It was on a Monday morning – First day of Odunayo
Aliu’s internship as a teacher at a school in Ondo, Ondo state. Odunayo has
always had it in mind; thinking and brooding on how to best make sure that
under privileged children in slums and forgotten communities have access to the
basic things of life especially in the area of education, health and welfare.
Before the time, she had already made an effort to help a child named Seun Dada
who was in need of quality education. A flier had been designed in order to
solicit help for her.
Interestingly, her first day on the field as a
teacher was the day she was spurned to carry out a community survey around
Ijare town to have good information of a particular village around Ijare where
there are children in need of intervention as regards provision of quality
education. So Odunayo reached out to her friends that would help her in the
quest to scout for communities where children that fitted the profile she had
in her mind were.
She called two of our friends and they left
with together. Interestingly, Joy volunteered to be the tour guide that claimed
to know the way despite her lack of experience as a tour guide. To the surprise
of Odunayo and her inexperienced tour guide and companion, they realized that
the initial information that Ajangboto which is the village they agreed to
visit was not far from Ijare was false. It was a shock to when they realized
that there was no regular bike to Ajangboto from Ijare and that the distance
between the two locations was farther than a mile.
After failed negotiations with several bike
men, they finally got two bike men to take them to Ajangboto at a subsidised
rate but it was at that moment Odunayo began to think of her own financial
incapability and she muttered within herself “I am broke yet I want to offer disadvantaged students scholarships”
and it was clear that it was not her own financial prowess that was driving her
to help these disadvantaged children but her zeal to make sure that every child
is not deprived of what they need to have a fulfilled and productive childhood.
And this realization made her resolution stronger!
The sojourners stopped at a town before
Ajangboto called Ore Seun because Ajangboto was apparently farther than they
were told before embarking on the scouting trip. Ore Seun is not a village like
Ajangboto but a small settlement along the way. They were met by the community
leader who was warm and upon hearing what Odunayo and her friends came to do,
he was free to report that about 23 students were out of school and did not
have any intention or hope of going back.
After talking with the community leader, they
got to a house where there was a girl who was not going to school and a man who
did not let them see the girl because he thought they came with money. Because
he was demanding for money before they could see or talk to the child, they
were unable to have a conversation with the girl. They met another child called
Emmanuel. Emmanuel had to travel to attend school because the school he
attended was not in Ore Seun and he was about dropping out of when they met
him. Unfortunately, there was nothing they could do to help Emmanuel at that
time and they are still not able to keep in touch with him.
Joy and Favour were both orphans and they were
not going to school. They were staying with an elderly woman who was the one
taking care of them. It is unfortunate that they could not help these orphans
The information they gathered from this
scouting trip has been a source of motivation that drives the work of LLCSI
till today. As much as it lies in LLCSI’s power, marginalised children that
come across their path must be catered for as much as possible. LLCSI will make
sure that marginalised children in forgotten communities like Ore Seun are
catered for in terms of education, health and general welfare.