By Wole Oyebade
Ilaje slum in Bariga axis of Lagos State is one of the ghettoes that best illustrates government negligence and utter abandonment of a community. So, for years, the densely populated corridor, sprawled on the edge of the Lagos lagoon, has remained a jungle deprived of all basic amenities of life.
Being an area where the poorest of the poor resides, the usual sight is a ragtag army of malnourished children aimlessly roaming the streets covered with huge debris, human and animal excreta. Education, whatever it is worth, has never crossed their minds.
Toyin Sanni told The Guardian that majority of the children are orphans and have been abandoned to live with grandparents or guardians that are too impoverished to cater for their children.
Sanni, a member of ‘Hands at Work’ organisation, a religious-based charity group working in the community for some years, said the poor condition of the children led to the setting up of Eagles Wings International Nursery and Primary School, on 38, Araromi street, Bariga, in 2007.
Today, the school has over 154 pupils benefitting from free basic health, basic feeding and basic education,courtesy of the organisation.
“Local churches around Ilaje support us with care-workers, who provide the children with anti-mosquito treated-nets, wash their clothes, help them with homework and get to know what the children are passing through. Many of them are orphans and in need of fatherly and motherly love,” Sanni said.
Last week, however, brought enormous joy to the hearts of pupils and teachers alike, as a team of young graduates renovated the school premise, giving it a facelift. The renovation was courtesy of the Poise Graduate Finishing Academy Stream 36 (Gladiators), in conjunction with Poise Graduate Communal Foundation – a post-graduation finishing training initiative in Lagos.
President of Poise Graduate Finishing Academy Stream 36 (Gladiators), Prosper Akini, explained that one of the obligations of the 12-week training programme was to carry out a charity work of which Eagle Wings School was chosen.