I asked my big sister one day, “Sis, if after raising my darling boy for this 18 months with so much love and sacrifice and having grown fund of him this much, the nurse that delivered you, comes with her village people to apologize for exchanging your baby during birth, that in fact your “original” child is a girl living with another Mum, what will you do?”
My sister gave me the “Bisi you have come again” look but gave it a thought, and I will like for you to give it a thought.
Will your love for that baby reduce? will your commitment reduce?will your affection reduce? will you begin to read meanings that you winked at before the grand revelation? If yes, then you loved that child only because you believed he/she is your offspring, if no, then you loved that child because he is a person that you’ve grown to love and enjoy.
I am simply saying that ‘blood’ is in the mind, my blood sister, mother, daughter is in our minds and we can consciously begin to treat every child irrespective of race, religious orientation, disability, culture as our ‘blood’.
When we adopt legally or culturally, we must do so with a ‘blood’ mindset, if not, we rather let those children stay where they are in peace. Every child deserves more than a place to lay his/her head, every child deserves a home, let’s create homes for them—a safe place to be little, playful,free, happy and safe.
As part of our 21 days child protection campaign, we facilitated a session at the International Society of Pharmaco Economics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), University of Nigeria, Nsukka..
We had group sessions where groups had to brainstorm on the causes of rising child abuse statistics and the roles public health workers play in upholding the rights of the child.
The Outcome was really enlightening for both facilitator and participants.
Participants appended their signature as a commitment to protect children around them.
Her Mother complained in my office ‘my child is nine and still cannot write well, he is smart but cannot recognize letters, he misplaces one for the other and always fails his subjects, they call it dyslexia, I feel cursed.
Another Mum cried “I have a child who cannot speak properly and he is ten already, he cannot even go to a proper school because he can’t learn at the pace of his mates, my family has been so stigmatized, they call it downs syndrome, I feel we are paying for our sin.
It is not new to see children with learning and physical disabilities, the challenge is our response to them and their families.
They are called SPECIAL because that’s who they are—-special humans, special children with rights as much as every child.
The United Nations Convention on the right of the child holds a principle of non discrimination and in our quest to protect children, we must cover all children irrespective of sex,race,disability or religious affiliation.
Downs syndrome? I think its Ups syndrome, let’s stop ‘downing’ our special children and begin to up them to reach their optimum human potential, there’s nothing they cannot attain with respect, empathy, love and support.
For Dyslexia, let Albert Einstein, the Father of relativity, one of the greatest scientist that ever lived, convince you that a child with dyslexia can be the worlds best anything.