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Twice Lucky

Posted by By Fola Adekeye on 2004/08/23 | Views: 298 |

Twice Lucky


Adija Bello, declared missing from her home in Ilorin has not only been found but has found her way into the caring arms of Well Being Foundation, WBF, a pet project of the Kwara State governor's wife

Adija Bello, declared missing from her home in Ilorin has not only been found but has found her way into the caring arms of Well Being Foundation, WBF, a pet project of the Kwara State governor's wife

Adija Bello, 16, is lucky that Oluwatoyin Saraki, wife of Kwara State, was watching television when a Lagos TV station showed her as missing and requested her relations to come for her.

Bello had distinctive Ilorin marks and that was of interest to Saraki who was working on the rumour that a black market operates every Tuesday in Lagos where children from poor Kwara homes are being traded for money.

Saraki sent one of her personal aides to speak to her at the TV station. True to her suspicion, Bello came from Ilorin. Bello said one Ilorin woman brought her to Lagos and gave her away as house help to a fastidious home.

She confirmed that someone picked her up on the street and took her to a TV station while fleeing from a rich man's house where she worked as house help. Bello was made to work like a slave without being properly fed. She run away when things became unbearable for her.

Saraki eventually sent for her and took her to Well Being Foundation, WBF, which she runs as her pet project. "She is receiving attention now," Saraki told Newswatch.

WBF has rehabilitated and reunited more than 55 children to their poor families after enrolling them in schools in the state.

More than 6,000 children brought to Lagos for dehumanising works such as house helps and street hawking have reportedly ended as street children. UNICEF, said Lagos street children take drugs, steal and sometimes resort to violence. "They are often from broken homes or families living in abject poverty. They are on the street literally to survive. Most of them sleep under dark bridges where the females among them are prone to molestation and abuse," it said. Saraki said WBF is disturbed to find that most rich people do not send their house helps to school like their own children. "That is the truth and it is bad. In the past, well-to-do people took it upon themselves to educate their house helps alongside their own children. It would do us no good to abandon that practice. People should teach their house helps what they are teaching their own children," she said.

Saraki said WBF would collaborate with serious non-governmental organisations in its war against child trafficking, child labour and child abuse. "These barbaric acts are on the increase in Kwara State and we are determined to do something about them," she said.

WBF also looks after children with serious medical ailments such as heart problems in the state. "The idea is to reduce child mortality and enhance their quality of life," Saraki said.

The foundation recently gave the long neglected state's school for handicapped children and the Children Reception Centre, Gaa-Akanbi, Ilorin, a befitting face-lift. WBF has also donated several Braille machines to the blind students of the school and rehabilitated its dilapidated sports facilities.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.