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Is the child better off now?

She is an uneducated widow at the age of twenty eight, and I see her as someone who needs support and encouragement. The husband died during a medical operation when she was five months old pregnant and we had to support her small family of two girls before she delivered the last child four months after the death of her husband. We were relieved when she was delivered of safely, a son but was flabbergasted when we were told that she must leave when the baby steps the ground, that is, starts to walk because her sister in law will nurture the children. She must leave the children behind, because in our land, children belongs to the husband's family at his demise except the woman can put up a fight supported by Non Governmental Organisation but this woman cannot, becasue she has only God and no one else.

Naturally, the bulk stops on our desk, but we were ready to assist because one, the woman is good, very appreciative, no matter how little you gave she shows too much appreciation.. and secondly, she is the next at the door, knocking for support. It became a weekly affair of support and mother and children were accepted as our extended family.

On the February 14th, lovers' day, we were together again , sharing yes, sharing little things of life that looks great to them and they were content and we happy because they always accept the little weusually offer. The widow had earlier on informed us that she works as a laborer with some bricklayer which I instantly condemned because the son is too young to be strapped to the back fetching water in this very hot weather in Nigeria. She promised to stop the job immediately she gathered enough to buy a handset and pay some school fees, I kept calm because presently those are beyond me, but on this valentine day , 14th she proudly showed her handset, a cheap Made in China phone, and she was storing everyone’s phone but I walked passed them because the way I receive phone calls must be trimmed down.

But unfortunately when we went visiting again, that bouncing baby boy is dead, died in the middle of the night, before we came knocking, we were late, not even aware that he had took ill. He took ill on Wednesday and was taken to the Health Centre in the community, where as usual there was no drug but pen and paper to prescribe drugs for mothers to purchase. Meanwhile, after the prescription, she could not afford the amount, according to everyone, she ran everywhere begging them to lend out and no one in this poor Riverine community could lend a helping hand to this dying child, he had measles.

The boy was so fat, healthy looking, and sucks breast full time because he has not being introduced to cereals but to harsh life of working in the son with bricklayers, from 6 am to 6 pm, she would be strapped to the back while her mother fetches and fetches.

I felt so responsible for her, that I thought may be I f I had given my phone number, may be , may be but I summoned courage and told Mother Starland yesterday, and she said and I quote "DO NOT EVER ENTERTAIN SUCH THOUGHTS. GUILT SUCKS! Guilt also creates illness. You can not save everyone in the world, my sweet daughter and I think it is wise that you don’t give out your number. Others can wear you out if don’t learn to say NO. “NO” is OK. Death only seems “bad” from our human perspective. Is it really? Is the child better off now? Maybe this is the mother’s chance to stand on her own. Would she be a candidate to learn a skill at SOS? ABOVE ALL ELSE, ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF YOU FIRST! If you don’t take care of you first, how can you expect to take care of any one else? I learn this lesson the hard way. Maybe you can learn it the easy way". 

I sighed, may be these little ones that die daily, who are only mourned by their mother but no else, are happy over there, where scotching sun do not dry their skin, where what to eat do not shape their existence, where peace reigns, not here where a child strapped to the back suffers the pain more that the mother, do you know that if a child is strapped to the back while tilling the farm, he suffers the scorching sun more than the mother?, How will the child not suffer more, he who has resumed with the mother by 6 am to 6pm, strapped to the back not in order to enjoy the back moisture but to stop the child from disturbing the mother in the course of her work, when he cries, he is viewed as someone who does not want the work to progress not as one who has the right to his mother's attention anytime and anywhere, hmn! .

May be the child is better off there just as Dear mother has rightly put it.

Comments

Sharese's picture

Thoughts

Is the Starland that you speak of Ms. K-Lee of the WorldPulse? That is a side note.

I agree with the Mother Starland that you speak of. Of course the guilt that you would hold would be in vain, there is always a should-of, could-of, would-of. But no one knows the outcome of any of those. And people come on this Earth and people go. That is how the world works. Perhaps the mother's life will be better- and those of her other children because this one child has passed. We don't know though if it would have been better or worse, but the reality is that the child has passed. The reality of now is what prevails at this point- not the "what would it be like if he were here".

Bringing light to a situation like this is something very profound. Thank you for starting this conversation. Indeed your bravery in bringing up the "what if" with Starland is something very comendable. I think that a discussion like this is often hard to have and not one that many people do. Again, thank you for shedding light on this issue and encouraging others to reflect on the situation.

Good vibes and Much Peace to you and the women who benefit from your organizaiton.

Love,

Sharese

olutosin's picture

She is

Dear,

Yes she is, now she guides us in all we do, advising when necessary, chastising whenever that is needed, providing mentoring, nurturing and mothering, may be one thing WORLDPULSE is doing and yet not realise. LOL
It is so hard to bring up dear sister, but for all to learn and for those passing through this phase to, it can only get better if we come up to discuss these issues among ourselves.

Love you sweet sister.
N.B
Worldpulse has added to my mother, now they are three, one is Ma Natalie Safir, the second one is Mother Starland and my biological Mother.
In life, my sister, we meet for a reason, some may be for a season while some may be for life. Some of these women have really touched my life where it matters.

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

https:

itsdelta's picture

Oh Olu!

That was the first thought that crossed my mind 'oh Olu!' --- not much by way of thoughts and even less by way of speech - but even those of us given to verbosity are struck dumb by some of life's tragedies.

It is sad and yet at the same time it is possible that maybe, just maybe, that child was saved from a worse fate for the poor amongst us are often the wretched ones.

Who are we to challenge fate - to question what we could never prevent... I am glad you could write of the experience - for to share it is therapeutic and it often helps to share a load with like-minded sisters.

I salute your courage, your strength and resilience as you live daily in close proximity to the suffering multitudes - often women folk - some who were never equipped to face the challenges besetting them and many who don't stand a chance in the face of Africa's tyrannical patriarchy.

So for lack of a better salutation - I will repeat myself; oh Olu!

Much as we may wish to - we are powerless to stop the inevitable cycle of living and dying. So keep your number to your self and by all means - take care of you.

Like a fellow sister once wrote to me - I tip my hat to you my good man (tongue in cheek)

cheers
Delta

olutosin's picture

MY DARLING SISTER, THANKS

Most people do not believe in spirituality, but I do. We sometimes think reality as one of the mundane things of life, when I heard of his death, I said oh my oh my, just the way you said oh Olu!
I so much appreciate your response, I am ready to move on, even tounchanneled coast by your words of encourgement on Worldpulse.
It isn't easy we say here.
I love you sister and love what you are doing.

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

https:

Tina's picture

Olutosin

The work that you are doing is incredible. Keep it up !
Much Love
Tina

olutosin's picture

I WANT TO WORK

Dear sis,
We want more, to pput our footprints in teh hearts of many, yes they must learn selfless service in our communities, because our nation is a different one. different from all that you know my dear.

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

https:

Nusrat Ara's picture

Dear Olutosin, I have often

Dear Olutosin,

I have often tried to think like that . I mean in the way that the children might be better off that way. I admit it isn't easy.

You are doing good work. Keep going.

Lots of Love

Nusrat

olutosin's picture

It is not easy, yes

Thanks darling for your comment

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

https:

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