>By Tobi Oyetunde<
Impacting lives positively, the motto of JOINValue (Jewels of Inestimable Values), a non-governmental organization came to the fore on Sunday, 3rd of July, 2016, when the founder, Miss Chichi Ogbonnaya and her team members showered love to the children of Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment Home, Yaba, Lagos.
The visit to the home which also included donation of food items was done in celebration of Miss Chichi Ogbonnaya’s birthday as a demonstration of her passion to reaching out to the less privilege.
According to her, it is better to give than to receive, especially to the less privilege.
“I know how it feels to be in a state of need as I have been there before but it is only Jesus and His grace that made me who I am today. So I prefer to give than to receive because when you give to others, God will continually bless you.” she said.
“I feel this burden in my heart to give to those who are not privileged to have what others have and that is what brought about the existence of the organization, JOINValue”, she added.
Receiving the team, a teacher in the house, Mr. Kareem welcomed the gestures of the JOINValue team to the house.
He said: “there are three types of people in the house; the educable, the trainable and the totally dependant”. Speaking further, he said: “the educable are those who have the ability to learn regardless of the fact that they are slow learners because they can not comprehend like a normal person due to their mental and psychological makeup. The trainable are those who are not educable but can be trained to learn handwork and skills, while the totally dependant are those who can not do anything on their own, can not read and write, can not learn skills and can not even eat; they have to depend on the care givers in the home.
Kareem explained that the Modupe Cole Home, which has been in existence for years is a haven for many children who have disabilities. “There are many people in the foundation who have disabilities, not only children but we also have a man of 64 years who happens to be oldest the home has accommodated”, he explained.
He noted that the inmates have challenges. “The students are slow learners and their retention is low as they forget what they are taught easily; they also go through crisis and sometimes they attack visitors when going through this crisis. Another thing is that there is not enough encouragement from the government.”
He noted that the government pays the teachers the same rate they pay normal school teachers whereas they do more work than normal school teachers. “While others work Monday to Friday, we work everyday, including weekends and public holidays”, he said.
He also lamented that parents do neglect their children in the home.
“Some parents do not want people to know they that have children that are disabled here as they see it as a thing of shame which is not suppose to be so. The government should help in changing the mentality of the people towards the disabled”, he said.
In showing love to the children, the JOINvalue team spent some time praying with the children, shared some gifts with them and took photographs with them as a way of making them feel loved and have a sense of belonging in the society.