It was the last day of the year 2019, and I got a life-changing email inviting me for “Bags of love“, a stay-time with children at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Kuchingoro, Games Village, Abuja.
“Bags of Love” is an initiative of the Potters children Global Foundation founded by Elizabeth Ayua and Olayeri Abiola Samuel. The Potters Children Global Foundation aims to provide education, food, empowerment sessions and health care needs for vulnerable children so as to enhance and impact their lives.
At the young age of 21 years I was appointed as the head of volunteers in April 2019 and this has enabled me to garner leadership skills that involves rallying volunteers to teach children on basic life skills in marginalized communities. A visit to the Kuchingoro IDP camp was a task I have never experienced before. It came with mixed feelings because I was excited about helping children who needed life skills, but I also understood that they had gone through traumatizing experiences with Boko Haram in the north-eastern region of Nigeria.
I woke up early to do my chores and bade my mum and siblings farewell. Side note, my mom and siblings were all wondering where all the energy and happiness came from because on a normal day I won’t be so happy doing my chores.
On arrival at the camp, we could see how happy the kids were to see us, some of them ran towards us to hug us with so much love, we could feel the vibrant energy they had despite the circumstances they were in . The kids had the opportunity to pick what they wanted from the bags of love provided by the Foundation. The items in the box included sweaters, shirts, blankets, overalls, gowns, T-shirts, socks, shoes, petroleum jelly, and drinks.
Some of the kids preferred the sweaters with hoodies , they actually called it ‘mai hu’la ‘ ( cap/ hoodie ). After sharing the items , we did a dancing competition where we shared gifts to the best dancers. Towards the end of the event, we said our goodbyes to the children although they were not happy to let us go.
On our way back home, I realized that the mixture of overwhelming and underwhelming fears I had at the beginning of the day were gone. We had a great time and the visit made me realize that no matter how little your actions towards social good is, if it puts a welcome smile on the faces of the people that need smiles the most, then my little efforts are absolutely worth it.
I resolved that 2020 was going to be my year of action! It’s already begun for me. I hope you are ready to join our next visit, if you can’t, donate what you can and do one social good in your own little way all through 2020. Follow my next blogpost to keep you updated!
Peace Ozegbe is a Budding Development Professional.