Over and over, every second as time keeps ticking away, so do the future of this street kids gradually fade away and the window to their existence drift towards closure. Their parents have abandoned them, their government has failed them, their country has rejected them but we, the enactus team from the University of Calabar instead of letting go like everyone did, we said LET’S GO. Let’s go out of the street, let’s go to education, let’s go to empowerment, let’s go to a brighter future, let’s go to a better Nigeria. This is how we did it:
- Firstly we earn the trust of these children by constantly meeting with them wiping their tears and calming their fears. We made them realize that for whatever pain they were going through, there was always going to be sunshine after the rain. We carried out a selection and personal data collection session with them where we got information on how to meet their parents.
Our team being fully aware of the legal implication and public misconception that could be involved in our project, decided to partner with the ministry of social welfare and the Nigerian police Force for ethical and legal back up.
- The saying that one bad apple spoils the lot was one of our major consideration because we observed that these kids have lived the street life and could not blend in the society with other kids either because they had low self esteem or their behaviour could influence other kids in the society. So we decided to rehabilitate these children with help from specialist from the cross river state psychiatric hospital and already rehabilitated street kids from Christ embassy.
- We did a feasibility study and took records of recent deaths of these kids, which we discovered was caused by malnutrition, drug addiction, inhalation of an adhesive glue (solution gum), harsh climate and dirty environments. This made our team put the health of these kids into consideration. We then collaborated with the ministry for health, General hospital and ministry of social welfare to carry out medical checkups and treatment for these kids.
- All our effort would be in vain if these kids don’t have a home and still live in the street. Accommodating these kids was one of the greatest challenges of our project as even orphanages wouldn’t take them in but we kept pushing hard till we reach the top were a new partner came into the picture. Okeegbe obo foundation; who shared similar vision with our team, had the resources but did not have the technical ability we were able to make them see the light through our eyes and secured partnership with them to build an ultra modern home for these kids. This would take a while but our team didn’t lay all our eggs in one basket as we seek a temporal home at the Governors wife’s orphanage till our home was ready.
- Hitting the breakthrough of an accommodation, we decided to push through with our other plans which involve giving them education. We secured partnership with the ministry of education and U.B.E universal basic education for this purpose. We are currently working with the calabar south and municipality Local Government chairmen and other firms to secure internship opportunities where this kids who are of age could learn skills like carpentry, welding, mechanical and electrical engineering, tailoring and catering.
- We also got welfare materials like clothes, shoes… by taxing ourselves and members of our communities. We are also seeking sponsorship in that area from religious organisation, NGOs etc.
Project Let’s Go became a flu that whoever came to know what we did wanted to be a part of this wonderful transformation so we decided to open a savings account for this kids so that whatever funds was generated would be kept for their use after school or internships to set up S.M.Es
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