Christmas comes early to children of Ipaja Community, Nigeria!

by ACT

  • Posted on February 22, 2019

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…Christmas in February?

On 13th February, ACT was delighted to welcome a number of kind and inquisitive children from local primary school, St Chad’s, to the ACT Office. These children are currently engaged in ACT’s Youth IDEA programme, which provides youth with the opportunity of learning about international development through an exploration of the work ACT does across eight (8) countries in Africa. They arrived at the ACT Office promptly at 9:30 am, bearing gifts bigger than the already huge smiles on their faces.  Passersby would be forgiven for mistaking the exchange as a day-early Valentines celebration, for there was certainly a great deal of compassion in the air. However, upon closer inspection, the Christmas wrapping would dispel that assumption entirely. Instead, it looked like Christmas had come early!

The presents, in fact, came from a Christmas Shoebox Appeal that the children of St Chad’s had organised for ACT-supported children of Ipaja Community, Nigeria. Across St Chad’s, an estimated 20 per cent of pupils are of Nigerian heritage, so, naturally, Nigeria was the popular choice of destination. In anticipation of the event, ACT had decorated the office with images and factsheets specific to Nigeria. Once the staggering forty (40) presents had been deposited, the children, eager to learn more about where their carefully wrapped presents were going, sat down to listen to ACT Project Development Officer, Lauren, give an informative and interactive presentation all about the work ACT does in Nigeria and beyond.

The presentation started with the children playing ACT’s very own board game, “Heads or Tails”. This game was created by ACT with the intention of encouraging children to put themselves in the shoes of their counterparts in Africa. The game starts with players rolling the dice and playing out the expected day to day life of a typical African child from a disadvantaged background, according to the squares they land upon. Initially, the children were understandably shocked by the realities faced by their counterparts, such as the loss of a parent, an illness entreating upon familial life or the inability to attend school because of poverty. However, once they rolled on to a square where they were able to receive ACT support, they realised how quickly charitable giving can transform lives.

After a quick play of this game, the children settled down to learn about the work ACT does, and here the children really came into their own. They asked and answered questions and gave their understanding of key words, such as “widow” and “orphan”.  It didn’t take them long to learn about the ACT child sponsorship programme and some of the challenges to rural life faced by widows, women and disadvantaged children. They also learnt about community projects that ACT is carrying out in education, health and sanitation to improve the lives of many people in rural communities.

At the end of their visit, the children had great fun packing the gifts up in a box that was to be sent directly to Nigeria soon after. Once this was done, there was just enough time for ACT to present them with a certificate of recognition, which was joyfully received!

We were so happy to host St Chad’s and we are grateful for the great generosity they have shown to the children we support in Nigeria. We look forward to an ever growing partnership with them.

If you would like to read more about the work ACT does in Nigeria, please click here.

To support ACT’s work in Nigeria, please click here to donate.

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