Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Our Children Are Our Future

In memory of the children of Ijegun Comprehensive High School, Ijegun Nursery and Primary Schools who lost their precious lives in the Pipeline Explosion on Thursday May 15, 2008, in Ijegun, Lagos, Nigeria.

This is for all the children in Nigeria as I join them to celebrate the Children’s Day.

The nostalgia of my childhood is overwhelming, because the unforgettable memories of growing up in the loving care of my parents are now flooding back to me.
I love my childhood. I had a happy childhood after the Nigerian civil war. I grew up in a happy home at #28 Obalende Road, Obalende, Lagos.
I love children, because as Whitney Houston sang in The Greatest Love of All, they are indeed our future.



Nigerian School Children in class. Photo Credit:Khaled Hassounah

85% of the children in Nigeria are from poor families who are mostly in the rural areas. When I travel to different states in Nigeria and I see the children in their dilapidated houses and bad roads, I feel sad and disappointed, because Nigeria is one of the richest countries in natural resources and Nigerians should be among the most comfortable people in the world. But the corrupt and ruthless public officials have wrecked the administration of our beloved nation and left the majority of the people miserable.

Parents must do their best for the health, success and welfare of their children.
If you do not have the wherewithal to raise children, please do not conceive and bring innocent children into the world only to let them suffer in abject poverty.

I have seen better parenting among sheep and goats than I have seen among many parents in Nigeria.
I have seen Nigerian parents who have children, but do not know how to raise them
.


Every child deserves good education. Photo Credit:Khaled Hassounah

The only way to secure the future of Nigeria is to make sure that Nigerian children have the most important things in life; regular food supply (including safe water) safe and comfortable accommodation, universal basic education, universal healthcare and security at home and outdoors.

Khaled Hassounah, the director of Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project has toured Nigeria and knows that education is the key that will open doors to breathroughs for the children of the poor in Nigeria and other poor countries in the world.



Nigerian School Children display their OX Laptops from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Program. Photo Credit:Khaled Hassounah

Let me remind you of what the beautiful and wonderful teacher, Yvonne Terry has written on Our Children Are Our Future, you can read it on ChickenBones.

Let us join Whitney Houston in singing the all time classic The Greatest Love of All to all the Children in Nigeria and the rest of the world.




I believe the children are our are future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be

Everybody searching for a hero

People need someone to look up to

I never found anyone who fulfill my needs

A lonely place to be

So I learned to depend on me


Chorus:

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows

If I fail, if I succeed

At least I'll live as I believe

No matter what they take from me

They can't take away my dignity

Because the greatest love of all

Is happening to me

I found the greatest love of all

Inside of me

The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all



I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be


Chorus:


And if by chance, that special place

That you've been dreaming of

Leads you to a lonely place

Find your strength in love.


Whitney Houston's The Greatest Love of All was written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed, and was first perfromed and recorded by George Benson for the 1977 Muhammad Ali film The Greatest..


Photo Credit: Khaled Hassounah

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