The Children Investment Plan: My experience at the orphanage

motherless babies home

I could remember when I was serving my fatherland through the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and belonged to the Community Development Service (CDS) of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), one of the agenda of the cadet leaders was to visit a motherless babies home and the Ijamido Motherless Babies Home was selected. This home is situated at 147, Ilo Awela road, Ota, Ogun state, Nigeria. it was founded by the ever caring and loving mother, Late Chief (Mrs.) Irene V. Willoughby in 1958

While we sat in the vehicle conveying us to the motherless home having never been to one, I imagined a lot of things including how they live, eat, go to school, grow and develop among their friends in the society. Immediately our vehicle parked at the gate and we were showed the entrance and ushered in, right on the walls I saw wooden labels with the pictures of the children and their names. One thing that caught my attention is the surname or last name which was the same thing (Willoughby). Tears started rolling down my eyes. I was trying to control it and I successfully did so everyone would not know I am crying.

I started to look round; I saw the elderly ones also moving up and down in the house. We were then moved to the hall where hundreds of the children were sitting and waiting to have us among them. The tears flowed down uncontrollably from my eyes. 

Few thoughts that came to my mind include; why would a parent give birth to a child and dump him; why would a man and a woman have sex despite knowing the consequences and still throw away the consequences, how much more can we be selfish; how would a parent give birth to a child and God allowed such parent to die and not live to see or take care of the child or how do these children grow despite knowing that they have no father and mother. Even if they were provided all they needed, they would still miss their parents. I also imagined how a child must live on what people of goodwill bring to the orphanages and if people don’t visit the orphanage to give them anything, then they starve to death.

All these were even bearable until the threshold moment was reached when the children welcome us and they were asked to sing their anthem. The anthem did not only make me cry that day, as I am typing this, tears are still rolling down my eyes. The cries from other corpers made me believe we still have people with emotions despite us being guilty of these atrocities. Though I can’t remember the whole anthem, but a part of it that made me and other corpers wail without control goes thus;

When my mother born me;
She thought I was not going to become anything or anybody;
She therefore threw me into the gutter;
And from there I was picked;
Here I am today;
I will become somebody.'

Children at Ijamido Motherless Babies Home dancing with corpers

This is the major part I would never forget in my life and would always remind me to give back to the parents that stayed with me and the society that believed in me. Though I parted with a chunk of the money I had that day, yet I don’t feel satisfied that there are people that give birth for fun and make the society over-saturated and unproductive.

The Investment
A speculator is a man who observes the future, and acts before it occurs - Bernard Mannes Baruch. One thing parents that act irresponsible refused to know or believe is that ‘Children are Investments’. They are just like businesses that you start small and in years to come become big enough to feed you and your generations to come. Children, just like businesses or investments do not yield immediately; it takes years, averagely 23 years. Fortunately or unfortunately, these children deserted and disposed by their parents would eventually make it in life and the parents would later come to claim them. 

Then, people see the child hating on the parent and never wanting anything to do with them and they start to insult or curse the child not knowing what the parents have done. Notable names of great children dumped are Les Brown and SteveJobs. When Steve jobs mother and father gave birth to him, they gave him up for adoption at the orphanage before the Jobs picked him up and raise him. Though Steve Jobs later found his father and mother, met them and introduced himself,he never had anything to do with them.

If only you gave birth to a child and took care of him, you would have no need to explain yourself to him or tell him you are his father or mother. Remember, children are investment, though they require effort to raise, you spend a lot on them right from birth till the end of their tertiary education, you suffer to raise them, you work all your life to see them happy, always remember, when they yield, you will also be there to enjoy it.

‘Concentrate your energy, thought and capital exclusively upon the business in which you are engaged...'Don't put all your eggs in one basket' is all wrong. I tell you 'put all your eggs in one basket, and then watch that basket.' - Andrew Carnegie

The Misconception
It is a sorry case seeing some parents thinking the higher the number of children they produce, the greater their blessings. According to India Gandhi, ‘To bear many children is considered not only a religious blessing but also an investment. The greater their number, some Indians reason, the more alms they can beg’. This has increased the number of children on the street thereby littering the streets with nuisances. This has even increased the pressure on available resources in the country. A particular example is Nigeria, where a certain part of it give birth to the number of children they can’t cater for and thereby send them to the street to beg for alms. 

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The opinion is quite wrong and they need to be informed about giving birth to one if that is the number you can afford to send to school till he can stand on his own. Though that part of Nigeria which this is common use them for political purpose and largely practice feudalism, however, when the children eventually find their way through the bondage you pass them through, they will be the one to end your life. A Yoruba adage says, ‘The child you did not teach will be the one to sell your house’.

Yes, you can’t continue to use other people’s children to satisfy your own purpose. You can’t continue to misinform people so they would give birth to children you can subjugate and use for terrorism. ‘He who feeds the tiger if not careful would one day end in the belly of the tiger’. Let this children go to school so they can become important in the society. This would help to reduce societal crimes.
Our Duty
Everyone has a responsibility in ensuring there is an end to this menace that would soon heat the polity.

Parents should give birth to the exact number thy can take care of. They should as well use birth-controlling methods before, during and after child birth. Love your children and take care of them as much as you can. Invest in them and believe in them.

Government can as well control child birth through policies just as the government of Singapore did and China currently does. This would ensure that the facilities can go round for everybody without unnecessary pressure or increasing the unemployment rate in the country. Government should also ensure they provide enough facilities and encourage children education.

Children should see themselves as investment and the parents as investors. They should know a lot has been expended on them so they can become great and later end the tears of the parents or make them happy. So wherever a child finds himself, he should know a lot of people are looking up to him. Always appreciate the efforts of your parents no matter how small and always see it as a privilege having parents as there are many children out there with no father or mother.

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Youths should stop being despicable in their hearts. A lot of news already on babies found in poly-bags, toilets, gutters and other irritable places. Why must you have sex when you can’t or don’t have the knowledge to protect yourself with cheap protective measures. Hope you know you will give an account of every child that comes out of your body. If you mistakenly got pregnant, take care of the child, the shame would come but not last a life time. Save our society, if your own parents had thrown you away, you might not be where you are today.

The Children Investment Plan

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