By Sunday Ani
On Saturday, September 26, children at the Life Changer Less Privilege Home, located at House 6, AA Close, 7th Avenue, Festac Town, Lagos, went into wild jubilation, singing and praying profusely for members of the Ajeromi-Ifelodun High School Old Students Association class of 99, (AIHSOSA’99) who visited the orphanage home with gift items worth over N200, 000.
Some of the items presented during the visit which ranged from food stuffs to beverages, cosmetics and toiletries among others included two bags of rice, one bag of beans, one bag of garri, indomie, sardine, cartons of juice drink, and cartons of coaster biscuits, cornflakes, tissue paper, baby walker, golden morn, liquid soap, tablets of toilet soaps, milk, baby cot, and baby bathtub among others
The elated orphans prayed that God would reward their visitors and preserve them for future assignments to humanity. Nine-year-old Precious Wealth and Ibukun Weath, who prayed for the visitors asked God to bless those of them that are not yet married with life partners, bless those seeking for the fruit of the womb with children, provide jobs for the jobless among them, and grant them financial breakthrough and freedom as well as good health.
In his remarks, the chairman of the old students’ association, Mr. Vitalis Bassey, thanked the management of the orphanage home for giving them the privilege to visit. He told the children that they can achieve whatever they aim at, including being the governor of a state, only if they are focused on what they are doing. “This place is a starting point for you. I want to see you on television speaking as CEOs, factory owners or even running organisations like this where you give back to society. I want to see these and many more about you in future,” he told them.
Bassey said the association which came into existence in 2012 has charity work as its core mandate. “We want to give back to the society that raised us. We organize this kind of visit once every year. It is always done during the month of June but this year’s own is coming this late due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
“We visit orphanage homes in June and organize symposia in our alma-mata in September. During the symposium, we give books, bags, school uniforms and even award scholarships to students. The scholarships come in form of paying WAEC fees for the lucky students. Some of us are into different vocations; so we also get some of the students and train them. The criterion for selection is simply to answer questions that we ask. Those who successfully answer our questions are given the scholarship and we have been doing that since 2012,” Bassey stated.
On how they raise funds to execute their projects, he said: “We pay monthly dues, but when we have a project to execute, we tax ourselves, so as to be able to raise the needed money for the project. We have over 100 active members. We don’t have any sponsorship or partner,” he added.
Responding, Mary Favour, a staff of the orphanage who represented the manager, Mrs. Queen Umike, thanked AIHSOSA’99 members for choosing to visit the orphanage home out of numerous others in Lagos. “We have more than 27 children here but they can’t come down because of COVID-19. Every child that is here is known to the government. We are registered under the government. So every child here came through the government, and for those that didn’t come through the government, we always go back to notify the government about them for record purposes. This enables the government to carry out proper investigation about the children, so as to be able to trace their parents and reconcile them or find foster parents for them,” she said.
On the age of children the centre admits, she said: “We take children from zero to 10 years but right now, we have a 12-year-old. The youngest with us now is nine-month-old,” she said