In Nigeria, there are roughly 8.6 million orphaned children, a lot of whom live in places such as bridges, railway stations, and markets in various parts of the country. These homeless children represent a large portion of the 13.2 million Nigerian kids who are out of school. For numerous Nigerians, taking these children off the streets and ending kid abuse is a wish that repeatedly pummels their heart, a dream they nurse however want to birth just when they have adequate cash or become someone big. A dream that may or may not become made into truth.
Sustained by their desire to accommodate kids who have no family and pushed by the support of pals and church members, Rachel birthed Rachels Residences and has accommodated over 254 kids through the lots of years of operation.
In 1999, living in a one-bedroom apartment or condo, Rachel took in a female kid whose moms and dads had actually passed away and had nobody to take care of her. Then she took in a young boy, an orphan. Then another. And another. One orphan at a time. Being an orphan herself, it was easy for Rachel to wear the shoes of kids who lost their parents at a tender age and had no other household member who was ready to take care of them, “I saw myself in them and I knew I needed to help”. After a while, her good friends and church members motivated her to start her orphanage home completely and register it. This, she carried out in 2010. Rachels Residences was birthed.
Ever since, she has actually gone on to establish Rachels Houses in three various locations: Benue state, Abaji, Abuja, and Kurudu, Abuja– the head office. Kurudu is in Abuja city while the homes in Abaji and Benue state are situated in remote towns where there are a lot of abandoned kids and an absence of basic resources.
As a reverend, positioning her rely on God was essential to Rachel if she wished to run the house successfully and get the finances to offer these orphans a good life. “I understand God is with Rachels Houses and my strength comes from God. Far, He has been with the home and has always helped me.”
In some cases, this assistance comes in the kind of complete strangers strolling into the home with cartons of food and provisions, books, clothing items, and toiletries. Other times, this help is available in the form of contributions. Numerous times, this assistance can be found in kinds of visitations and people sharing their special moments– like birthdays, anniversaries, and so on– with the kids. All the time, Rachel’s joy is that the children are filled with love and are well catered to. “The kids feel so enjoyed and they are always pleased. Whenever I visit them, they all scream ‘mummy’ and hurry to hug me. They never combat, they are so cordial and considerate and whenever I take a look at them, I state ‘yes! God is here’. This makes me so happy,” she states.
“I have happiness, satisfaction, and happiness when I consult with the kids. Numerous of them are not eager to leave and I’m overwhelmed with love. I more than happy I have actually conserved numerous lives.”
Rachel Alaje is a mother to lots of kids which brings her satisfaction. “This is a total handwork of God,” she stated, smiling hugely.
“We do not turn kids away due to the fact that every kid is a blessing. Anybody can reach out to us or bring a kid and we accept with open arms. Sometimes, these children have family members– like their grandma or aunties or uncles, but when they come, they say ‘the mom has actually died, or the mom discarded them and ran away and we can not look after the child’. Sometimes, these household members are so bad that when they bring such kids, they would not include diapers or clothes or food or anything for such a child. Still, we accept them and welcome them into our house. The only condition is that they must pertain to inspect on the kid monthly.”
However the kids are not just accepted without any background or medical check-up, “wh en a baby is brought, we take the infant to the healthcare facility for a thorough medical check-up. If they have any treatable illness, we foot the bill or ask the family members to do so.” Rachel also works with the authorities social welfare department (SDS) in Abuja for all proper paperwork.
But what happens if those family members choose to come back for their kids? “We provide back their kid once they sign all required documents that show they are household. When you bring a kid to us, there are documents we provide you to fill, so when you come for the child, you need to provide the files and your present location. We likewise keep track of the child’s progress and how well the kid is treated.”
Currently, Rachels Residences has about 150 kids throughout the 3 homes in Benue, Abaji, and Kurudu. The majority of the kids are in between the ages of 0– 16 months. They do not accept kids older than 5 years of age. “We have some guidelines and policies and many times, it is not simple to manage and teach kids who join us after the age of 5,” Rachel states. The kids are looked after for as long as possible. When they go to the universities (moneyed by Rachels homes), the kids are gotten a home off-campus. This, they share with other young boys. But the women remain in the home while education and until they get wed. Up until now, much of the kids have actually finished from universities, and are married. School-age children are in school, and even the one-year-olds are discovering.
At the home, the kids wake up by 5:30 in the early morning and have their early morning prayers until 6:30 am. They all have their baths and get ready for school. By 7:30 am, they are off to school. There’s a main school right in the home structure where the little kids participate in. The older kids go to a government secondary school. By 2:00 pm, it is time for lunch. The more youthful kids consume in the premises, while the older kids have their food required to their school. By 3:00 pm, they will all be back from school. From 3– 5:00 pm, they have their siesta and from 5– 6:00 pm, they all play sports, knit, bake, or any other activity they may have an interest in. By 6:30, it’ll be dinner time and night prayer is by 8:30 pm. 9 pm– light off. The kids are likewise taught abilities like baking cake, soap making, fragrance making, shoemaking, and so on.
Rachels Houses has a personnel strength of 18, consisted of cooks, cleaners, receptionists, baby-sitters, auxiliary nurses who are all informed– except the cleaners– and trained enough to understand what meals to prepare for the kids and how to cater to their needs.
Similar to every other home, Rachels Residences has its reasonable share of bumps and hurdles. For Rachel, getting finances to run the NGO is the greatest difficulty she faces, “In some cases when we ask the kids what they feel like consuming, they mention things we do not have and it pains me. Lot of times, we lack their daily products: groceries, toiletries, beverages, baby food (Nan 1), pampers. Often, there will be substantial supplies of pampers for the babies but before you understand it, it will end up and we will be back to square one. The worst is when schools are about to resume and we need to pay their school charges.”
Prior to the lockdown, 18 kids from the home got admission into secondary school, and 3 children got accepted into the university. Paying their fees was difficult for Rachel. “It was so challenging, economically, and we were flustered. When you pay for a child and don’t pay for another right away, the other child begins to feel bad,” she stated.
There are little true blessings that Rachel does not fail to share, “there was a day when all toiletries had finished– no toothpaste or bathing soap or toilet documents. We were still believing of what to do when someone simply appeared with packs of tooth paste and soap.”
Considering that the pandemic begun, Rachels Home has actually gotten fewer visitations, “Prior to, individuals would come, have fun with the kids and make them feel excellent, this has stopped now.” Rachel stated. It isn’t just the visitations that have stopped, contributions have actually also taken a drastic nosedive, “Before the pandemic, we might call a couple of people and they will address us, now, everyone is broke and the reactions are no longer favourable.”
Despite The Fact That Rachels House is looking after Nigerian kids, they receive no financial backing from the government, agency or organisation. “We are excused from paying tax, but we do not get any financial backing from the federal government.”
“We require people to support us. We are in requirement of day-to-day products– groceries, drinks, toiletries, body cream, general things individuals utilize every day, beddings, clothes, pampers, babies food (Nan 1), generators, and so on. Monetary donations are also extremely important to the home given that they need to pay charges and salaries, and see to the day-to-day run of the organisation. You can reach out to the house to make contributions or to go to the children.