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After an encouraging accomplishment of the maiden edition of the Child Development Workshop held on the 27th of May, 2016 (Children’s Day), by the Child Hero Empowerment Team, another success was recorded on their monthly volunteering project, on the 24th of June, 2016 at the Pacelli School for the blind and partially sighted.

With a major focus towards the needs and interest of the less-privileged child, the CHEC team puts together workshops once every month which brings on board a wide range of motivational speakers, professionals in different fields as writers, poets, artists, thought leaders, etc. to mentor, coach, tutor and empower the less-privileged children at the orphanages/local communities and remote areas in order to equip them with the basic skills, knowledge and mindset every child deserves to acquire on their paths to self-discovery of purpose.

On the 24th of June 2016, the CHEC team conducted the 2nd edition of their workshop at the Pacelli School of the Blind & Partially Sighted, having on board Speakers & Poets who inspired the children with motivational talk and poetry. The classroom had over a hundred and thirty students: blind, partially sighted, and some disabled, who sat in Readiness to listen to what the CHEC team had for them. Though they were visually impaired, yet their attention and liveliness made the mentoring an exciting experience for the CHEC team who won the applause and warm embrace of the children.

The workshop was expeditiously coordinated by Uche Uwadinachi (a spoken word poet, radio producer and photo journalist) who gave a grand opening to the children with words of encouragement and thought provoking folk-tale song “Moni-Moni” which made the excited children sing aloud ardently. His inspiring anecdotes was both thrilling and entertaining as the children were all caught up in the euphoria of the moment. He left a powerful message with the children therein – “Education is the key of survival irrespective of whatever one’s disability may be”

The Chief guest speaker of the workshop, Mr. Israel Etim, a visually impaired but successful radio producer, blogger and CEO of showTime Naija recalled his experience to the children on how he lost his eyesight in Junior secondary school when having a random playtime moment with his friend, through a badly managed cataract. The sordid reminisce reeled a pitiable and moving response from the children. He lightened up their moods however by also sharing with them how he overcomes challenges/limitations and the morass of self-pity through devotion of time to hard work, sincere effort, and consistency to living a life of his dreams.

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He added that he revisited his avowed love for arts – drawing, painting, song writing, and talking by taking on the odyssey of traversing through his turbulent years of visual impairment to studying mass communication at Olabisi Onabanjo university (OOU). He rounded off his talk by leaving the children with watch words as pertinent nugget – an unrelenting purpose and total trust in God, no side attractions or set-backs but an undying passion and the confidence to fulfil one’s dreams.

IMG_6859The floor was open for the next speaker, James Ademuyiwa (an unwavering spoken word artiste, an MC and a media publicist) who started off by introducing himself with his idiosyncratic character persona “James Conco” and thereon watered the ears of the children with an enlightening song of hope by Cobhams Asuquo.

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The children, identifying the song, happily joined in the chanting and the entire class was lit with an aura of joy and hope. He proceeded to dishing the children with motivational passages from the bible and words of inspiration, by examining the similarities and dissimilarities of both light and darkness and the need for darkness sometimes in order to see the light.

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He rounded off his session with a poem “My braille, my compass”, a poem which he had written and dedicated to three blind men, running through the lines of tenacity, drive and courage;

“Even though I’m blind,
I have the greatest mind”
So, tell everyone out there;
Before you can see the light,
You have to first be blind”.

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Then, the initiator of the Child Hero Campaign, Chinonye J. Chidolue (a motivational speaker/writer, actor and a child-enthusiast) came forward to speak to the children about the power of positively speaking life into one’s circumstances regardless of deterring challenges. She reminded the children that they are privileged and blessed beyond measure and they need not their eyes to explore their vision, as the will to achieve lies inside of them. She then created an exciting short exercise with a poem of positive affirmation “Beyond sight” which she had the children recite after her, repeating the final words;

“I need not these two naked eyes;
To remind me that I am a bundle of blessings beyond mere sight…”

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The workshop session slowly rolled to an end with the final speaker, Blue Adonis (A spoken word artiste) who embraced the children with the warmth of his emotion and smiles as he spotted out from the crowd one of the children whose smile from the start of the session motivated him. He spoke to them on love and acceptance of one’s self, and rendered a short but insightful poem to the children.

The workshop was finally rounded off with another short folktale story “Korede”, presented by the coordinator Uche Uwadinachi, who took the children on a thrill of rhymes and sweet chants as they repeated the last words of each line after him, excitingly.

It was such a great and remarkable time for the Members of the Child Hero Campaign Team and the speakers who were given such privilege to share in the joy, pain and smiles of the children who even though visually impaired, had such liveliness and heart-warming smile throughout the session as they asked intelligent questions too.

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We had some engaging sessions with some of the children after the workshop and amazingly, they are a fine breed of talents and persistence, one of which is Busola– a beautiful writer who writes stage plays for their drama sessions and have prepared a play for the forthcoming graduation event of their seniors. Another of them was Kelechi – who is blessed with the gift of rapping and flowed through his lines like the Nigerian rapper, “Olamide”.

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Among the records of Pacelli School for the blind & Partially sighted, surulere Lagos is their successful win at the 1st edition of the National Braille Literacy Quiz organized in Lagos on the 21st November 2013, organized by the Nigerian Association of the Blind (NAB) and Perkins Braille, USA. They have over the years, relentlessly nurtured and graduated bright individuals into extraordinary citizens as seen in the promise of hope on the smiling faces of the children at the school.

Again, we the Child Hero Campaign Team are wholly grateful to God for a successful 2nd edition of our Child Development Workshop. It was yet another moving experience for us all. We are overjoyed on yet another privilege to lend our support and time to the children this month of June and as we look forward to next month’s workshop at yet another orphanage home or disabled school, as a part of our volunteering services, we create awareness for the less-privileged children and their need for total support.

Hence, we call on you and encourage you to please extend your hands of support to the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted, 30 Ajao Rd, Surulere, Lagos, who are doing their best to create a home and a future for the children. No amount of contribution is too big or small to invest in their future.

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To donate to Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted children:
 
First Bank Nigeria Ltd
Account Number: 2004948780
Account Name: Pacelli School of the Blind
 
With your support, you would be investing in their greatness!

Love to volunteer with us? Support or become a sponsor for our project(s)? Kindly reach us at projectchildhero@gmail.com OR call Ifeanyi Bernard on +2348032124263 to discuss how you can help us achieve more with our campaign for the less-privileged child.

Enthusiastic about fostering the initiative of contributing to a good cause for children? Why not join the #CHILDHERO movement!

To partner with Peregrine Reads on this initiative or to share your ideas, kindly send a mail to peregrine.reads@yahoo.com. Your suggestions are highly welcome and appreciated!

 

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