Child Protection, the Doctrine of Silent Treatment and the Untold Evil Thereof (2)

Today, I continue with the second scenario of the doctrine of silent treatment, which is that a child is abused, particularly within the school system; the parents simply withdraw the child silently from the school without complaining to anyone in the authority. In some cases the parents may complain to the perpetrator of the abuse and expect him/her to be an impartial judge in his/her own cause. They take the word and the scripted soberness of the perpetrator for it and naively rest their case and continue to keep the child under the care of the perpetrator. You wonder, if the school is wasting its time by setting up supervisory authorities, who the parents are aware they should report the matter to.

The second scenario also plays out among colleagues within the school system, where a teacher or non-academic staff is aware of an abuse being perpetrated against a child by his colleagues and he/she simply minds her business, forgetting that he/she is a secondary caregiver with a duty of care to the child whether they are directly under her or not. He/she does not understand that one of roles as a caregiver is to be a watchdog. I call it social policing. In some cases, he/she hold a lame discussion with his/her colleague, christened, warning, which in the real sense of it, it is nothing but therapy of deception to manage his/her own guilt for not doing the right thing by reporting to his/her colleague to the appropriate authority. Such discussions are never effective and are not done for the child.   

Let me share with you two or three true-life examples capturing this scenario. A teenage child is being bullied in a school. The parents would not take the school up. They simply withdraw the child from the school and register him in another school. They do not investigate the matter to establish the truth of the matter. A friend advises them to complain to the school and request to meet the parents of the suspected bully or bullies. The friend explains that this step is necessary to find out the true state of affairs with the frequent cases of bulling reported by the child and to help the school put in a place a proper anti-bulling policy, which will protect other children from being bullied. ‘That is none of our business,’ they say, ‘other parents should worry about that. Our concern right now is our child and we have removed him from the school.’ The friend says to them, ‘so if your child again is being bullied in the new school, you would register him in another school? Have you investigated this new school to find out if they have effective anti-bulling policy and culture?’ Their response is very passive and characteristic of a typical doctrine of silent treatment practitioner, ‘we will not worry our heads about that…Let us take it one day at a time. When we get to the bridge, we will cross it, and who knows, we may never get to the bridge.’ The parents apart from the fact that they have not been fair to the school are unknown to them teaching their child how to handle issues. They are teaching him not to be fair. They are teaching him not to be thorough in dealing with issues.

A six year old boy is pushed down the stair in a school. He gets home and all her body is badly aching. He tells his mother what happened. The mother and the father go to the school to seek audience with their child’s class teacher. They are not pleased with the explanation given by the class teacher and they believe that she has a strong case of awful and gross negligence to answer. The teacher knees down and begs the parents. They close the case and leave the school. They say, they do not want to be a clog in the wheel of the teacher’s career. Their experiment does not work. The teacher begins to pick on the child, saying she is trying to protect him. The child becomes uncomfortable and is not able to learn.  The next thing they do is to remove their child from the school. They are not concerned that other children are left in the hands of this careless class teacher.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

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Child Protection, the Doctrine of Silent Treatment and the Untold Evil Thereof (1)

In my article, titled, ‘when a nation sheds the blood of its future,’ published in The Punch of July 10, 2013, I submitted as follows: ‘I need us to understand that when a child is denied any of his rights, including the right to life, there are three categories of culprits. The first is the actual perpetrators of the act; the second is the primary and secondary caregivers, who should form the four rings (family, community, state and international community) of protection, who fail in their duty of care; and the third are people like us, who stay passive and unconcerned in the face of cruelty against our children, blessing evil with the libation of our silence.’

In this piece, I want to focus my attention on the third category of culprits. I have come to know that the people in the third category are in most cases primary and secondary custodians, saddled with the responsibility of the duty of care to the child. I have come to discover that the people in the third category are the main problem of the child, when it comes to his protection from neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

Permit me to declare that this a piece you can only read with an open conscience. I can assure you that it will not be too friendly to your feelings and logics.

The first issue I will like to deal with is to define what I mean by ‘the Doctrine of Silent Treatment.’ I think this doctrine manifest in seven scenarios and I will back up each of my scenarios with true-life examples.

The first scenario is where a child is abused and it comes to the knowledge of the custodian, particularly one of the parents and he/she would not confront the perpetrator of the abuse or even do anything to prevent future occurrence. A lady keeps her five year old girl with her neighbour. The girl tells the mother that the ten year old son of the neighbour plays with her private part. The parent is not able to confront her neighbour because she does not want to rock the boat of good neighbourliness and her precious daughter becomes the costly sacrificial lamb of her bizarre commitment. One would have thought that if she is not able to talk about it, she would stop keeping her child with the neighbour. But alas, she throws her hands in the air and says she does not have an alternative place to keep the child.  The submission of this mother to the doctrine of silent treatment has great impact on the psyche of the child and her relationship with her mother now and the future. The child will feel neglected in the hands of a predator. She will feel her mother does not care about her and therefore she might not bring future cases of abuse or displeasure to her mother. In fact, the mother just set in motion an effective process of losing her child.

Let me share one or two more true-life example with you on scenario one. A child, registered in a boarding school comes back home and complains to the mother about physical and sexual abuse by the house master. The mother discusses with a friend, who advises her to remove her child from the school. Her response is very passive, ‘I am busy, their father is busy, where is the time to look for another school and if I pull him out and I don’t find another school on time, who will look after him for me?’ She never reports the matter to the school or removes the child from the school. Lastly a ten year old girl is sexually molested by her eighteen year old cousin, who lives with the child’s family. The ugly incident comes to the knowledge of the mother. She speaks to her daughter to keep the matter secret, even from her father. The girl does not get proper medical attention and the matter is never reported to the police. The fear of the mother is that as a full time housewife, her husband will hold her responsible for not watching over their daughter. The predator cousin continues to live with the family and not extra caution is taken as the mother would not like to arouse the curiosity of the father. The mother is teaching the child to tolerate and get used to pain and abused. She is telling the girl that saving her own head is superior to protecting her child from a predator. As the girl later tells her story as an adult, she felt let down by her mother. She nurses great bitterness against her mother and her cousin. She is willing to reopen the issue though, it happened twenty years ago, because she has not found peace, rest and forgiveness within herself. I cannot agree less with her.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

A CRUSADER, NOT A JUDGE

When we accepts that we are all projects in the hands of God…
Perfecting holiness in the fear of God…
We abide wherein we are called with God…
We mind the log in our eyes instead of the log in the eyes of our neighbour, who is a servant of God and to His Master he stands or fall and He’s faithful to make him stand…
We swallow the humble pie
Ascend from the judgment seat
Guarded by a complex call, superiority…
Today as I immerse myself in the pursuit of God-Ordained DESTINY, which is a GLORIOUS FUTURE, I disarm myself of all critical and judgmental spirit…
I say no to superiority complex…
I’m not better…
I’m only HELPED
I stand against nothing…
I stand for the common good…
I believe in the good of all…
I know no man according to the flesh..
He chooses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise…
He chooses things which are not to bring to being what is not…
That no one may glory in His presence…
I’m a CRUSADER…
Yet not a JUDGE…
A CRUSADER lays no claim to perfection of self and humanity, but only persuades men…
A JUDGE lives on an Island, called utopia, where the only acceptable anthem is the voice of the JUDGE…
Do have an INSPIRED week.
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s day.

TeacherFIRE™ Revolution: S stands for Sent to Save Humanity

In the hands of the child is the state of humanity

Abraham Lincoln the foremost publicist and American statesman spoke first as a father and second as public officer, a father of a nation. He said, “A child is a person who is going to carry on what you have started. He is going to sit where you are sitting, and when you’re gone, attend to those things, which are important. You may adopt all the policies you please but how they are carried out depends on him. He will assume control of your duties, states and nation. He is going to move in and take over your churches, schools, universities and corporations. The state of humanity is in his hands.”

One phrase which becomes very instructive is that ‘the state of humanity is in his hands.’ I make bold to say that if the state of humanity is in the hands of the child and the child is in the hands of the teacher today, it means the state of humanity in the hands of the teachers. It therefore means the future of our nation is in the hand of the teachers. The teachers are the light and salt of humanity. I guess that is why the American-Indian proverb says, ‘we do not inherit from our forefathers. We borrow it from our children.’

The core of the TeacherFIRE program is to remind the teachers that they have the power in their hands not only to preserve but to purify humanity. They are touch bearers. They lead the way for children to follow. I guess that is why a child, who graduates from a school, is called the product of the school.

It means the society expects that school to have deposited in the child the ingredients he needs to succeed for the next level of life at the time of graduation. Unfortunately, many are children, who are released to the next level of their lives without being adequately prepared. Therefore some or most of the children being turned out are factory rejects as the custodians have committed the blunder of production error. The tragedy is that there is no way to judge the quality of the products being released to the society by our schools.

We all know that when we buy a tin of beverage or any products, written on pack are the ingredients, which make up the products. To ensure that the members of the public do not buy a factory reject, there are all kinds of regulatory bodies at work. In Nigeria we have Standard Organisation of Nigeria and in respect of food and drugs, we have The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.

In the case of the child, who is called the product of a school there only two regulatory bodies, who are unfortunately, in most cases powerless in determining the final outcome of the product called the child. These two regulatory bodies are the conscience of the teacher or the school leadership and time. The conscience answers to passion and sense of mission. Both are only ignited by a sincere commitment to prepare the child for the future, posterity and humanity. Time as a regulatory body is a judge and a revealer. Time judges and reveals that kind of product the school and the teacher have released to the society in the person of the child.

I believe that one of the best ways to prepare children for the future is to arm them with life skills. What are life skills? They are the skills without which no man will get the best out of life. Life skills help us to negotiate the best out of life.  They are tool, which help young people to live up to their responsibilities. You will recall that I have earlier shared the responsibilities of young people under Sections 19 and 20 of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003.  To be committed to acquiring life skills is the measurement of a person’s commitment to personal self-improvement.

Life skills can be broken into three broad headings:

  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  •  Decision-Making and Critical Thinking Skills
  • Coping and Self-Management Skill

If teachers are able to help their pupils to imbibe the principle shared above, I believe they would have play their roles as people sent to help humanity.

Meet our Models

It is important to note that our entire model, shoes story we have shared in the course of this discussion understood their roles as individuals sent to save humanity.  From Anne Sulliva, Booker T. Washington, Efren Peñaflorida, Erin Gruwell, George Muller , Hind al-Husseini , Janusz Korchak, Kipchoge (“Kip”) Keino, Maria Montessori, Mama Ekundayo, Ron Clark to Steve Mariotti, our models have one fundamental trait in common. It is the commitment to developing the total child. This discovery is kind of strange considering that they live in different geographical locations and at different times in history.

Listen to Maria Montessori on her commitment to equipping children with life skills. She said, ‘but although education is recognized as one of the ways of making mankind, it is nevertheless, still and only thought of as an education of the mind…And if education is conceived along the same antiquated lines of mere transmission of knowledge, there is little to be hoped from it in the bettering of a man’s future. For what is the use of transmitting knowledge if the individual’s total development lags behind…Resting no longer on a curriculum or a timetable, education must conform to the facts of human life.’

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly SMS, Attendance of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended: ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

TeacherFIRE™ Revolution: R stands for RELY ON GOD

The Difference-Making Factor in all Human Endeavour

It is important to understand that God is the difference maker in all things on the earth. God rules in the affairs of men. Except we acknowledge God in all our ways the best of our efforts may end up in frustration.

The most critical point in all our discussion is to focus on God and believe Him to lead us in dealing with the children under our care. He is the One who is able to crown all our efforts with outstanding results. Practicing principles without acknowledging God is like running a car with engine oil. The car will soon grind to a halt without your consent. God created us, created the principles and He is the irresistible force behind the principles we seek to operate. Please banish from your mind secularism.

I pity free thinkers. There are no free zones in our world. Every zone is already occupied. Nature does not allow vacuum. Every zone is either occupied by the forces of the light or the forces of darkness.  Depending on the camp you belong you are either fighting the battle of alignment or the battle of displacement.

When we oversee the affairs of the lives of children, we must understand that we need the wisdom of God above all things to make a difference in the lives of the children. I hope we know that for every child we meet, we are either part of their problem or part of their solution. Also note that the majority of the people the child will meet are programmed to add to his or her problem.

Therefore for you to stand out, you need to trust God. Your desire as you focus on God will be two. Yes, just two. The first is to believe God for wisdom to lead the children aright and the second is to believe God to defend them against any form of attack from the enemy, visible and invisible.

This point cannot be overemphasized, it is the operating tool of all the principles we have shared here.

Meet our Model

George Muller, who combined compassion, passion, sense of mission and above all total trust in God to care for 10,024 orphans in his life.He was well-known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans.

The work of Müller and his wife with orphans began in 1836 with the preparation of their own home at 6 Wilson Street, Bristol for the accommodation of thirty girls. Soon after, three more houses in Wilson Street were furnished; growing the total of children cared for to 130. In 1845, as growth continued, Müller decided that a separate building designed to house 300 children was necessary, and in 1849, at Ashley Down, Bristol, that home opened. The architect commissioned to draw up the plans asked if he might do so gratuitously. By 26 May 1870, 1,722 children were being accommodated in five homes, although there was room for 2,050 (No 1 House – 300, No 2 House – 400, Nos 3, 4 and 5 – 450 each). By the following year, there were 280 orphans in No 1 House, 356 in No 2, 450 in Nos 3 and 4, and 309 in No 5 House.

Through all this, Müller never made requests for financial support, nor did he go into debt, even though the five homes cost over £100,000 to build. Many times, he received unsolicited food donations only hours before they were needed to feed the children, further strengthening his faith in God. For example, on one well-documented occasion, they gave thanks for breakfast when all the children were sitting at the table, even though there was nothing to eat in the house. As they finished praying, the baker knocked on the door with sufficient fresh bread to feed everyone, and the milkman gave them plenty of fresh milk because his cart broke down in front of the orphanage.

Every morning after breakfast there was a time of Bible reading and prayer, and every child was given a Bible upon leaving the orphanage, together with a tin trunk containing two changes of clothing. The children were dressed well and educated – Müller even employed a schools inspector to maintain high standards.

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly SMS, Attendance of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended: ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

TeacherFIRE™ Revolution: E stands for ENGAGE INNOVATION TO EMPOWER

Engage, Enlighten and Empower.’ Erin Gruwell

According to Microsoft® Encarta® 2009: innovation means ‘origination: the act or process of inventing or introducing something new; New idea or method: a new invention or way of doing something.’

I make bold to say that except teachers become innovative in their approach they cannot become effective and impactful. Innovation requires studying your pupils and the circumstances of the school and evolving a strategy that is peculiar to the pupils.

One of the teachers, who won the LEAP Africa award for teacher employed innovation to empower. She had just been transferred to a new public school. She got there to meet a set pupils that were completely unruly. She was teaching in a class one day and saw a pupil who scaled the fence into the school. The pupil, who was already late, was received from the fence by a teacher, who gave him high five and welcomed him heartily to school.

She felt there was something she could do. She rallied round her network and began to bring people to talk to the pupils regularly during their morning assembly. The talks lasted for ten minutes or thereabout. At the end of the session, the majority of the pupils had turned a new leaf. She was recognized by LEAP Africa in 2010 for her efforts at transforming the lives of the pupils.

Thinking out of the Norm or Box gives birth to innovation. To innovate, you must have in-depth understanding the people or the situation you are dealing with. You cannot create a strategy if you do not have a clear picture of the problem. Strategy is like remedy and understanding is like diagnosis.

For the teacher to update his or her understanding of the pupils he or she teaches, I advise that they to develop what I call the Frequently Asked       Question Handbook on Contemporary Children Development Issues (FAQCCDI).

How does a teacher prepare this handbook? It is simple. It is by taking time to carefully study the trend of development and the contemporary issues in every area (value, development, sex, love and related matters touching on emotional development, pupils interpersonal relationship and rivalry, developing friendship with same and opposite sex, development of the spirit of enterprise, nation building, success principles and many more) of the life of our children and prepare a Frequently Asked Question Handbook on Contemporary Children Development Issues(FAQCCDI) to provide credible answers, which are subject to review every three months.

This is a document to which the pupils will have access from time to time depending on their ability to read.  They will be told to make comments and observations, which will be considered for the next review. The idea is that if the handbook must address issues that concern them, their input must be considered. Part of the contents of the handbook may be issues that the teachers have dealt with working with the children. He or she may want to document the issues and the lessons learnt.

I remember the story of a woman, who developed a handbook for her relationship with her husband. She documented the issues she had with her husband and how they were resolved. She brought out the lessons. Fifteen years after she has been married she published her lessons and the book became an instant best seller. She was on the electronic and print media to tell her story.

Please do not forget this, it is very instructive: you are not only celebrated for what you do but how you do it and when you do it.

Meet our Models

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori is best known for developing the Montessori Method of teaching young children. She introduced the method in Rome in 1907, and it has since spread throughout the world. The Montessori Method stresses the development of initiative and self-reliance by permitting children to do by themselves the things that interest them, within strictly disciplined limits.

Her strategy was a break away from the norm and a revolution that changed the lives of the world children forever. Margaret E. Stephenson in her forward to Maria Montessori’s ‘The Secret of Childhood’ submitted, Dr. Montessori pointed out to us, that if we are to help life, we have first of all to study it. Studying it, means that we do not try to teach it, we learn from it instead. We learn from this living organism, the child, its needs and tendencies. Only when we know the child’s needs can we begin to learn how to cater for them.’

Stephenson concluded as follows: ‘in whatever country a child may be born is endowed with what Dr. Montessori called the ‘the absorbent mind…’  This absorbent mind does not only take language and reproduce it. It absorbs all that makes for the culture of the country and creates the native, the man of a particular time and place. Did the Frenchman learn to be French, the American, American, the Hindu, Hindu after he entered school? The absorption of culture, of customs, of ideas, ideals, of sentiments, feeling, emotions, religion, take place during the period of the absorbent mind, in the child from zero to six. This quite obviously is going on all over the world.’

Erin Gruwell/Ron Clark/Steve Mariotti

Erin Gruwell, whose story we had earlier told employed innovation to empower. She tagged her strategy, Empower, Enlighten and Empower. As we have earlier shown, the strategy worked.

So was Ron Clark, who chose to value the gifts and talents of every child in his class. As a matter of fact he rewarded them for what was not part of their curriculum. He helped the children’s confidence in themselves in no small way. He helped them to see that no gift or talent is superior to the other.

He destroyed rivalry, competition and jealousy among the students. They became one big family, united to help each other and advance their immediate world. He also combined education and entertainment to teach subjects that the children would not ordinarily want to learn.  Steve Mariotti as you earlier learn employed the strategy of introducing entrepreneurship to his pupils and this became the saving grace, through which the pupils were rescued from lives of crime.

Salman Amin ‘Sal’ Khan

 Salman Amin ‘Sal’ Khanis an American educator and the founder of the Khan Academy, a free online education platform and nonprofit organization.

From a small office in his home, Khan has produced 2871 videos elucidating a wide spectrum of academic subjects, mainly focusing on mathematics and the sciences. As of November 2011, “Khan Academy” had attracted more than 218,000 subscribers.

In late 2004, Khan began tutoring his cousin, Nadia, in mathematics over the internet using Yahoo!‘s Doodle notepad.When other relatives and friends sought his tutoring, he decided it would be more practical and beneficial to distribute the tutorials on YouTube where he created an account on 16 November 2006.Their popularity on the video sharing website and the testimonials of appreciative students prompted Khan to quit his job as a hedge fund analyst in late 2009 to focus on developing his YouTube channel, ‘Khan Academy’, full-time.

His videos attracted on average more than 20,000 hits each. Students from around the world have been attracted to Khan’s concise, practical, and relaxed teaching method.

Khan outlined his mission as to “accelerate learning for students of all ages. With this in mind, we want to share our content with whoever may find it useful.” Khan also plans to extend his “free school” to cover topics such as English and history. Programs are being undertaken to use Khan’s videos to teach those in isolated areas of Africa and Asia. He delineated his motives: With so little effort on my own part, I can empower an unlimited amount of people for all time. I can’t imagine a better use of my time.

Our last story here is that of Efren Peñaflorida, 28, who was recently honoured as the CNN hero of the year, 2009, a quintessential teacher and social worker in the Philippines.

For the past 12 years, Peñaflorida and his team of teen volunteers have taught basic reading and writing to children living on the streets. Their main tool: A pushcart classroom.  Stocked with books, pens, tables and chairs, his Dynamic Teen Company recreates a school setting in unconventional locations such as the cemetery and municipal trash dump.

Peñaflorida knows firsthand the adversity faced by these children. Born into a poor family, he lived in a shanty near the city dump site. But he says he refused to allow his circumstances to define his future. “Instead of being discouraged, I promised myself that I would pursue education,” he recalls. “I will strive hard; I will do my best.”

In high school, Peñaflorida faced a new set of challenges. Gang activity was rampant; they terrorized the student body, vandalized the school and inducted members by forcing them to rape young girls, he says. “I felt the social discrimination. I was afraid to walk down the street.”

He created the Dynamic Teen Company to offer his classmates an outlet to lift up themselves and their community. For Peñaflorida, that meant returning to the slums of his childhood to give kids the education he felt they deserved. “They need education to be successful in life. It’s just giving them what others gave to me,” he says.

Today, children ranging from ages 2 to 14 flock to the pushcart every Saturday to learn reading, writing, arithmetic and English from Peñaflorida and his trained teen volunteers. “Our volunteers serve as an inspiration to other children,” he says. The group also runs a hygiene clinic, where children can get a bath and learn how to brush their teeth.  Since 1997, an estimated 10,000 members have helped teach more than 1,500 children living in the slums. The organization supports its efforts by making and selling crafts and collecting items to recycle.

Through his group, Peñaflorida has successfully mentored former gang members, addicts and dropouts, seeing potential where others see problems.”Before, I really didn’t care for my life,” says Michael Advincula, who started doing drugs when he was 7. “But then Efren patiently dug me from where I was buried. It was Efren who pushed me to get my life together.”  Today, Advincula is a senior in high school and one of the group’s volunteers. Peñaflorida hopes to expand the pushcart to other areas, giving more children the chance to learn and stay out of gangs. “I always tell my volunteers that you are the change that you dream and I am the change that I dream. And collectively we are the change that this world needs to be.”

Thank you for visiting…Think the CHILD…Think TODAY…Think the FUTURE…

Note: Excerpted from my forthcoming book: ChildProtectionCREED Handbook. Watch out…

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Enroll for The ChildProtectionCREED™ Mobile Academy ‘It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men,’ Fredrick Douglass Deliverables:ChildProtectionCREED™ Cds; Compelling and instructive E-Books(Minimum of 3); Written Social Empowerment Nuggets(Every other day); Weekly SMS, Attendance of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminar for Couple; Opportunity to nominate others for the ChildProtectionCREED™ Seminars; Hosting of the ChildProtectionCREED™ Rountable and lots more. Registration & Participation Fee: The lowest fee you have ever paid for a HIGH QUALITY, EXCEPTIONALLY IMPACTFUL and INVALUABLY REWARDING Empowerment program

Tested & Highly Recommended: ‘I commend your presentation. It was backed up with so much passion. We all found it very inspiring and will definitely recommend you to others.’ Dr. (Mrs.) C.O. Ogunsanya, Managing Director, Oxbridge Tutorial College, G.R.A. Ikeja and Chairman, Association of Private Educators of Nigeria

Face to Face with Mandela

I met Madiba in person in 2008 one-on-one at his home in Qunu…

He is an unusual icon…
Soft spoken and without guile…
He has lost his capacity to get angry against persons…
In prison, he emptied all his anger on the system, which pitched him against his fellow human beings, white or black…

He held my hand and said to me and I will never forget, ‘a man who derives his relevance from oppressing others is himself oppressed and desperately needs all the help even more than the oppressed…’

As to the source of energy at old age, he said, the prison provided him a place of reflection and rest…
Reflection instilled in him a sense of mission and rest imparted in him physical and inner strength…

As to the greatest legacy he would leave to our world,
He gave me few pats on the back and said to me in the words of Winston Churchill,
‘To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour…’ He concluded by saying that he desired that all men will not become mere spectators and commentators of his unusually impactful life and times but will embrace it as a template to spur them to respond to the call of DESTINY when they are tapped on the shoulder and offer a chance to make a difference…

He says he believes many are being tapped right now…who must respond in honour of his legacy…

He revealed to me as the bodyguard signaled that my assigned time with the icon was up thus: ‘Albert Einstein said, ‘a hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received.” He had a final handshake with me and I stood to leave his presence he said,’My Greatest Legacy is My EXAMPLE…FOLLOW IT…’

Wow!!! It was a meeting of a lifetime. As I was been driven back to Johannesburg, I remember vividly the apt words of Thomas Morell, ‘the first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.’

As I relish in this experience of a lifetime my alarm went off…
Alas, it was a dream…
Yet no regrets…
The lessons remain intact…
I’ve met him one-on-one, having met his principles and values…
Do have an INSPIRED week.
Taiwo Akinlami Sober on his knees on the LORD’s day.