A partnering children’s home in Nigeria is unique in many ways. The home is small, the environment warm, the caregivers loving, encouraging, and diligent in providing family-style care to the teens and children in their home. They know they are safe, loved, and that their interests will be nurtured.
Oni* has a passion for learning. She recently started dance lessons and basketball training every week. As one of the oldest girls in the home, she sets an example to the younger children through her actions and demeanor. Oni can be found dancing throughout the day, eyes closed and fully in the moment. Her example of always learning and dancing her heart out leads the other children in the home to do so. “All of the children are eager to try new things, because Oni leads them well,” shared Katharina, Director of the home. This eagerness to learn is not always common culturally or among vulnerable populations, but Oni’s desire to grow emotionally and socially illustrates the importance of always growing.
Akin, the oldest boy in the home, also sets great examples to the younger children through his zeal and motivation in school. He is preparing to graduate high school in a few months, and his drive to perform well on final exams and finish at the top of his class is his singular focus. His teachers all commend his efforts and success, attributing both to being named head boy in school – like a class president to his peers. As he finishes this part of his educational journey, he is hoping to attend school abroad and knows he has the support and love from his caregivers he needs to succeed.
Oni and Akin are leaders, a product of consistent love, support, and encouragement at the hands of their caregivers. They are helping every child younger than them understand growth and healing are not only possible but attainable, because they come from an environment of comfort, safety, and love.