RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD; THE BIRTHRIGHT OF EVERY CHILD by Ezekiel Adewale Fatomilola

Femi, the first child of Raymond and Dorcas(Mr and Mrs Daniels) stood in the doorway, watched his parents act drama. His eyes couldn’t leave the two faces as he observed with innocence the people he loved most tore each other apart . The last child of the Union, Anuoluwapo fell to the ground with the shock that took over the woman when she sighted her husband with machete. He rolled on the floor, cried at intervals and clutched the toy in one hand and drew the hem of the mother’s gown with the other hand. The only comfort he received was the shedding of combination of blood and tears from the mother’s battered face. Of course, he didn’t have an idea of the ongoing incident.

Many theories have been advanced to explain the poor state of our nations’ children; child care,absence of both parents, instilling of societal values and eventual output of the child on his or her generation. A factor that has been largely ignored, however, particularly among child and family policymakers, is the prevalence and devastating effects of single or no parents’ presence in children’s lives.
The sad fact is that parents in our society are not supported in the fulfillment of their parental responsibilities, and divorced parents in particular often undermined their responsibilities as parents, and this has reflected in the large numbers of “non- custodial” or “non-residential” parents and of course forcefully removed from their children’s lives, as daily caregivers.
My target of concern is how these lads can enjoy to the fullest Responsible parenthood (Their birthright)from the two people who birthed them and not caregivers .

Have you ever wondered who birthed the toddlers you see selling in holdups? Does it tear your heart apart about the sexual abuse of children of age 5,6 and above in the slum? How about those 4 years old orphans who are house maids? Who do you think made those children who are supposed to be in school learning to be on the streets hawking? No one and nothing else caused these but evasiness of responsibilities by those who birthed them.
One cannot therefore, but ask the pertinent questions: Why are these helpless children out of school, if their parents really cared about their educational development and ultimately their future? Why bring them to an increasingly complex world when they have little or nothing to care to them? Does it not amount to sheer wickedness added to folly that a grown up man would keep breeding more children than he and his wife could adequately cater to, erroneously believing that God would send manna from heaven to feed them?

I think the answer to these rhetorics is that the ever increasing number of children without Fathers and mothers today is due to nothing but the nauseating domination of boys and girls instead of men and women. They had no time to watch their wards grow; to sexually produce them is even easier than ABC.

But is there catholicon to this obnoxious state? Of course there are but before then let’s see the effect of irresponsible parenthood on these children.

Everyday families die globally, some due to infidelity, some workaholism, and others personality clashes. Unfortunately some of these things were in establishment even prior to the oath taking on the altar. While the demand for urgent intervention is high in families with this instability, there is grave concern for rescuing of courtship without focus and relationships without directions among the Unmarried because the consequences are porous if not deadly. For instance, Demo and Acock in 1991 reported that in mother-only families, children tend to experience short-term and long-term economic and psychological disadvantages; higher absentee rates at school, lower levels of education, and higher dropout rates (with boys more negatively affected than girls); and more delinquent activity, including alcohol and drug addiction. Adolescents on the other hand, are more negatively affected by parental discord prior to divorce than by living in single-parent families and actually gain in responsibility as a result of altered family routines. Children in single-mother homes are also more likely to experience health-related problems as a result of the decline in their living standard, including the lack of health insurance according to Mauldin in the year 1990. Also as these children from single-parent families become adults, they are more likely to marry early, have children early, and divorce. These of course are evident among nowadays youth. Girls are at greater risk of becoming single mothers as a result of non-marital childbearing or divorce.

All these psychological implications pose more threats in other areas of lives of the children. For instance, the child develops sense of insecurity, lack of life skills, lack of complete moral upbringing, deprivation of love, sense of mistrust and inferiority.Some wards don’t have a situation of an absent parents, while others share in disadvantages of the excessive reproduction of their parents with little or nothing to cater to them.

Then what is the panacea?
Anyone who looks for marriage must have a degree of maturity. By knowing before-hand that marriage comes with storm and understanding those things that bring marital satisfaction and family oneness. Some have gone out of their way to remain in the marriage unhappy, despite different episodes of physical abuse and yet still move on in the marriage.
There is no doubt that this awareness of some specific factors according to which people could forecast the success or failure of their marriage will help them take notice of their usefulness, in order to achieve a greater level of adjustment. It is true that no one marries with the intention of failing, but the secret of a successful marriage does not lie in luck and there are some basic consideration for each of the spouses.
Marriage, like any social system requires a variety of preparations, such as the ability of the person to be responsible so as to deliver the incredible and achieve the unachievable marital success in order to avoid birthing further handicapping situations.

After all has been said, is there really a catholicon to this scourge? Yes! And this is centered round the parents, since the choice of bringing forth a hero is from them. Below is the suggested way out:

As responsible parents, here are just few things you must know, adhere to and put in place.
1. You must bring your children up in the ways of the Lord.
2. You must give the qualitative education up to university level at least to them.
3. You must provide them all the basic human needs such as food, clothes, shelter, care, advice, money etc. Up to university level and beyond.
4. You must follow them up educationally even as they decide what career to pursue.
5. You must help them choose a career, friend and husband but must never impose any of these on them.
6. You must be their closest friend and best adviser.
7. You must be their role models. They should be proud of you as parents and tend to live their lives the way you lived yours although in an improved form.
8. You must allow them their privacy but proper supervision so that it won’t be abused.

As a parent or potential parent, you might find yourself in the trap of doing otherwise but please try and take cognizance of the above mentioned and try as much as you can to do them.

Finally ,I call on policies makers,and the stakeholders in the family and marriage institutions that devalue the importance of parents in children’s lives, and parental involvement as critical to children’s well-being. Children need both parents, and parents need the support of social institutions in regard to being there for their kids. Happy 2016 Children’s day!!! #OneAfricanChild cares

This is an inspiration from the Holy Sprit through Ezekiel Adewale Fatomilola,campaign manager at FFD Nation, an NGO concerned with helping orphans, fatherless, Motherless, IDPS become useful in the society and deliver the incredible as they simultaneously achieve the unachievable.
Ezekiel is clamouring for societal repositoning through the resurrection of the family institution. …(07066444111 / easycare77@gmail.com)

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CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

If you are passionate about community work, you have the drive to seek change in your community and you are ready to learn new leadership skills via volunteering, then OneAfricanChild Foundation may just be the right place for you.
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Distance is not a barrier, we have about 120 volunteers in four different African countries who are doing amazing works and taking their place in their respective communities as change makers.
OneAfricanChild Foundation exists to train young people on Global Citizenship Education and Peace building so that they can grow to become active agents of change in the society. Through our empowerment programs, we ensure the sustainability of the leadership experience necessary for our beneficiaries to partake in the transformation of their communities and the world.
Mission Statement:
Our mission is to educate and empower young people with knowledge and skills necessary to address socio-economic issues and to contribute to positive change in Africa and beyond.
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Eligibility requirements:
We are looking for committed volunteers who will dedicate a substantial amount of time towards our online and field projects.

Volunteers must be willing to learn and share their leadership experience with the communities we work with.

Volunteers must be responsible citizens. They must act at all times in the best interest of the organisation.
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The banner of Hope.
You can follow the link below to fill the Volunteer’s form; it can be done in less than five minutes.
Make use of this golden opportunity to broaden your horizon and add to your skills set.

WE CAN CREATE THE WORLD WE DREAM OF

Habeeb is one of the founding members of One African Child when it was established in the largest town in West Africa, Ibadan. This is a successful attempt to share his success story since he graduated from the University of Ibadan (UI). Habeeb is a change maker and we are so proud of his lofty achievements.

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I don’t know if I am in the best position to write this, as I still have some way to go regarding entrepreneurship. But I have been asked to share part of my story so far;

About 9 years ago when I was in SS2, I created TISA. I wanted a collection of young minds who were going to explore the world with me and create new stuffs. There was this general saying that Africans don’t make stuffs, that they only consume. I wanted to change that narrative and reach young minds who were willing to innovate and who could teach others too to innovate. We could create the world we dream of or we could keep on talking about it. The meaning of TISA was The Indomitable Super Achievers (lol… wherever that came from). My friend designed a logo and I printed forms. When I went to photocopy it at a local business centre, the woman looked through the form and was impressed. I told her about the project and she liked it. She asked about my school and said she would send her child there. I don’t know if she ever did. However, I was unable to move it forward as I wanted to.

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I revisited TISA in my second year at University of Ibadan. With the help of some other friends, we developed Geniuses, a quiz competition modelled to help students solve real life problems. We also successfully made a visitation to a public secondary school where we held a short talk admonishing the students to innovate and choose careers that make them happy. We also donated books to their library.

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Geniuses failed on the brink of success. We had made some excusable mistakes, much due to our naivety. But it was a great adventure after-all. However, as part of our failed bid to Google, we were to develop an app for Geniuses. From our failed bid, one of the team members felt we could work on the app independently, and he went on to create a new tech company which I am happy to be part of. There, we’re helping students learn better with the aid of technology. (www.geniusesng.com).

I tried again in 400L to make TISA work, but we were not really successful yet again. Our administrative structure did not really support our growth. So I took a pause on it and moved to concentrate on other things while I hope to get back to it later on.

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In its stead, I created Market Ibadan Business Festival and with the help of IvoryConnect and a host of friends, we were able to do our first event during my final year. We were supported by several organizations such as CocaCola, Diamond Bank, One African Child, Shyld Initiative, so on. MIBF was created to bring together small, medium and large scale companies together to help facilitate economic growth in the country. We wanted to bring the world down to the city of Ibadan to witness the diversity and brilliance of our culture, commerce, craft and community.

We tried to do a second edition in 2015 but we failed. Our core team had scattered over the country for one important reason or the other. We hope to be back on this soon.

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I’m currently serving in Umuahia. I teach English Language and Physics at a village school in Afugiri. It also brought me closer to the challenges rural farmers face over planting seasons. I immediately started working on solving these challenges so I could make them happy. So I remodelled TISA and started tísà- an agricultural care venture with the vision of helping farmers gain better return for investment and to also cautiously diversify the nation’s economy.

I applied for the British Council Enterprise Challenge and out of over 10,000 initiated applications, my startup was among the 20 that made it to the finals of the competition. It was a great boost, especially in morale.

The vision of tisa is to help farmers, most especially rural farmers, gain better return on investment. In Afugiri, I witness how much farmers put into farming. The end result is not usually favourable. With so much investment, in time, energy and finance, farmers usually get very little in return. Lots of their farm produce get wasted due to lack of storage and processing facilities, and middle men make off more gain than they do on the rest of the produce. I decided to visit the head of the female farmers in Afugiri and she poured out her heart to me. Each year presented tougher challenges to them. She was very frustrated. She invited me to meet with other women farmers during their townhall meeting. Sadly, I wasn’t able to do so, as I was in Lagos for the British Council Enterprise Challenge finals. I don’t know how, but I felt I could help farmers quench their frustration, and make them happy again.

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Training my lenses on agriculture in tertiary institutions, several of the people who could help farmers either don’t practice agriculture after graduating or are simply jobless. With tisa, we can create more jobs in the agricultural sector and grow collaboratively to rebase Nigeria’s economic structure.  While I don’t support bad governance, I think young people should focus more on helping the country rather than feel the country owes them something.  There is a lot we can do together.

At the bootcamp, I learnt a lot more on entrepreneurship and lessons on navigating startups for success, especially in the areas of strategies, branding, finance and accounting, and sales and marketing. I also got to meet other entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who were either starting or already making great progress in their fields. The experience at the bootcamp is helping me remodel tisa to solve the agriculture problem, and I am committed to making this change in the agricultural sector and change the way Nigerians farm. I also hope to partner with other colleagues who are working on agriculture.

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Being an entrepreneur is never easy, whether in new fields or in the face of crushing competition. You first have to make the bold decision of forgoing the more convenient path of being an employee or being self-employed. I’ve committed a good chunk of my years to learning. But the most important part is actually learning by doing. Trying and retrying until things come together. Never hesitating nor relenting. We can’t move forward if we’re afraid to fail or make mistakes. If you’re not getting pushed back, you’re not pioneering. And we are what we repeatedly do, excellence is not an act but a habit. I have learnt a lot from my involvement in CrystalSpot, One African Child, StrictlyUI, Indypress, Swaliafrica, LLH, MIBF, MSSN UI, UITESWRITE, myschoolpodcast and a host of others. Volunteering has helped me a lot too. It helps to learn in real time and face real life challenges.

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I’ve always wanted to be many things in life, a writer, an engineer, an entrepreneur, a football coach and so on. But then, in the end, I just want to help a lot of people. I want to help solve some of the world’s problems and put smiles on the faces of many people. It’s not going to be easy, but I hope to have fun doing it. And hope to have more friends who understand, have similar drives, and are willing to make that journey with me.

I am not where I hope to be, yet I am grateful that I have moved from where I used to be. I am also thankful to my family and friends who have been very supportive. I hope to make the most of life’s experiences and choose to see opportunities in challenges.

I have met awesome and inspiring people, I hope to meet more. One thing I have learnt is that, dreams do come true, if we have the will to pursue it. So; dream, dare, explore, do something, keep moving, don’t stop believing, never hesitate and never relent. Life begins when you step out of your comfort zone.

Habeeb Kolade

#EveryoneHasAStoryToTell

Facebook: Habeeb Professorr X Kolade

Twitter: @Habeeb_X

LinkedIn: Habeebullah Kolade

Instagram: habeebkolade

‘Read to Lead’ project set to hold in Metamorphosis College, Mowe

OneAfricanChild Foundation partners with Young Protege Leadership Foundation for a reading project in February 

Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world” – Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France.
One of the greatest leaders of all time, Napoleon Bonaparte opined that the family of readers is the family of world movers. Readers are individuals who gain knowledge – they use the edge they have discovered on the pages of books to move the world to the next phase in life. Taking the world to the very edge of innovation and creativity at every single opportunity.
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In the spirit of raising world movers, OneAfricanChild Foundation is happy to announce its partnership with Young Protege Leadership Foundation in organising the “Read to Lead” project scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2016 at Metamorphosis College, Mowe.

This project is aimed to support literacy and motivate pupils to cultivate a good reading culture. It will bring together primary and secondary school students to learn and get engaged in creative activities which include a reading session, sharing of experience by participants and facilitators and the projection of a motivational video.

At the end of the project, both organisations expect to have inspired the children to take an interest in reading  and see a reason to aspire for the highest educational qualifications.

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As we believe strongly in learning coupled with empowerment, OneAfricanChild Foundation will also be donating some reading materials centred on Global Citizenship Education.
The time for the event is 10 am prompt.
For Partnerships and Sponsorship, please send us a mail via: 1africanchild@gmail.com or contact Abisola Adewale on +234 806 533 6178.

BEATS OF THE FUTURE

There’s nothing more beautiful than helping children create the world they imagine. This was exactly how we invested our time on June 28, 2014 by creating a colourful word for children.

In partnership with Ivory Connect on their “Market Ibadan Business Festival”,  we organised a cultural festival for about 150 kids from community schools and a foster home. It was an exciting way to involve the community and children.

The theme of the event was tagged “Beats of The Future”. This is because we exist to encourage children to be the pioneers of their dreams; children are important to us! Every growing community needs children; they are indeed the beats of the future we seek.

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Kids present at the event

It was encouraging to see that the kids and their guardians looked forward to the day, thus, their preparation were excellent as well as entertaining.

As we know, a festival isn’t complete without at least few good shows. Our volunteers were actively engaged in featuring exciting activities such as a dance performance, talent contest, a quiz competition, games and much more. There were also free giveaways.

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Kids giving a dance presentation

An invited guest and pioneer of Jumpstart Academy (www.jumpstartacademy.org), Tola Akinsola gave a speech on why education and making the right choice is relevant at this time.  There were other educative talks from our awesome volunteers.
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It was indeed a memorable event! Special thanks to Ivory Connect for giving us such a golden platform to connect children. Also, to Indomie Noodles for their services.

To volunteer with us, send us an email : 1africanchild@gmail.com

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IT IS TIME TO CELEBRATE THE AFRICAN CHILD – JUNE 16

Every 16th June, commemorated as the Day of the African Child brings to remembrance thousands of South African students who participated in the 1976 uprising against poor education and apartheid in Soweto, South Africa, and the continuous awareness of the need to improve the quality of education and learning in Africa.

Dear One AfricanChild members, let us use this day to celebrate the greatness in the African Child.
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I enjoin us to connect the world, using social media to celebrate and share in the significance of this day.

Let’s hashtag #africanchildday #oneafricanchild

Africa is rising and it is great to be part of this sustainable change.

If  you have any article or pictures to share in line with this day, also one that we can share on our blog (www.1africanchild.wordpress.com) please send to javi4luv@yahoo.com.

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The pain at childbirth
The joy of the birth
It’s a girl the doctor said
The beautiful smile from her mother
The joyous expression from her father
The world welcomes this beauty

Little did she know that this world
Have little appreciation of her
That she’s just a passenger
No one told her all she had to go through
That she would be consider a weakling
Cos she would prefer dresses to short
That her toys would be dolls
Instead of cars
Cos she would cry when some one mistreated her
Instead of fight
That she would sit in the front of our class
And pay attention
Rather than sit at the back
And make noise
Even though she’s beautiful
She would be labeled ugly
Because some people wants to laugh

Growing up
Her teenage years will be filled with loads of decision
What to wear, at what time and to what place
And the punishment for her not getting pregnant
is a monthly rain of blood from her pubic area
And pain to accompany it
Little did she know that?
She would be labeled a nerd
If she dressed decently and her grades were up
And she keeps her till marriage
But when she indulges in sex,
Party with her friends
She would be consider a whore

When she finally gets into a relationship
All the guy wants is to get in her pants
Daily depositing his lies
To her fragile heart
And when she finally agrees
Her heart is broken
Her trust in men diminishes
And all she’s left with is lies
When Mr. Right comes along
Her past beckons
Her memories haunt
She accused of mistrust
Just because she refuses
To make the same mistake twice

She didn’t know she is a possible victim of rape
Just because some one can control his orgies
That walking home from her daily endeavors
She can be groped at the corner of a dimly lit street
By a strange man
Molested or raped just so he can fulfill his sexual cravings
And left for dead just because she is a woman
Or sexually harassed just because she is gorgeous

More surprisingly her workplace isn’t left out
She would be considered second fiddle
Because it’s a man world
She would have to walk an extra mile
In order to compete
Cos she’s believed to be weak,
Even her religion perceives her as a subordinate
Instead of being her own woman
The society she lives in judges her based on her gender
And her femininity stands as her greatest obstacle in life.

Every woman deserve our attention and protection, hidden behind those beautiful faces and smiles are tears, heartbreaks, insecurities, fears and societal limitations, they are no sex toys or weaklings, neither are they liabilities. They are beautiful, strong and fearless and after each tear there is a woman clinging on to the promise of hope and fighting daily for her voice to be heard in this cruel world.

Ogunsanya Oluwatosin
ONEAFRICANCHILD