I need your help and I would appreciate it if you took time to read this post. So…thank you in advance for obliging me.
I was seated in church – The Diplomats’ Centre in Kaduna – a few days ago when I noticed some people close to me.
A young girl, whom I thought could not be more than 13, was feeding a baby. She wasn’t doing a great job of it and I craned my neck to find the mother of the child. I noticed that there was an equally young guy close to her who seemed to follow her every move. ‘Maybe he is her brother’, I thought to myself.
I concluded that they were siblings of the baby and their mother was probably somewhere in the church.
I decided to concentrate on what was being said but somehow, I couldn’t get my eyes off them. I watched how the girl handled the baby and kept waiting for the mother to show up. Boy and girl passed the baby between them and I was happy that the baby seemed to be a quiet one.
Soon enough, I offered to hold the baby and they obliged. The baby was so small and he quickly warmed my heart. I held him for some minutes until he began to fidget. I soon returned him to his ‘sister’ who then proceeded to take him outside to, I assumed, find their mother.
Since the baby was no longer in my line of sight, I soon forgot about him.
It wasn’t until Dr. Uzzah Wado, the founder of The Diplomats’ Centre, invited them up and introduced them to the church that I was brought back to reality; and my heart broke.
The girl, whom I would call Pre, was the MOTHER of the child and the young man, the FATHER. I was shocked! These were babies themselves! How were they parents?!
Dr. Uzzah told the church that they were his new friends and he would appreciate it if they could help out with baby things, food and what not. It occurred to me that my first instinct about them was right; they were poor.
As soon as the service was over, I walked to Dr. Uzzah and asked how I could help. I requested that he gives me their account number so I could send a little something to them every month. That was when he told me everything.
Here is the summary.
Even though they looked really small, Pre and John Doe (not real name) are 19 and 21. Their baby, whom I thought was barely a couple of weeks old because of how tiny he is, is 8 months. They grew up in the Television area of Kaduna state; a neighborhood marked with poverty, drug abuse, prostitution, drunkenness, high level of crime and other vices that are reminiscent of a typical ghetto.
It was no wonder that Pre and John were drug addicts.
When they had their baby, their families kicked them out and they have been living from ‘hand-to-mouth’. And because they can’t feed properly, they do not look well-nourished and their baby is stunted.
Now, while Dr. Uzzah was glad I wanted to send them money, he didn’t want me to send it directly to them and he didn’t need to explain why. I knew! Addicts cannot be trusted with money. It was as simple as that.
I asked what I could do then.
Dr. Uzzah told me they were going to facilitate a rehabilitation process for the parents to wean them (completely) off drugs. This involves getting them a house where they can be monitored, feeding them, getting proper baby formula and drugs to help their baby develop and helping out with clothes. The goal is to make sure that they are in touch with the bare necessities they need on a weekly basis so they are not tempted to sell food to feed their addiction.
I wondered if the baby wasn’t better off in some other home but truth is, our social services aren’t working well; if they are at all. And Dr. Uzzah has assured me that some of the mothers in the church were going to take turns caring for the baby as the parents went through the rehab process.
I trust Dr. Uzzah. He has been helping young people like this since forever. Literally thousands of us have at one point passed through his house when we were in crisis. And I always say, if I hadn’t met him when I did, my life would have taken a worse turn.
So it is time for some of us to give back.
Pre and John Doe need a house, baby formula, clothes for themselves and their baby and other knick-knacks.
I am deliberately keeping their picture and real names off this post because I don’t want their bad history haunting them when they get clean and have their lives back. And I know that it may bring up the authenticity of their plight but that is a risk I am willing to take. I am hoping that I am trust worthy enough for you to help me help this family.
So I am asking that you help me ensure that this family gets clean and change the narrative of their story. If you want to help me do something about it, you can contact me on +234-905-912-7552 or send money to;
Name: Ochekliye Ramatu Ada
Account Number: 0314142011
And if you are in Kaduna and can only donate clothes or food or household effects to this family, please go to;
Compassion and Wisdom Church,
R2 Gwari Road,
Opposite Gidan Hakimi,
Behind Royal Tropicana Motel,
Tell them you are making a donation for Ramat and they will understand.
I would really appreciate it if you can help in whatever way you can. I understand that people make choices that have consequences but I also understand that life affords us various opportunities to turn our failings around. For this family, for Pre and John Doe, I believe that we can be the opportunity they need.
This campaign will end on October 31, 2017 and I will account for everything received; except anonymity is required.
I hope to hear from you soon.