government, under the Ministry of Youth and Social Development. It was established in 1976, and was formally called a ‘Remand Home’. The facility currently has 150 boys living there. They have different types of children in the home: Child Offender (a child in conflict with the law, that committed a crime) and Beyond parental control.
A lecture was given by a Social Worker in the Home, Mr Oteniara, on “How Personal Choices Create a Ripple Effect on the Nation as a Whole”. Fair Life Africa Foundation was introduced to the boys at the facility, and three of the kids at the Correctional Home told their stories. We learnt that they all ended up at the home because of failures in our society. Our kids were advised to listen to their parents, be content with what they have, be appreciative of what their parents can provide and not to follow band gangs. We left them with the provisions we brought to share.
On Friday, our volunteer and friend, Mrs Obioma Ogakwu, gave a talk on Traffic Rules and Safety on the Road. She gave the kids insight on the different road signs and what they signify. She told the kids to always use the pedestrian bridge when crossing over and the precautions to take in situations where there is no pedestrian bridge. Mrs Olubi also had a talk with the kids on Generating and Allocating of Revenue in Nigeria. This summer, the kids asked lots of questions. Ufuoma (aka Gift) out-shined the rest!
After the talks, the kids proceeded to the Lekki Conservative Centre. They all took part in the canopy walkway. Thereafter, they had lunch and engaged in games such as ludo, chess and tag. They really enjoyed themselves.
On Saturday, the kids had two classes on Leaders of Tomorrow, Today and Acts of Charity: Helping Others, taken by Mr Nathaniel Ayodeji of The Mental Health Foundation and our volunteer, Ms Adetola Adeyemo, respectively. In the afternoon, they went outside to play for a while. They also engaged in indoor games such as whot and ludo, and enjoyed a movie/games night.
The lectures continued on Sunday, and Mr Nathaniel and Tola returned to take the children on Personal Development and What It Takes To Be A Leader, respectively. Afterwards, the kids had lunch. The Muslim children took permission to go home early because of Sallah celebration, while the other kids relaxed for a while before proceeding home.
We would like to appreciate everyone who gave towards our programme, sponsored a child or more to attend and who contributed as a volunteer or mentor. We appreciate all the organisations that received us warmly and made time to talk to our kids! God bless you and continue to prosper you in all your endeavours.
Check out more pictures of our activities, available on our website, www.fairlifeafrica.org
Edited by Ufuomaee.