Between the year 2008 and 2010, we were able to work with a large number of children and we achieved great success in tackling the homeless state of most of them. We enrolled about twenty five (25) of them into schools and five (5) others for vocational skill training, of which some of them are in boarding schools and judging from their report card they are doing very well academically.
Some of the children undergoing vocational skill acquisition have completed their course, we funded their graduation ceremony and they are now independent artisans. We realised that many of the children had talent thus we got help. We contacted Yoruba actor Saidi Balogun and thankfully he was compassionate. He came, met the children and he came on board from then.
He wrote a screenplay about the lives of children on the streets and how their destinies would end pending on the intervention they got. We used 17 children in that movie. We thereafter took all these children back to their different homes and we are pleased that 14 of that group are still at home and are some of the ones referred to above.
We are about to go into another production with the some of the same children and some new ones this time produced by actress and writer and producer Ope Olusanya. She also is very passionate and another Haven ambassador and volunteer. The volunteers and staff of Haven have hosted parties for the children at Kuramo beach every year since 2008.
On Children’s days and at Christmas where the children are provided with enough food to eat and drink, then everybody puts on their dancing shoes and have a fun filled day dancing to the music provided by a DJ. The management team in charge of the beach are never left out of the merriment or gifts too.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Our primary assignment was to reach out and provide support to as many homeless children living rough on Kuramo beach as possible. Our goal is to make a positive and permanent difference in the lives of these children, so that they realize that they are the future. All our events at Kuramo were channelled towards engaging the children in all kind of activities that would keep hope alive that there can be a better future for them and steer them away from a life of crime.
Awareness is very key to our work. We need to let the children know that most times they find themselves in this situation it is not their fault. To know that certain rights of theirs had been breached. That way they know to come asking for help and not running away from authorities thereby already criminalising their situations. They need to know we understand some adult had let them down and we are there to redress the situation.
Reorientation of older society on the children’s rights. Their rights to their basic needs like to education, health and safety. Certain sites like children hawking during school hours or being used as bus conductors, nannies or load carriers in markets and parks should become a thing of the past moving forward.
Because of the large number of children from different background and orientation and different plights, we have had a series of success stories as well as some unsuccessful ones, we have had to keep making adjustments as to how to carry out our support. The journey so far has been quite interesting albeit frustrating at times but on the whole fulfilling.