“Pleeeeeeeease, can I stay a little longer?” Japheth looked at his caregiver, Sunday Yashim, from Kids with a Vision Foundation Children’s Home. “Pleeeeeease?” He smiled at Sunday for good measure as he waited for the answer.
“Okay. You can stay until tonight!” He smiled at Japheth, pleased to see his excitement.
Japheth, 15, is the oldest boy at Kids with a Vision Foundation Children’s Home. It is evident the teen looks at the others in the home as younger siblings – helping, mentoring, and looking out for each of them. But on this particular day, Japheth was getting to do something just for him. He was staying the weekend at Agape Hope Home with the older boys, and he wasn’t ready to leave yet.
“It’s not uncommon for the Hope Students to invite other children from nearby homes for the weekend,” shared Amanda Obemeasor, Back2Back Nigeria Staff. “Japheth essentially has seventeen younger siblings he is with all the time, and his weekend at Agape was a boys’ weekend, of sorts.” Their time together provided Japheth a chance to be with boys closer to his age who are proving to be good mentors.
“It was fun for Japheth, but the bigger point is how important it is for the children and teens to be together. The older children are realizing they are looked at as role models,” shared Amanda. The Hope Students and the older children at various children’s homes are rising to the challenge of creating big brother/big sister relationships.
Japheth ended up staying until Monday morning, grateful for extended time with the big boys at Agape Hope House, and excited for the next time he’d have a sleepover with his friends.