‘A text devoid of a context can easily become a pretext,’ Ravi Zacharias.
In my own context as someone, who has since 1997 led the cause of Securing A FRIENDLY and PROTECTIVE Environment™ for the precious African children, the text is the cause, the context is the socio-political environment within which we plead the cause and pretext occurs in the solutions we provide when we neglect the context in which we execute our text.
Nigeria is a peculiar nation to plead the cause of children and the families so dear to them. As a typical underdeveloped country, human capacity development is in the back burner of social, polical and economic concerns.
I do not see how I can plead the cause of the the precious Nigerian children without considering the unfriendly context(environment) in which they live with their primary and secondary parents as Nigerians.
I do not see how a Social Empowerment Advocacy, aimed at strengthening primary and secondary parents with skill, knowledge and attitude to represent the best interest of child will not result in a pretext, when I do not address the state of the parents themselves, who are under the ranging siege of the system.
I do not see how I can be encouraging a sick person to donate blood without addressing the malady with which the donor is plagued and offer possible recommendation for recovery, quick or elongated.
I do not see how parents can be in the war front of social and economic uncertainties and I will not mention it in my interaction with them to represent the best interest of their precious children.
Both our precious children and most of their parents are under the bludgeoning and fierce threats of social and economic uncertainties.
Primary and secondary parents are forced to function under a mono-cultural economy, which is as unstable as the the price of oil in the global market, in which as a third world nation, we have no say in its pricing. The 2020 budgetery benchmark for oil per barrel was $57. Today, it has dropped to as low as $12.
Staring at us in the face today is an economic crisis of almost of unprecedented proportion and the signs are already adumbrated by the COVID-19 pandemic and our perfunctory response to it.
Many parents are not sure of where April salary is coming from. Those who engage in business are groaning under the impact of this season. Only God knows what the exchange rate will before this crisis comes to an end.
This is a hand-to-mouth economy, where people live and pay as they go in different proportions. It has to be so bacause there is no such thing as Social Protection in Nigeria.
All of these are against the backdrop that parenting, which is globally a four-dimensional responsibility has been reduced to one dimensional affair here and it has been accepted as the norm.
It is my teaching that a situation only earns the status of an emergency due to lack of coping capacity of the individual or organisation saddled with the responsibility of handling same. So the social and economic crisis we face today is not strictly because of COVID-19 pandemic. It is mostly because of our lack of capacity to cope as an economy.
My concern today is to let the primary and secondary parents reading this piece to know that their fears are very genuine and legitimate but we must not allow same to drown us. We must by all means necessary keep hope alive.
My concern today is for primary and secondary parents, who are in the prison of social and economic imbalance, knowing that parents’ rights are children’s rights.
My concern today is how do we engage the Nigerian state and her allied to begin to think about how to support parents at this trying times to provide the best for their precious children during and post-COVID.
The support that parents will require will differ from from parents to parents according to their social and economic status.
It is my conclusion today that I will deliberately lead conversation in this area in my interactions with primary and secondary parents. I will do my best to address their concerns as a concerned advocate and together we will look at credible options for them and their precious children.
It is a trying time and our conversation with parents cannot be the usual. We must address their fears across the board of social and economic status board and the root causes of same and how they can effectively manage their anxieties and uncertainties and speak up for themselves.
To do otherwise, our text will be devoid of context and will reap pretext as the fruit of our labour.
Do have an INSPIRED day.
I am Taiwo AKINLAMI and I remain Sober on My Knees this LORD’s day as I do SOCIAL PROTECTION ADVOCACY now and forevermore.