I was posted to the north for my NYSC precisely Maiduguri, Borno state where I embarked on an NYSC individual project which I tagged ‘Street Love’.
While in the University, I joined a group called Project One Million Souls, an outreach group that reaches out to less privileged people. We embarked on different projects like visiting orphanage homes, beggar’s colony, Home of the blind, to mention a few. And these experiences sparked up a passion in me to touch the lives of people especially the less privileged in the society. With so many less privileged people on the streets of Maiduguri, I initiated the street love project which sought to extend love to other souls who need and deserve it.
I remember the first time I came into Maiduguri. I saw so many handsome little boys roaming the streets begging for food, money. I was touched, I was moved. Yes! moved to tears!. I wanted to do so much for them. I wanted to build a home for them where they just have to wake up in the morning, have their baths, eat and learn, play and eat and go to bed. I wanted to give them a life that every child desires. But I couldn’t not because I didn’t want to but what I could do was limited. I was only but a corps member. And then the idea came, I could do something no matter how little, no matter how insignificant for them; I could touch their lives. This birthed the Street love project.
I also inquired about orphanage homes present in Maiduguri and I and some other corps members visited the Fatima Ali Sheriff Children’ home in March, 2011. I talked to friends about my idea and through their feedback I was able to concretise the project idea which I presented to NYSC.
The street love project was divided into four parts:
1) COAT OF MANY COLOURS: clothing items were gathered from homes and families and were distributed to the street children.
2) FOOD OUTREACH: on the 13th of August, 2011, cooked food, gift packs was distributed to over 100 street children (alimanjaries).
3) ORPHANAGE SUPPORT: The orphanage support part of this project was a one month initiative which took place from August 15th to September 8th, 2011. An orphanage home in Maiduguri, the Fatima Ali Sheriff orphanage home was visited. The playground of the home was renovated, a signboard was erected for the home and food and clothing were donated to the home.
4) EMPOWER AN ORPHAN: From the extra funds raised for the project, four orphans and vulnerable children were empowered by paying their fees. The project manager of Mercy Vincent foundation, Mr Palmer, introduced me to some orphans who have difficulty in paying their fees; I was touched by their stories. we were able to pay the fees of four school children, two of them for two years while the remaining two for one and five years respectively.
Although my tight schedule because of my PPA which was in Sterling Bank Plc, almost made the project a mere thought, I sought the assistance of some fellow corps members who played vital roles in the accomplishment of the project.
I was thrilled that such a small act of providing food and clothing would put a smile on the faces of these children. I could not promise them something big or long lasting but that was my own little way of showing I care about them. Today I can say am fulfilled that I touched the lives of some less privileged no matter how small.
Believing so much in a saying by Albert Einstein that ‘Only a life lived for others is worth living’ and having a dream to start up my own foundation few years from now, I gracefully took advantage of the NYSC platform to draw closer to that dream.