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I WANT TO SELL MY CHILD

On the 2nd of February 2010, at the Social Centre of International NGO working for children in Lagos, I was discussing with the Head Project about the case of a house maid who abandoned her two day old baby in care of her “madam” and fled. It is more than thirteen years ago, she never looked back and the girl has grown up to become a pain in the neck now. We were deliberating on steps to explore when a young woman came in with a child who is about six months old, she said I want to sell my child, I was taken aback, and it was so strange and different from what I usually hear women say, like I want to sell my gold or used clothing material. I excused her and walked out of the office in order to allow her some privacy with the Project Head. In the long run I learnt that she needed some money for rent and feeding.

The Project Head wanted to assist her with some baby formula after a long discussion and counseling but there was none readily available and she bought some local corn paste for her, and her personal data were recorded to allow further follow up. I felt so sad and could not contain my sadness but the woman in charge looked at me and laughed, she said, “this is what we encounter daily, the case of a woman looking for an established institution to sell her baby Is better than those who would deliberately sell these babies to ritual killers”.

Inasmuch as I have decided to stop complaining and start working to help the few women and Children I can assist, several unanswered questions robbed me of my sleep and I decided to share this ugly experience with my online family members here. Is it that these women selling their children do not feel any bonding towards these little innocent beings, how can one sell a child to take care of the rest? Is this even different from those who sell their children into prostitution? Will there be a time when mothers will place their children as wares in our markets if this situation persists? I want to support women and children where do I start from?

The world knows the statistics and percentage of poverty level in the developing, but do they know what these poor ones are eating or indulging into in order to have their two square meals?

Comments

JaniceW's picture

Children as commodities

Olutosin,
It is so sad that we live in a society where the economic conditions leave some mothers with little choice but to sell their children. Poverty is still the fundamental problem that underlies all trafficking and I have no doubt that the decision is not one made lightly. Some parents give up their children in the hopes of providing them with a bright future and a good education. While others do so in the hopes of saving their other children so they don't die of hunger.

It is, I believe, an act of desperation and one a mother will never forget for the rest of her life.
Janice

olutosin's picture

ACT OF DESPERATION

My Janice,

Thanks so much for finding the right word for this write up! Love you so much for showing so much love to us too. I agree that so many women will give up their children to save them but when a mother wants to pay for rent and to start little business, I think the level of poverty can only e compared to the story my old mother share d with me, it is about a woman who went to steal tuers of yam in the farm during famine and was so happy with the yam that she forgot her baby in th farm.

My God bless this women with abundance to eat, itis only miracle that can save our naation.

Thanks Dear

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

jap21's picture

Hi Olutosin

Dearest Tosin,

I am so glad to hear that you will help. Remember that to help them first you must understand how they feel and their motivation, and then you must study why these actions take place.
There are lots of books on psychology which will help you cope with this, please take the time to review them. Also, remember that we are all copycats.

What kind of survival strategy are these girls copying? Are they just one more statistic because they chose to follow the wrong survival strategy?

It is usually their cultural background what will tell you which behavior needs to be changed in order to achieve enough self confidence and compassion in them.

Congratulations for your decision of helping. Hope you find everything you need real soon.

Love,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

olutosin's picture

THANKS AND AMEN

Love you sister, I will never forget your words

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Starland's picture

no options

When one sees no options then one sees only hopelessness and despair. I am going to go out on a limb here and present what the scientific field of Physics has been saying for a long time: What we focus on expands and creates our present conditons. When we are born, for example, in anothers lifetime focus on poverty, that is what we learn. We live what we learn. And like our mothers before us, we think we have no options. Then others join in focus on our poverty and hopelessness and despair and the issue and the belief in the issue like poverty expands under the focus. Solving this issue of poverty, in my opinion, does not fully begin with outside contributions from domestic or foreign countries or NGO's. The first step is to offer them the option of changing their mind and learning how to focus on positive life enhancing options until the focus becomes a firm believe in each ones mind and that belief shows itself as options for a better life. None of what I am suggesting is new. This work is already being done for a long time by many in many places around the world. For example, the option of mico-loans, the options of places to sell wares and food, the option of creating enviornmental jobs; the option of creating educational opportunities; the option of health care and much,much more. All this is being done by many people around the world to offer options and opportunity so that eventually the belief in poverty becomes so dim that the thought of selling a child is no more. Is it possible?

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Ma,

Thanks so much for these options, the first step of offering teh option of changing her mind was given but she came back teh second day and do you know what? the issue has really created job for me, I went out o really ask if it is possible that a woman will come out openly to sell her child and I heard that it is a new way of making money now, to sell a baby boy is up to 4000 dollars and a baby girl is less thatn 3000dollars, this is usually in secret and the traces is wiped out.

I heard bad things tha tI cannot even write them down here, and I was refered to teh case of a medical doctor in Eastern part of Nigeria that was arrested for impregnanting many girls, he would pay them and inject them when they fall into labour, he will thereafeter sell the babies at exhorbitant prices, one of the girls arrested there is a 12 year old girl, she is pregnant for the doctor. I read it and have the doctors picture. The funniest part of it is that a man who was there castigated teh womean for coming to an NGO instead of meeting the peopel who knows wher ethe business is booming.

Micro finance has really become a business of fraudsters in Nigeria, even those who save their money in these banks regretted doing that but I know of small loans givien by some NGO in Northern Nigeir afor some women, but I BELIEVE i will surely find a head way, I am learning and ready to learn.

LAGOS STATE IS BEING TURNED TO MEGA CITY AND IT IS REALLY AFFECTING POOR WOMEN WHO D NOT HAVE WHERE TO SELL THEIR WARES AGAIN, The shops are now on sale for millions of Naira whereas some of the se women's life savings is not more tahtn 5ooo which cannot even pay rent, I have visited a place recently where women pay to sleep by night, I am sure very few people can withstand teh stench, I really want to work for women and stop complaining.

Thanks so much for the privilege given to me to learn from you, I apprecaite your kindness and love towards me and the little girls who are always shouting Mawmaw and forcing me to contact you. We love you ma.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Starland's picture

just suggestions

The options I mentioned are only a few things I know about. Focus ONLY on the ones that do work and why and NOT the ones that dont work and why. (For example the doctor. If you don't know him and can't do anything about him and his practice then stop giving him more power by focusing on him. Let him go.) Focus on what you CAN do. Sounds like it is time to get very creative in Lagos. I looked it up and I can see it is turning into a big city. By focusing on the good stuff you will attract the good stuff and the good people that can help you. Go for it. Time to change things, don't you think? How can I help you?

I just remembered that a year or so ago I bought a book called "How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas." I will re-vist this book and if I find anything that might be usable, I'll let you know. What, then, I want to hear is about any ideas are possible not excuses based on bad behavior happening there now. But overall, the most important thing is to stay looking at the postive and searching for even little things that can be done like maybe talking to that women who wanted to sell her child about the Declaration on the Rights of the Child and what she is doing is against the law and explore options on other ways to make her life better without selling children. She might even have ideas herself. Who knows?

Start asking lots of questions Who, What, Why, When, Where etc. Ideas will come to you.

Sorry for the lecture. :) You have so very much potential to make a difference, I want to support you all I can. Sorry if I get carried away.

love you....
ma

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

olutosin's picture

A REBIRTH FOR YOU MA!

Ma,

You are not only going to suggest but to continue to train us, not only to train us but to pay that VALUABLE VISIT, and show that slow learner you named Olutosin how to do it. Enough of talk for me o, I want to act and now is the time, nothing can stop me o, when all of you are behind me, I will change lives through these passed down knowledge I acquire here, even if it is one life at a time.

I am waiting and will not wait in vain.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Starland's picture

smiles

Way to go, girl! I am 100% behind you.
When I talk about the importance of focusing, I am talking about a law of energy. When you focus (create energy) the energy creates power for what you are focusing on. Understand? It doesn't matter if we judge it as good or bad, energy is just energy with no judgement. Put all your focus and energy on the positive and your life will change as well as that of others.

ma

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

olutosin's picture

UNDERSTOOD MAWMAW

Yes ma, I understand what you are saying and heappy to learn too, please send some online resource materials to me too!
Loads of Love ma

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

kombizz's picture

I am sure

I am sure many childless families love to buy her child.
But then, we all find out why this young lady wants to sell her child.
Once we find the problem, the right solution comes after that.

olutosin's picture

TO PAY RENT

Her main reason is to spend the money on house rent. Thanks for the comment.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Nelly2.0's picture

Desperation!

Dear Olutosin,

desperation is the answer to your question. Poverty is a terrible thing and when you can't have food to eat yourself, talk less of feeding another mouth, you begin to consider even the most bizarre solutions to your problem. Most of the decisions you take at this point in time will not be the best and will probably haunt you for the rest of your life. Like Janice said, sometimes these mothers give up their children thinking that it may mean a better life for them - better education, food to eat everyday and security.

It may also be that this woman may blame this child for her misfortunes. If she was abandoned by the baby's father or raped, she may think it poetic justice that this child is sold to give her a chance for survival.

But the bottom line is poverty can make you desperate and desperation can lead to many insane things. It is a good thing that you are helping.

warmest regards,
Nelly

olutosin's picture

Thanks Nelly

My prayer is to make impact and stop complaining and I believe when I START taking step, God will back me up, thanks dear.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

olutosin's picture

Thanks Nelly

My prayer is to make impact and stop complaining and I believe when I START taking step, God will back me up, thanks dear.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Olutosin,

To sell a child,
eeeeh,
to sell a child.
It must be so painful.

I can hear your cry. Sometimes I wonder if also the human race is not gradually changing.. to a point where mothering will not be so huge a sacred instinct of mothers, I think many fathers lost their motherhood powers first.. and I mean motherhood.. .. I know her circumstances were different at point of I want to sell my child.. But, it is hard to believe but it is published that some girls say in Nairobi in a study they would rather get HIV/Aids than have a baby. Was this a badly done study? I do not think so. I think most people would rather not even compare these two things and I know for those infected and those of affected and they say that is all of us, this might be very strange to hear! I think the role of fathers in family life is in many societies so badly off. I mean, by the time she decides this is hers to sell.. you know?

@Dr. K-Lee Starkland, and I hear you. I did not know this was physics so please give me more references to read from. I am in fact wondering.. since the media seems to mainly show poverty and make slums or townships always look like a place where people focus on poverty .. and the media is our main mirror.. just where do we go from here? And there is a lot happening like micro finance etc.. but it is not news because woman has not yet bitten dog? you see, they say news is when 'man bites dog' and this is what they give us. Well.

Olutosin, thanks so much for your big heart and able mind and body!

"Communication is the real work of leadership" Nitin Nohria

olutosin's picture

RESPECT SISTER

Dear sister,

RESPECT SIS RESPECT. I admire you and your courage and always pray to work more than you do. Respect sis, absolute respect.
Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I promise to work, work and I mean work for women and children.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Nusrat Ara's picture

The World is a strange place

The World is a strange place sister. I am happy that you have chosen to help. Keep it up.

Love

Nusrat

olutosin's picture

THANKS DEAR FRIEND

With the support of Ma Starland, WP and U huh I will do anything to support our women and children here.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

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