She was waiting eagerly for me at the reception because she has been told that someone is interested in her baby. Immediately she was called into the office after some pleasantries, I addressed her,what is your baby's name? she is Precious was her answer, "I learnt you want to sell your baby, I am interested, I want to buy Precious". She said "yes ma" hearing the affirmative, I continued, "Your price is N50,000.00 (334dollars), I am ready to pay, the child will be going home with me" She raised her face adn pleaded, "Please not today ma, her countenance changed "do not go home with her today" She did ot want to leave the child but she wants to collect the money. I instructed her to look at me straight in the face and asked "have you ever seen someone who paid for an item in the market and left it for the seller? She did not respond. What of someone who want to sell her Precious gift? She refused to look at my face again.

The baby looks so sweet and innocent, she was all play all through the interview adn the Nurses acclaimed of the child's quietness and thebonding between mother and child because she still sucks breast except precsently when they had to introduce local corn paste recently.

Her Story
Her mother died when she was a young teenager, leaving her two brothers, their father fled when the responsibility was too much and did not look back or return, relations of her mother took over the responsibility of and the three of them were shared among the deceased brothers and sissters, she was brought to Lagos by an Aunt and she did not hear from her brothers since then, but she knew that they are in Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria.

On getting to Lagos, she met five other girls living with the so called aunt who sells liquor during the day and the girls at night. She was automatically introdueced to prostitution, but when she coud no longer cope, she ran to another side of Lagos, and began to live with another lady, until she met a man named Malachi who impregantaed her and ran way. The baby is more thatn six months old now and the lady accommodating her hates the baby, that is whey she wants to get rid of the baby and gather some money through that to rent a place and start a new life.

The Experts Advise
Mother K-Lee Starland taught me how to handle the situation and I sought audience with the Project Head of the NGO, she was so appreciating and approachable she said, though the organisation has decided to adopt the baby but for four reasons, she would prefer that we join hands together to support the mother and child while she takes care of her child since she loves the baby dearly but can no longer cope with the financial responsibility. These are the reasons; to give the child backgound, a sense of belonging, family base care and affection and care.

The project head introduced another lady who had a severe case of polio in chhildhood adn was impreganated by a Pastor who denied paternity because of her disability but I informed her that I work basically on Child Sexual Abuse but will visit them ASAP. I began to think about women and chhildren, teh vulnerability becasue of poverty and the minute number I can work with. I sighed.

With promise of support form both sides, I departed and promised to check on her again. We may not be able to assist all the poverty srticken women and children but we can touch lives, one after the other.

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Hi Tosin,

It is heartbreaking to think that someone could sell their own family member - and a little baby at that. But it is heartwarming to know that big-hearted women like you and K-lee are working together to do something about it... and as you mentioned - "We may not be able to assist all the poverty srticken women and children but we can touch lives, one after the other." Thank you for reminding us that change starts with one act - or with one person.

Hugs, Jade

One child, one woman at a time and who knows we might touch these ones. Please kindly send a mail to Mother K-Lee Starland, she is an amazing woman, she said I can do it, I have begun and no looking back, Worldpulse has sent some women into the world, when we finish this work , tears of joy will surely roll down our cheeks.

Thanks for training women.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria

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Again I am humbled by your love for women and your willingness to go through this all the way. The mother will thank you someday, but most of all, the child will have a better life.

When I hear about these stories, I wish I could hold the baby in my hands, feed her and take good care of her. And I crash with the reality that I am mad at the mother.

Dear Tosin, I don´t want to be judgemental, I don´t want to say what she can or cannot do, but I just feel blown away because I am so mad at the mother. What would it take for her to understand the kind of gift she has been given? How could we make her see that leaving a baby alone in the world will make no difference in her future, because she will still be lingering in prostitution and bad "easy" jobs?

Moreover, how can we make her understand that the change of behavior that she needs to accept to raise the child (meaning she will need to be DISCIPLINED and orderly in so many ways), will only be the best that ever happened to her? How will she realize that the love the child is able to give her throughout her life is far more special and grand than any other kind of love?

Sadly,I am only human, and it is hard for me to openly accept that she has free will and she can choose to sell the baby. I am afraid I won´t tolerate that. It just hurts too much. So good she is not near me. I would treat her badly. Again, sorry, I am not perfect. I am mad at her.

Love,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva Tarija - Bolivia South America www.jap21.wordpress.com

Dear Friend, Thanks so much!, you see, I felt the way you feel now, and what baffles me is that, does she feel the way I feel towards my daughters? Lots of hugs.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria

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As I've mention before, when one feels she has no options then despair and hopelessness set in and what seems to be the only answer to a situation becomes mandatory although often most undesirable. This situation with Joy is a perfect example of what can be done when one has hope through options. SOS will educated her in tailoring so she can earn a living. An option never presented to her before. Olutosin and I will help provide the food and shelter so she can more comfortably live and raise her child while she learns tayloring to develop a future which she can then pass on. For the first time in her life she has hope. This is the long term answer to poverty in my opinion. Options and support. Not judgement and anger. There is enough of that inthe world. Time to change it, sez me.

K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Mother Starland taught me that we can create and give options to women who are the verge of hopelessness, it is one life at a time and we are starting now, This is a good opportunity to show the world we can do it one after the other. Unrelentingly I will continue this work.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria

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