Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Visit to Hope for Survival Orphanage, Gishiri.

On a nice Sunday in July, 2011, a group of young men and women met together with a plan and a purpose. Through word of mouth, social media shout outs and a network of friends they had come to hear about Hope For Survival Orphanage in the village/settlement of Gishiri, Abuja. These young men and women decided to come together and pull together resources to bring things to donate to the orphanage. Some brought clothes from home, foodstuff and others brought money and graced the gathering of young men and women with their presence.

On that fateful day, this merry band met and went together to the Utako market. The young men and women put together money and bought items that were needed by the orphanage. The potpourri of items bought included brooms, buckets, food stuff, cutlery, plastic plates and so on. With these token gifts in hand, the group proceeded to journey to the village of Gishiri where the orphanage was located.
The road for the most part was smooth as is characteristic of the city of Abuja. It was when the group arrived at the junction that led to Gishiri that the disparity in the standard of living between Gishiri and Abuja city became apparent. The road was not tarred in the least bit and had an abundance of potholes, making driving to the village an onerous task even for an off-road vehicle/jeep. The pathway was littered with refuse that one wondered if these were indeed inhabitants of the capital city of an oil rich nation like Nigeria.

On arriving at the orphanage, the group was greeted warmly by the caretaker of the orphanage and the lovely children all shyly gazing at the troupe of visitors that must have clearly pierced their Sunday routine. The group found out that the orphanage was a privately owned orphanage that survived on donations from well-wishers and benefactors. It was a solo effort by a lady who happened to be the caretaker at giving these children and teenagers a home.

                                                                             The structure of the orphanage was humble to say the least yet adequate for the purposes of housing the young men and women. The group was led into the abode and found along their way a schedule for the children, which meticulously lined up their activities for the day. After a preliminary tour of the home which included a stopover at the room that housed the babies, some as young as a few months that had been abandoned by one person or the other. The very idea of abandoning young ones as young as those babies brought tears to the eyes of some in this visiting group while others expressed amazement or were soberly pensive.

The next activity on the visit was a gathering of the residents of the orphanage, promising children, young men and women and the group. It was there that a general introductions were done. The group stated their purpose and asked each of the residents of the orphanage to introduce themselves, say their ages and what they wanted to be when they grew up. This was very interesting as the aspirations of these young men and women ranged from becoming artists, sports stars to nurses, lawyers and teachers. Indeed these children were poised to infiltrate all sectors of society with all things being equal. The group then did a similar introduction of themselves, telling the residents their names and what they did.

The residents of the orphanage displayed some of the beautiful artwork they had done and other items of handicraft. The group then officially presented the gifts they had brought for which the residents of the orphanage were indeed grateful. The group then interacted with the children and took pictures and photographs with these special children, these future lawyers, visual artists, politicians, doctors and engineers.

It was with mixed feelings that the group departed the orphanage. Many wondered what the future held for the children of the orphanage while others vowed to continue to help the orphanage in whatever way they could. Indeed the visit would light up a dream and open the eyes of some members of the group to the needs of our society. The visit also provided some hope the children of the orphanage; it let them know that someone out there cared and gave them role models to look up to. The visit to the orphanage in Gishiri was definitely life changing.

In the light of moving from materialistic donations to enhancing social development of the children, PhotoPower was born.

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