Christmas for me means a lot of things and the major symbolism was Jollof rice and a larger than life chicken thigh on my plate, a new dress and matching shoes which in 2 pairs – one for my sister and one for myself so we’d look like the set of twins my mother longed for all her life. That wasn’t all; I also got a Christmas gift, the box size dependent on my scores in school that term.
It was and still is a time of merry making, visiting of relatives and of course the much and long awaited trip to the beach. Oh yeah! The Beach!! I got those trips once in a year and of course you should know that I cherished the memories for 364 days every year, looking forward to the next trip.
While I had fun on the other side of the divide with my parents and siblings, I was well aware that a large number of children in my ‘area’ had no fun this season as my mother would share our Jollof rice with them and sometimes bundle them with us in the car to the beach, the smile on their faces was something to kill for as it was an unexpected gift.
Many years after my childhood memories, I volunteered with the StayInSchoolng Initiative where I experienced first-hand the varying degrees of poverty and suffering that many children go through because of the families they were born into. This Christmas however, we hope to make it different for them with the #GiftAChild campaign.
Why am I excited? Many of these children have no hope or expectation for the season, it is life as usual with them and we hope to share the true meaning of Christmas with them and make them feel loved and cherished by celebrating them at 2 Christmas parties and placing a gift hamper in their tender hands.
Do you have plans to make this Christmas season merry for a vulnerable child? Do you have gently used items that can go into a child’s gift hamper? Call the SiSng Hotline on 08097040809 or follow @stayinschoolng for more details on how you can donate these items.
For those of us like me who would just like to join a great party, its party time. Grab your shoes. Join the party train as we tour two communities in two days. Ijora-Badia and Idoluwo-Ile communities respectively. December 14th and 15th it is. Let the Christmas be merry