It was almost war for me to decide going for the Y’ello Care, 2010. There were a lot of pending and yet to resolve issues on my desk but I saw it as an experience that will last a lifetime. My indecision made me go without a camera but my mind went weary when I saw the occupants of this centre. I was moved to write this poem titled, Born of a Woman.

Born of a Woman,

Thrown into the gutters,

Some in the bush,

Some of mad women,

Some of silver spoon.

Born of a woman,

Dead or alive,

Sane or insane,

Caring or not caring,

Legally or illegally,

Want to have,

Never wanted.

Now being cared for by another.

Born of a woman,

Now attracting good wishes,


While you attract returnable funds,

They attract gifts at remembrance.

Born of a woman,

To become street children and urchins,

At societal mercy,

Bundle of challenges.

Born of a woman,

Throwing parties at needy’s expense,

Here are tears to be wiped,

Here are the hungry,

Just note nature’s might,

Born of a woman.

These are children from varying background that has got no ray of hope for a future; they live on the magnanimity of few people who care. I am quite sure that the percentage is quite low as compared to what is needed to make them live beyond poverty level. The road to their location is quite rocky; one of the features of Nigerian road, you can but ask of the government at the grassroots? We were swinging till we got there, the look on their faces emanated pity. The accommodation is quite good but you can be sure that uneasy lies the task before those who handle these people.

The occupants of the So Said International, are not just children: physically or mentally challenged, others include orphan, street resident ones, those born of mad women, strayed children amongst others, another set of occupants are the elderly who were once insane, asides their guardians.

There were a lot of presentations by the pupils to make us know some of their plights, their level of ingenuity, imagine a girl with a short limp who walks with the aid of an artificial leg leading the cultural troop. The beauty of this to me is the ability to move on with life despite the challenge. Who can give sufficiently to make live beautiful for these ones?

Without the reach of the Y’ello family, we gave gifts but I asked myself, when all these finishes, where do they turn to? I imagined the joy of being with a family even in lack? These ones have a family borne out of the challenges life has posed at them. They are always depending on out care.

Another thing that struck me was the sitting arrangement, we were watching them from a far and for interested people they moved nearer, pity welled up in me and I pretended to be a man by dodging to shed tears but deep in my mind, I was saddened. Where are the people who can give meaning to the lives of these ones, most especially the young ones amongst them? Then I was happy, they are somewhere to be trained for a life even out of here.

Seeing is believing, our personal and selfish interest should be left aside to visit these people at times, thanks to Y’ello care for this opportunity. We should be contented with our situation no matter what we are going through when the difficulties of these people are considered.

I am grateful for having this scary-caring opportunity that made me know that most of our caring attitude is selfish for it is expectant of returns and our care should extend beyond the frontiers of friendship to the destitute.

21st May, 2010.

(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria
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