Re-discovering my vision
I grew up to know that there is class difference. I noticed in our public school that they were those that came from very rich, rich, poor and very poor homes. Of course, it has never been easy for the poor despite the fact that the school tuition was not high, they could hardly afford tuition, school uniforms and books. But God in his mercies made it possible for some of them to find their way into schools.
My mother was always giving out materials to women and also to their children - food, clothings etc but the magnitude of poverty in our society and immediate environment did not register fully in my brain. My eyes and my beings was awakened afresh when i was opportuned to work as an executive member in my church women forum. I sat through interviews with some members who are indigents and widows who are helpless. A visit to their homes to confirm their stories of woes showed an environment that is horrible for habitation and the number of people in these small thatched rooms made of woods and zincs without windows for ventilation, with leaky roofs during the rains and no toilets, no good water and they sleep on bare floors, tattered cloths and mats. The temperature in these zinc made houses is so high on sunny days that i imagine how they survive and most of them have different types of rashes covering their skins especially the children. Some are into petty trading and most do not have any means of livelihood, and most times to go to bed hungry. The church through our women forum was able to reach out to a lot of them but some have compounded issues that even the little assistant looked like a scratch on the surface.
I visited my birth place recently and noticed that teenage pregnancies have doubled in the last ten years. Girls between the ages of 15 and 20 all have children out of wedlock and to worsen the matter, the men that put them in these conditions are not assisting them in any form. Most of them were not opportuned to visit any health facilities before delivery and had Traditional Birth attendance taking delivery. A lot of them do not go to school and has never been to school. My organisation have planned out an empowerment program for them after interviewing some of them. They need to be informed of their fundamental / women rights and the dangers of unintended pregnancies. The program is also to address the dangers of sexually transmitted infections (STDs), HIV/AIDs and to empower them economically through skill acquisitions to be self reliant. We are still looking for collaboration with health facilities to take care of the pregnant ones till delivery. Some were given tokens to visit the nearest health facilities for ante-natal.
Women must be made to understand their rights and their full potentials harnessed for the betterment of all of us.