Friday, March 04, 2011

The 259th good thing about Lagos: Charity visits

This week, instead of a regular charity committee meeting, I organized a field trip to visit a couple of the charities that the American Women's club supports.  These are a great way to raise awareness of our charities and get women to think about how we can better support them.

We had a bus full of 17 or so, and brought some donations along with us.  Our first stop was my second visit to a Lagos State rehabilitation center in Majidun, Ikorodu.  Here's most of our group in this picture, which is framed by the condensation on my camera lens.

 We weren't allowed to take pictures of this government facility and I won't repeat the same history that I related in my first post about this place.  Though they said there were over a thousand people there, we probably didn't see more than several hundred.  There were good-looking, happy children and heartbreakingly malnourished children, and the same for adults.  Many mentally ill people end up there.  We visited a building that was a dormitory for teenagers that was a really awful place -- we were advised just to peek in the rooms and not to touch anything.  It was smelly and there were naked bodies lying on the floor.  One young boy there recently died from hemorrhoids, which had gotten very bad before anyone even noticed.   It's a tragic place -- so many people there with nothing to occupy them.  There is so much more that could be done.  We came up with some ideas for ways to help them with craft/skills training.

We then drove to Child Life Line, a facility that rescues boys off the streets.   I've written more about this charity in my post after my first visit there.   We were very grateful that the road leading to Ibeshe, the village by this charity, had recently been graded so it didn't have the huge mudholes that we faced on my previous visit!  As we drove down the path leading to the center, we faced a herd of cattle coming our way.  They are now very well photographed cattle, as all the women on the bus got out their cameras.  I wish I had taken a picture of that.

 We had a nice time looking over the facilities at this very pleasant center.  Here's our group in the dining building.
 I was able to see the use of the furniture and kitchen equpment that had been donated by ConocoPhillips in December.  The cook was so grateful for her shelves and cooking equipment!

We were so impressed to see these solar panels on one of their buildings.  They had been donated by someone in the Netherlands.  They said that they provide much of the power the center uses.
 The boys are learning sewing and tailoring.  Most tailors here use these old treadle machines which are more practical with the lack of reliable power.
 There were two sticks stuck in the ground on each side of this sandy area in the field.  Those were the soccer goals.  Like most Nigerian youth, the boys love to play soccer.
There are good people doing important work at both these places, but it was especially interesting to see the contrast between the government center and the private charity.  Given the choice between the two, it was easy to choose where I would stay.

1 comment:

emily felts said...

So glad you all got to go visit these...wish I could have joined you. I'm grateful for the way AWC has been able to assist...and yay for Solar Panels from the Netherlands :)