READING THE CRUSADER’S MIND: I INVITE YOU TO BE INSPIRED BY A VOW I CONSCIOUSLY MADE OVER 13 YEARS AGO

Over 13 years ago, I made this declaration, which I will regard as my public vow as a Social Empowerment Advocate. It was published in THISDAY and THE GUARDIAN Newspapers. Years gone by, I feel the inner urge to renew my public vow. The truth is that I have not found better expression for my convictions, hence I reproduce same declaration. Reading it now, it is so fresh in my mind as if I just made the vow. That is something about a genuine vow, once it is made, it never goes stale, It is only renewed in the works it produces. Join me today, Friday, February 1, 2013 as I make these declarations again:

This piece is for a man or woman who is interested in making his or life count in a political and socio-economic disadvantaged society. It is for those who are in the mood for credible changes and new Nigeria and are prepared to match their commitment with selfless and consistent actions. It is for those who know that the well-being of our nation is their responsibility. I do not write for those, who have chosen to stand aloof and unconcerned in the face of burning issues that affect our collective existence as a nation. I do not write for those who believe that there is no hope for Nigeria. I write for those who are strong in the opinion that there is hope for Nigeria.

Except we wear the posture of a crusader, we become wishful thinkers. Experience and research show that nation building, political, social, economic and technological advancement only happen with disciplined, focused, dogged and selfless minds at work. Today, I have come to x-ray the mind of the crusader to enable us wear the right posture for our yearnings, hopes and aspiration. My activities as a students’ leader in my university days afforded me the rare honour of meeting and maintaining close relationships with many crusaders. I have equally had the opportunity of reading about many more.

The crusader is wild, queer, and enigmatic.  ‘He is out of his mind,’ so concludes the society. Why does the society arrive at these conclusions? These are raw products of frantic abortive efforts by a frustrated society to understand the crusader and how his mind works. The Jewish people (particularly their political and religious authorities) concluded erroneously, when they could not understand the motivating factors behind Jesus’ earthly ministry that only mid-summer madness could make a man at the expense of his life to maintain stout and unrepentant opposition to long-held religious traditions and proclaim himself the king of the Jews. Only chronic insanity could be adduced by the academic community as the only tenable reason why a man profoundly endowed with uncommon poetic prowess like Christopher Okigbo would abandon the cosy comfort of the university lecture room for the danger of fighting as an untrained soldier during the Nigerian civil war where he ended up paying with his dear life.

The society however cannot be blamed for coming to such conclusions about the crusader because it takes only few people who have meticulously devoted themselves to the tasking job of reading the crusader’s mind to perfectly understand him and his acts.

Is the crusader actually out of his mind? What are the igniting forces behind his weird endeavour? First, who is the crusader? To my mind, the crusader is that man (or woman), who from a burdened heart has developed a razor-sharp hatred for any establishment (political, social, economic, professional or religious) that is designed by men to stop a people from attaining and maximising their God-given potentials. The crusader therefore has separated himself for only one goal in life and this is to help his people to discover whom they are (i.e. their God-given potentials) and empower them to move out of oppressive limitations built around them by any exploitative establishment.

He develops a sight far above his nose. He has no respect for obstacles, no matter how insurmountable they may appear. He says constantly to himself. ”Where there is a will there is a way.” He never sees oppositions as stumbling blocks but as conquerable challenges. He believes whole heartedly that with proper planning and due executions of these plans every mountain of opposition would become a stepping stone.

The source of the crusaders strength is not in his physical muscles and this makes it difficult for him to be easily broken. The fervent believe and profession of the crusader is that “You can kill the body and not the spirit.” The crusader is a vibrant product of a vigorous intercourse between an enlightened mind and inner or personal conviction. When his enlightened mind finds a catalyst in his personal conviction he becomes dangerous to an exploitative status quo and nothing can stop him except death or total eradication of that status quo.

To get himself to this ‘suicidal’ crescendo, where he is ready to pay with his dear life to achieve his mission, the crusader starts by liberating himself from those imaginary limitations which have held others in the society captive, confused and conformed.

The crusader is abundantly equipped with sound answers to every of these limitations. Don’t scare the crusader with tradition, by telling him that he may not succeed in his crusade because it is unprecedented. He is quick to tell you that “there is always a first time for everything. If one does not take the risk of doing what has not been done before the society will remain stagnant. Everything that has been successfully done today was once pioneered, who dared.” You cannot harass him with his unfavourably family background. He responds by saying: “that is not the end of the story because better is the day of death than the day of birth.”  He concludes his response to the question of poor family background by pointing his detractors to men with similar backgrounds, who ended up tremendously affecting their generations. When the crusader is confronted with the fear of failure, encourages himself thus: “if failure is not a possibility, then victory will not be celebrated.”

To the question: what if you’re misunderstood? The crusader would answer: “If you wait for everybody to understand your move, you will never move an inch. Only results can vindicate you.” When he is faced with family pressure, he declares to his worried family members: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it (i.e. those who identify with his vision).” The crusader is not scared about paying with his personal possessions for his crusade (no matter how affluent he is). When his personal possessions become the subjects of attack by the status quo, he smiles to himself and says with a deep sense of satisfaction, “we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

When the establishment begins to threaten his means of sustenance, he remains undaunted and says to those who care to listen: “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me and finish his work.” When his body is barbarically brutalised or his freedom restricted, he says to his confused prosecutor: “You only brutalise or detain the body and not the spirit.” He comes out of the gulag most times to say to the dumbfounding frustration of his tormentors: “I am brutalised, but stronger.”

At this stage in the life of the crusader the number one thing conspicuously placed on his scale of preference is his vision and not his life unlike the other members of the society. Here his vision becomes dearer to him than his life. Boldly ingrained on his conscience is this loud inscription “what is not worth dying for is not worth living for.”

Above all the crusader is a man or woman of unimpeachable character and integrity. He practices what he preaches. He walks the walk and talks the talk. He is real and he keeps things real. He develops character. He does not make image. He detests hypocrisy. The English Dictionary defines hypocrisy as “the practice of misrepresenting one’s real character, opinions etc. especially by pretending to be more virtuous than one really is; insincerity.’ To the crusader hypocrisy is evil. He understands that when a man is plagued with evil of hypocrisy, he carries as his trademark every where he finds himself a sharp binoculars with which he detects the specks in the eyes of his neighbour while he pays no attention to the log in his own eye. The crusader says, ‘a hypocrite is a man or woman, who  speaks about the need to urgently do something positive about societal ills, but remains blind to the worse ills in his own life.’ To him the man under the captivity of hypocrisy is tightly masked. He is super and careful actor in a meticulously self-written soap opera and his motivating energy is the ovation and acceptability from a deceived audience. The crusader has his eyes on his God, his conscience, history and posterity thus he clings to the enduring fibre of character as the measuring rod of his actions even when no man is present to judge him or her.

It is my humble submission here that the crusader is not out of his mind. As a matter of truth the crusader is the sanest individual in the society. The crusader has an undiluted understanding of the whole essence of life which is, ask not what your society can do for you but what you can do for your society; to improve it and make it a better place for everybody to live in. That was the understanding that made Socrates to accept to drink hemlock for the ideals he believed in. That same understanding was the one active in Ken Saro-Wiwa when he decided in the defence of the right of his people to choose the hangman’s noose instead of a ministerial appointment under the defunct Abacha military administration. That was the same understanding that provoked Walter Rodney to wage a relentless war against the evils of imperialism.

In summation, I make bold to say that the world as it is today owes its civilisation and advancement in all fields to those men who had dared to say not to the status quo. Without them the story of our world would have been that of pathetic retrogression and excruciating stagnation. Imagine what would been the lots of the blacks in the United States of America today if individuals like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King (Jr.) had not said no to a racial status quo. For Bill Gates to become the icon of the computer world where he has today made indelible and unprecedented contributions, he had to say no to his professors in Harvard. What would have happened to the democratisation of the legal practice in Nigeria, if Gani Fawehinmi had allowed himself to be intimidated by an establishment that had sworn to make the legal practice in Nigeria strictly an aristocratic affair? The history of our struggle for political emancipation would not be complete without mentioning the contributions of strong women like Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Gambo Sawaba. Consider what the world of the physically challenged would have been without the prodigious contribution of Mother Theresa and Helen Keller. The legendary Lord Denning had to say no to long-held legal traditions to pioneer what is today known as judicial activism on the British Bench, by which he contributed immensely to the development of the British and Commonwealth legal system. But for the dogged commitment of the likes of Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Steve Biko, Chris Hani, Patrick Chimuso, to mention just a few, the blood-curdling evil of white domination of blacks in their own land, South Africa would have continued till today. But for the selfless contribution of Franz Fanon, the struggle of their Algerian people for political independence would have been prolonged. It was the crusader in Winston Churchill that made him stood against the holocaust, known as the Second World War, doggedly and mindlessly pursued by Adolph Hitler.

Space would fail me to mention the likes who Mahatma Ghandi, who single-handedly birthed the nation of India; Otunba Sunday Adegeye Adeniyi, who revolutionised the Nigerian music scene; Mercedes Sosa, known as ‘voice of Latin America,’ who through her lyrics said no to fascist military rule in her country; Pastor Bimbo Odukoya, who commits her life to the noble campaign targeted at restoring family values and virtues to a decadent world;  Nobel Prize Winner, Elie Wiesel, the living legend, who had dedicated the whole of his life to telling the story of the holocaust with one focus in mind: that such pogrom of huge proportion may not befall our world again and Nkosi Johnson, who was born with HIV/AIDS and abandoned by his parents but found unusual courage to wage a world-acclaimed campaign against HIV/AIDS before he honourably bowed out at the age of 12.

Where do I stand reading these stories? A fire is ignited in the innermost part of my bone and conscience to think out of the box and make my life count. I have unrepentantly made up my mind to doggedly follow the rough and tough ways of the crusader because I believe that is where life lies. My unflinching conclusion is that I am not here to live for myself but for my generation, beginning with serving my family and my immediate areas of influence. I strongly believe that I must help my generation attain and maximise their God-given potentials and empower them to liberate themselves from the oppressive limitations woven around them by any exploitative status quo.  This is a task that must be done. I invite you today to join the crusader’s world. It is the world to be. You are the change our nation is waiting for. ‘Nigeria has a great future,’ as my number one coach and mentor, Taiwo Odukoya has taught us to confidently say.

Think the Child! Think Today! Think the Future!

Have an INSPIRED weekend.

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

Advertisements

How I Lost My Virginity At Age 6: Lesson For Custodians

I documented this some years back in my diary. It is a sad story that messed me up for a long time. My mum would go to the market and leave me with a female neighbour. I also stayed with this lady when I was on holidays from school or when I returned from school. I remember her features almost vividly, more saddening,

I remember the unholy liaison she initiated one fateful day. On this day she took me to a secluded spot within her own apartment. She stripped off my clothes and hers as well and proceeded to touch me everywhere. This became a regular practice. Thus began my first sexual experience at an early age; an experience which led me into years of perversion. Before I knew it, my sexuality was awakened and I began to desire sexual relationships with the opposite sex. One or two years after, I attempted to molest a girl that was almost my age. And as my perversion grew, I sexually molested a younger girl in my teenage years.

This is my last story in this series of Key Household Practices and I have very personal attachment to it. I think for custodians to learn in details how to deal with the issue of protecting their precious children from sexual abuse, I advice to read to my handbook: 20 Tips on How to Safeguard Your Girl Child From Sexual Abuse. 

I must quickly add here that it is a different story today as God has helped me immensely in healing my sexuality since 1997 when I surrendered my life to Jesus as my Lord and savior. It has been an interesting journey of how I have moved from sexual abuse to sexual purity. Someone asked me about how to counsel sexually  abused boys on issues like this. I will devote some days next week to sharing the nuggets, which helped me in my journey from abused childhood to transformed adulthood.

Do have have an INSPIRED Day.

Think the Child! Think Today! Think the Future!

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

FUNDAMENTAL TIPS FOR PROTECTING CHILDREN IN THE HOME…A Piece Every Custodian Must Read as a Duty.

I returned from my trip late at night on Friday. I have been out of town for a whole week attending a program in Ghana. It was a conference for Non-Governmental Organizations working on health education in Africa, sponsored by AU.

As my custom is, I went to each of my neigbour to give to their children what I brought from Ghana. I knocked Mama Kenwa’s door, whose room is the nearest to mine. She opened the doors slightly and as she saw me, she broke down in tears, ‘akowe, ah akowe, we lost Kenwa. He was electrocuted, while playing in Mama Shagba’s room. He picked naked electric wire.’  I broke down into tears too; Kenwa was six years old, bright, brilliant and sharp.

I went back to my room dejected. Two days after, it dawned on me we needed to do something to prevent future occurrence, so I came up with what I call Seventeen Commandments of Protecting Children in the Home and distributed among my neigbours. I also gave some copies to the landlord to distribute at the residents association meeting. Here are the commandments:

  1. Do not use harmful objects to beat a child.
  2. Do not leave a child alone unattended
  3. Do not deny a child essential food
  4. Do not lock a child in or out of the house
  5. Do not lock your child in your car
  6. When you are on the road with your child, walk against the traffic, either carry your child or hold him on your side and not on the side of the traffic; if you have to cross the road, please carry him
  7. When you child is with you in the car, particularly at a very tender age, use the child lock of the car, put the baby/child in the car seat and for older children, make sure they use seat belt at the back
  8. Do not curse or shout frequently on a child
  9. Do not tease or belittle a child
  10. Do not leave young children with unknown adults
  11. Do not deny a child the opportunity to attend school
  12. Do not encourage a child to hawk during school hours or after school hours where his/her safety cannot be guaranteed.
  13. Do not give your children out for work
  14. Avoid actions and behaviour that encourages Sexual abuse
  15. Keep harmful objects (including life electric wire) drugs and others out of the reach of the children.
  16. Do not expose your children to violent films and video games as it had been found that children learn violence from these videos.
  17. Protection children from pets or animals. Teach them the meaning of signs like ‘Beware of Dog’ and the likes.

I ended my commandment with this inscription: ‘Enlightenment is Superior to Enforcement. We must protect our children from all forms of harm by becoming a social police, who employs skill and vigilance to ensure the best interest of the child.’

I was happy when our residents association invited me again to come to speak on these my commandment. At the end of my meeting with the residents, they came together to form a Community Child Protection Support Group to discuss and offer assistance on child protection issue.

I later heard that the group paid an advocacy visit to the King of our town to shed light on the issues of child protection in the community. The king, I was told was very impressed, as he agreed that the community theater group will stage a drama in the nearest future to educate the members of the community on child protection issues.

This is a story of victory for the children of our community. We must make it a point of duty to safe our children from becoming victims of domestic accidents. Many years ago story broke that the son of a popular musician in Nigeria had a domestic accident, which badly affected his private part and had to be flown abroad. The popular musician was in the public domain for some months soliciting for financial support to facilitate the treatment of the child abroad.

Without prejudice, I must say that except in few cases, domestic accidents involving children are avoidable. I recently read the sad story of a woman who left her 1 year old boy with nobody and went to work. She had left the child in a compound, where one of the fellow tenants, who fries and hawks fish. The fellow tenants had left hot oil in the big frying pan, with which he just fried the fish he was going to hawk for the day. Nobody knew when the child crawled to hot oil and fell into it. By the time his cry attracted the people around, her stomach was already fried. He was rushed to the hospital. The poor child died two days after.

I also heard the story of two children in Ondo State. The elder brother had taken the hunter’s gun loaded and left carelessly at home by the father and shot to death the younger sister. The children were imitating what they saw in the Yoruba home video where one person shoots the other and the gun does not penetrate him or her.

Please note that it is not by agenda to sound gloomy. My agenda is to create awareness. I hope I have been able to do that.

NOTICE:
Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

FACILITATING A COMMUNITY MEETING ON HOME MANAGEMENT OF SICK CHILDREN

As a result of the event of Philomena’s sickness, which I spoke about yesterday and how helpless I saw that the parents were, I took it upon myself to discuss with the residents association of our street.

Good for me, our landlord is the treasurer of the association. He was the first person I spoke to about the need to educate the residents of the street on Home Management of Sick Children.

Since the Philomena experience was still very fresh in his memory, he agreed to speak to the chairman. I was in the office two Fridays after our discussion, when my landlord called me, ‘akowe, good afternoon, the residents association meeting comes up tomorrow during environmental sanitation exercise. Will you be able to come and give us the talk on Home Management of Sick Children you spoke to me about? Elated, I answered excitedly, ‘I will come sir, thank you.’ ‘Ok, thank you akowe. Please see me when you return tonight.’

The next day, I was before the residents association of our street to speak on Home Management of Sick Children. I started by telling them that Home Management of Sick Children is not a substitute to seeking medical help. It is the measure or measures that we can take before we see the doctor or health worker. I have printed a small sheet of paper where I stated the basic rules. I read same to them as follows:

  • Note when a Sick child losses water and energy
  • The child requires increased food and drinks and therefore encourage a child to eat and drink plenty of fluids
  • Parents should give little at a time frequently of food and fluid
  • Clothes should be removed when the child is feverish
  • Give paracetamol and antimalarials
  • De-worm children 2 years and above every 6 months.
  • Use soothing home remedies for cough like honey and rice water
  • If fast breathing is noticed in a child consult a health worker
  • Above all please contact a health worker or doctor where there is no improvement maximum after two days after taking the self-help medical steps outlined above.

The people were very happy when I finished. They asked one or two questions which I addressed.

I hope this story teaches you basic things about home management of sickness as it relate to children. I think one lesson, which is worth being reiterated is the fact that home management is not a substitute for seeking medical attention from qualified medical practitioners. It is simply a measure that is taken where the doctor can not be reached immediately or where first aid is needed to manage the case as the custodians proceed to see medical practitioner.

My younger sister believes in self-medication of her daughter. I have had series of running battles with her on this. I keep telling her that self-medication is not the same as home management. I believe she is turning a new leave now. I must tell you that it is a very dangerous path to tread.

Think the Child! Think Today! Think the Future!

http://www.taiwoakinlami.com 2348033620843

NOTICE:

Our Child Protection Audio Library Comprising of 5 Audio CDs and 4 Handbooks are available for order and immediate delivery depending on your location. They are well-researched and widely-applauded materials, carefully and meticulously designed to bring to your CONSCIOUSNESS and CONSCIENCE the RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES of your children and EQUIP you with the INDISPENSABLE SKILLS to do all things in the BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD. Be on the side of your child Today…Be on the Side of the Future…Place Your Order NOW! @ 234-8186830275(SMS Only) or send an email, titled: ORDER to ask@taiwoakinlami.com. Thank you and Stay INSPIRED.

 

HOME MANAGEMENT OF SICK CHILDREN: SHARING AN EXPERIENCE

It was early hours of the morning when Mr. Jeklin knocked on my door profusely. I was afraid, thinking our compound had been invaded by men of the underworld. ‘It is me, akowe, (the nickname I am fondly called in the compound), It is Mr. Jeklin, Philomena is very sick. I looked at the time and it was 3.00AM and I opened the door immediately.

stock photo : Black African American nurse with child isolated metisse stethoscope infirmiere

Mr. Jeklin was in wrapper and he was panting like a deer. As he saw me, he began to walk towards their room and was saying to me as I followed him, ‘Philomena is running high temperature, coughing, breathing rapidly and yet has difficulty in breathing.’ At this time, we were already in their room. I looked at the child and suspected that it could be pneumonia, which is inflammation of the lungs.

I asked Mrs. Jeklin, when did you begin to notice this health development? She responded that it was late in the evening the previous day. At this time it was 3.15AM. I implored them not to panic. I went back to my room to bring my First Aid Box. By the time I returned the situation had normalized a bit and Philomena was trying to catch some sleep. I told the parents to keep an eye on her. I told them that they should get ready for us to visit the Health Centre in the area early in the morning.

Early in the morning, we took her to the Health Centre and she was attended to by the Health Worker, who told us that early detection is very crucial and that we have done the right thing by bringing her early for treatment. She was later given some antibiotics.

The parents returned home while I proceeded to the office. I got to the office one hour late, though I had earlier called my boss that I was running late. Thank God for an understanding boss.

When I returned in the evening, I checked on Mr and Mrs Jeklin to see how Philomena was doing. I was glad to see that she was recuperating fast. Before I left, I told Mrs. Jeklin that for the purpose of another time, she should have done something when she noticed Philomena’s heath development in the evening. I told her she should not have gone to bed hoping all will be well. I explained to her that but for the fact that God took control, the matter could have gone out of hands. I further educated her that symptoms of any kind of ailment in children must not be ignored and that pain is always a pointer to the fact that something is wrong and it should be addressed immediately. ‘When it comes to health issue, delay may be dangerous and in most cases may cause irreparable damage,’ I said to Mrs. Jeklin. I was glad that the husband also listened attentively and nodded at rapid intervals in approval.

Done with my child protection sermon, I requested to take my leave. Both of them were very happy and thanked me profoundly.

I welcome your comments; they are invaluable to us.

Do have an INSPIRED Day.

Think the Child! Think Today! Think the Future!

http://www.taiwoakinlami.com 2348033620843

GROWTH MONITORING: A CALL TO CAREFUL CARE GIVING

I was attending a program where Mrs. Jaja shared a story. She runs a private school in Ogun State, South Western part of Nigeria.

One day one of the teachers in the nursery classes called her attention to the fact that one of the children in the class was not responding to sound. The teacher suspected that the 1 year old might be deaf after all. Mrs. Jaja decided to find the truth for herself. She went to sit in the class for more than two hours to observe the child. She found the report of the teacher to be true. Immediately she got in touch with the parents, who are busy career people. Their first response was denial. You want to guess their second response? They withdrew their child from the school. Their third response, which is almost predictable from their first two responses, is to do little or nothing about the state of the child.

Mrs. Jaja further taught us that parents have a responsibility to monitor the growth of their children. She spoke about the need to weigh the child at the clinic every month, to check or see how the child is growing. She concluded that caring for the child at the tender age begins with proper nutrition and prevention of childhood diseases.

This is short, yet instructive. I beg to ask you this question as a custodian, are you monitoring your child’s growth enough to seek help if you notice anything abnormal? In this age and time, where survival has become the name of existence, particularly in Africa, do we really have the time to monitor the growth of our children? It is a question I believe we must labour to answer to our conscience.

Have an INSPIRED Day.

Think the Child! Think Today! Think the Future!

http://www.taiwoakinlami.com 2348033620843

 

CHILD STIMULATION: AN ABANDONED PRACTICE CHILD CARING

I sat with Mama Johnson earlier in the week to share with her some of the things we learnt in a program we attended.

Mama Johnson is my neighbor. She is nursing her first child, Johnson, 2 years old. Mama Johnson doesn’t have too much time for stimulation. I did not also count the  term as important to child development until I attended a UNICEF program on Key Household Practice in Abuja in 2009.

Beaming with the knowledge of the seminar, I told Mama Johnson that a child, even in womb needs physical, mental and social care through a stimulating environment and that children learn faster when they are young. I told her that according to Maria Montessori. 80 percent of the personality of the child is formed at age 2-6.

I explained how useful the interaction between children and care givers is and why her child and other children should relate through play and communication. I opened her eyes to the fact that colorful toys, sound making objects, mobile toys, sweet and sour food, talking, dancing, tickling, hugging, greeting, clapping, reading numbers, blocks, sand play, storytelling, exercise help Child Stimulation. We ended the discussion as I handed over to her some toys and play equipments I bought for Johnson.

Two days after our discussion, Mama Johnson sent me a text message that she would like to discuss with me when I return from the office. When we discussed, she expressed her gratitude for our last discussion and the toys, I gave to Johnson. She said her son; Johnson has become livelier in the last two days.

She implored me to teach more of the benefits of Child Stimulation as she would like to discuss it in her women club, where there are many young mothers. Elated that she is converted, I went into my room and brought my notes at the program I attended and read to her some of the benefits of Child Stimulation: It helps the child grow, learn and develop, promotes mental, physical and social abilities, identifies disabilities in children, It provides opportunities to give love and attention.

I concluded the evening lesson as I instructed that she should tell the women that if they recognize abnormalities/difficulties in the children, they should refer to health workers promptly.

I love my last story like others. I believe it opens our eyes as custodians to some of the things we take for granted in our children development. Please take time to listen to this story again and ask yourself the question, if you have really been involved in stimulating your children as our story shows.

Think the Child! Think Today! Think Tomorrow.

Have an INSPIRED Day.

http://www.taiwoakinlami.com 2348033620843