Moved by the plight of children living in the Lagos State Motherless Babies Home (LSMBH), Lekki, Lagos, the founder of Saratu Kitchener Foundation, SKF, Miss Saratu Kitchener, 17, last week, gave out playground fittings to the orphanage home.
The gesture took many by suprise as they could not believe how Kitchener single handedly raised the fund to purchase the playing fittings.
The home with 116 children was established in 1997 by Lagos State government in collaboration with the Lions Club to provide care for abandoned and abused children. LSMBH is solely responsible for the mental and social development of every child in its custody.
Speaking to Sunday Vanguard, Kitchener said, “ I was struck by stories of new born babies being abandoned just outside this home in the middle of the night I began to see how it is that Nigeria’s myriad problems hit children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, hardest.”
The Taraba State-born philanthropist revealed that she started off wanting to raise awareness among her peers by organising Sunday visits to the orphanage. “We would bring along books, diapers, milk etc. as well as Sunday lunch for the children to show love to them”.
How did she raise the fund, she said, “To raise fund, I organised a card-making workshop here at the orphanage, giving the children the freedom to stimulate their minds and create. I then took the designs to a company called Snappy Snaps in the UK, to be published as Christmas cards. The sale of the cards to family and close friends raised the fund needed to buy the playing ground fitting.
The total amount raised was 2.4 million Naira.
“In the process of the fundraising, I felt it was important to make the children central; to ensure that they contribute to ameliorating their plight in some way and that I was building, in them, a sense of self-sufficiency and autonomy.”
The Matron of the home, Mrs Oguntoyinbo Ronke, was very grateful to God for using Kitchener to bless the home and reiterated that the maintenance of the home and development of the children largely depends on donations from individuals, clubs and corporate organisations.