Today’s outreach went a little deeper for me. I took a mental note of the area, and I knew I could not live there myself. And trust me, I am not even your average Lagos babe from the highbrows. Helping vulnerable children comes with its benefits. For me it’s mostly about the privilege to be able to impact a child’s life positively. It is a privilege to be involved in a child’s life at his/her lowest point and being the catalyst to bring about a great change in the life of the individual. Being a part of that “grass to grace” process is a privilege I do not take for granted. That is the real privilege that volunteering with The Destiny Trust has afforded me. So I do the little I can for the kids – I cook, and clean, and play, and advise – because there really is nothing too small when it comes to giving help.
I have always cherished the idea of rendering help to people in need. I have seen quite a lot of discouraging situations, and the terrible effect of poverty on children. It is quite Nigerian to have a thick skin about things like that. But as I stood today, encircled by strange kids with all manner of skin infections, murky water from the rain making their tiny shanty town look like floating discoloured rafts, tears came to my eyes, and I let go. I grabbed the nearest kid and hugged her. I thought I was intense, but she held me so tight, I could feel the love flow right through my spine.And the others kept coming. They came in their numbers, laughing and giving out free hugs to us as we gave out bags and school materials. The happiness was contagious; I could not understand it.
But I could see the embers of hope glimmer somewhere in their eyes, and while I was happy we were able to light it up a little bit more, I left there feeling like they did more for me than I did for them.