At some point in life I really didn’t like the international media because they portrayed Africans as poor, sick and helpless. Whenever I tuned in to CNN or BBC, if it wasn’t a bomb attack in the Middle East or politics in the United States it would be a desperate plea for help from Africa; Children dying of starvation, others suffering from diseases or corruption which they said is the fulcrum of all our problems.  This picture to me didn’t reflect the right image because I was caught up in the beauty of life and disconnected from these realities.

I stopped watching CNN for a while but that didn’t change the story, the headlines remained in block letters, shining boldly on the screens and to me it felt like a scar whenever they appeared.  Shall we ever get better? This was one question I was left to answer because I learnt that if change must begin we must first change ourselves and it must start with us.

The scar got so large that I couldn’t conceal the pain of hurt whenever I crossed the 3rd mainland bridge,  seeing the life beneath it; or looking out of the window of the classy Eko Hotels to see another slum just beside the sea shore. I had to accept defeat and behold the media were right after all. Millions of people live below poverty line.

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The greatest power we have as humans is that of Choice. We might not be able to stop the wind, but we can control the sail. The time has come for us to act and do something about our Nation, not to sit down and watch the train ride over us. We must first look around us to help the little we can, provide healthcare for the sick and education for less privileged children. We might not have the finances or the resources but we have a voice; the voice of hope with which we can break new grounds and move mountains. We can make that change happen and get our Nation back on track.

The SLUM2SchooL Project has gone past its first three stages to that point where we have over 100 children who are willing to go to school, most of which have lost the opportunity of childhood or the hope of livelihood. A lot of them never grew up to know their fathers or be loved by a mother. Just like Sosiana, a fourteen year old girl whose mother died when she was still a child and grew up in a home with two other wives, not in school and left on the streets of the slum to fend for herself. The future looks bleak for her. She is just one amongst thousands who wants to be loved again. I will never forget that question she asked “will you people come back again?”.

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We have made a promise and this is the time to fulfill it. We CAN send the children back to school; get a complete school kit with 2pairs of uniforms, sports wear, sandals, canvass, exercise books and texts, stationery and a schoolbag for them. We CAN also renovate the old and dilapidated government primary school building and build a school for them in their community. We CAN be that hand of hope that they need. We CAN make that impact!

To Join the iMPACT Team, send an e-mail to OR an SMS to 08063477974 for more inquiries.