How we celebrated the holiday season


Madame Sekinatu is a woman, around 70 years old. In an ideal situation, someone in their age group should be with their children and grandchildren and enjoy the comforts of home with so much to eat and drink during the holiday season.

Ironically, Madame Sekinatu was inside on Christmas Day, hungry and desperate, unable to get enough handouts unlike on a normal day because her favorite place to beg was deserted due to the festive celebrations.

When the Sunday Tribune finally met Madame Sekinatu and other beggars to chat, her hungry, hungry gaze heralded her prolonged famine. The desperation on his face momentarily vanished when the Sunday Tribune pointed two N500 notes in his direction. As she reached out to collect the money, other beggars around the scene besieged the scene. Without the vigorous efforts of our correspondent, the notes could have been destroyed.

“Is this how you scramble for people’s articles every day,” Sunday Tribune asked old Sekinatu.

“Yes, in fact, it’s usually worse when donors don’t get off their motorbikes or cars. Some of them will throw the items at us and you will only have to run towards them to be able to get your hands on at least one of the items brought. Even with my crippled condition and fragile legs, I am joining the rush, ”she replied.

“But it wasn’t like that on Christmas Day because I was inside. Even though I was hungry, as the country’s hardships prevented my children from sending me money for the season unlike in the past, I couldn’t go out to beg for alms as we were told the whole place would be. desert. But after Christmas day, I had to come back because it’s the only thing I survive with other than the little help that comes from my children, ”she added.

The elderly woman, who lives in the Ayeye neighborhood of Ibadan, the state capital of Oyo, said that unlike in the past, she had not received any financial or material assistance from those who attended her. had helped during the holiday season apart from her children.

Sitting next to Madame Sekinatu was Iyabo Adebayo, a young mother of four. The dark, pale-skinned woman described herself as a widow, although her husband is still alive.

She then confessed that her husband ran away from home many years ago, leaving her and her four children to wander under the Mokola Bridge daily in a battle for their survival.

She said that unlike Madame Sekinatu, she and her children spent their Christmas Day under the bridge chasing after anyone with possessions to share.

“We had our own Christmas here and throughout the holiday season too we came here because I have no other way to feed and care for the four children my husband threw at me. But my kids and I got cooked food from people on Christmas Day. Although not as we expected, some people still gave us a sum of money related to the bagged salt. In all, we thank God, ”she told the Sunday Tribune.

Meanwhile, as beggars on the streets across the country had their share of the gloom and boom that greeted the festive seasons, even orphanage children and their caregivers had theirs as well.

Joy Taiwo is the director of the Oyiza orphanage in Ibadan. She noted that during the holiday season people came to celebrate with the children, who she said had received support from people since her orphanage was established.

“As a charity that has been around for over 20 years, we have friends, family, individuals, organizations and Good Samaritans who have supported us over the years. The orphanage was able to celebrate the holiday season for all of its children within the shelter as we held Christmas parties and other festive activities to bring out the joy of the season, ”she said.

“The children of the Oyiza orphanage are happy even without the holiday season because our orphanage is commonly called” the house of love “, that is, the children always feel celebrated and happy thanks to planned or scheduled activities throughout the year, such as training of different types, career discussion, health care with the doctor, time with the counselors apart from other activities in which they participate outside the center. ‘accommodation, so these were happy times throughout the last year, ”she explained.

According to her, people often visit the house for birthday parties and wedding anniversaries, while churches, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), clubs, businesses and the like also make occasional visits to celebrate with them. children, especially during the celebration of Easter, Children’s Day, Independence Day and Christmas.

For Febisola Okonwo, CEO of Tabitha Homes, internal programs have been organized for children during the holiday season, as the house operates a holistic structure, allowing them to feel loved and not to feel less well.

“First Tabitha Home operates a structure that offers holistic support to children, just as it does in ordinary homes. no matter the situation and the circumstances. Their special needs not to live with their biological parents do not make them different from other children; rather, he encouraged us to organize functional activities that will strengthen their capacities at all times.

“For this season, we have in-house programs for the kids, ranging from our holiday season, a Christmas carol service, music, art and dance events, and even religious activities they attend during the holidays. festive seasons. They still have plenty to eat and have fun at this time as well, just like it does in ordinary homes, ”she explained.

Speaking further, she said: “As long as the needs of the children are met and they are well taken care of, the children do not feel isolated, this is what I can say about the children of Tabitha Home. . However, every child I know prefers to be with their biological parents; so no matter how much they are filled, the void can sometimes be there and that is why we fill that need by filling the void with structured accompaniment.

“The Christmas and New Year periods are the most visited times at home when people come with food and other gifts and it is always encouraging for the children and their guardians, the excitement was written on their faces. “

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