By Funmi Ajumobi
Lagos has been advised to accommodate thousands of orphans roaming the streets in order to redirect their brains aright so as to avert future disaster.
Advising the government at an event organized by the Lagos chapter of Association of Orphanages and Homes Operators in Nigeria, ASOHON, the association co-ordinator, Alhaji Ganiyu Olayiwola Dosunmu, said government has the power to take the children out of the street, feed and redirect their minds from hooliganism, kidnapping, banditry to positive ventures that would benefit everyone no matter their numbers.
“Non Governmental Organisations, NGOs, cannot do it alone. When you are still sleeping with your two eyes closed, it is because the boys who the environment has turned to bad boys are not in your area”, Dosunmu said.
“Orphans outside there are more than those kept in orphanage homes. They are without parents or guardian. They only have useless teachers who put them into drinking alcohol, hard drugs, smoking etc.
“Giving them food on the roads once in a year does not solve their problem”.
According to him, government should have a yearly budget especially for registered orphanages in the state as NGOs are limited in finance to shelter and feed them successfully.
In his speech based on the theme of the event, ‘The Place of Orphans in Pandemic Era’, Lagos State Commissioner for Youths and Social Welfare, Mr Olusegun Dawodu, affirmed that unless concrete steps are taken by government and the society to look out for orphans to provide social and emotional support to address their needs, the society may be in great danger.
He commended the association for partnering Lagos State to alleviate the suffering of orphans and vulnerable children.
Mrs. Omolara Adesanya, a board member at Pastor Bimbo Odukoya Orphanage Home, noted that losing both parents at a very old age is not easy to bear not to talk about children losing theirs at a tender age.
She advised members of the society to visit orphanages to help and make these children happy/
Mrs. Elsie Akerele, Founder of Lady Atinuke Oyindamola Home for the Abandoned Mentally Challenged Children, lamented that hers was a special case because the children are mostly neglected, isolated, segregated and rejected.
“We need necessary encouragement in terms of facility and medical support. Many of these children are in and out of hospital every day. We need money to take care of them, I have two of them for surgical correction but I don’t have the money to do it”, she said.