This is the second of the series.
The Destiny Trust has a home/centre called The Destiny Trust Home (Learning and Rehabilitation Centre). It’s generally just called TDT Home. It is located at no. 6 Brila FM Road, Bogije, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos. The Home is extremely important to The Destiny Trust. It started after the first year of establishing The Trust to bring more stability and rational control over the rehabilitation process and helps ensure that street children that we encounter have a sure and reliable intervention programme. For most of the kids, the entire sense of family and home is rekindled at the Home and they get a real feel of what it is like to be part of society in the true sense, and not as the misfits they were considered to be. Values are developed at the Home and it is indeed the place where the fullness of what the Trust set out to achieve can be seen.
It is a two winged duplex, painted grey and pink. It has a total of six bed rooms, one living area, reception and family room, the dining area, the learning centre, an administrative office, two kitchens and a sick bay. One of the kitchens is a cake and bread bakery called Mandy’s Kitchen.
The core of the Home is the learning centre where children receive academic and vocational tutoring. There are three sewing machines in the centre. The centre also has an electronic piano keyboard, one saxophone, one trumpet, two violins, two guitars, and a set of drums. The centre’s library also contains lots of age-appropriate literature as well as academic texts for school.
The Home activities are in the hands of the Care Administrator who has the primary duty of ensuring the children are well taken care of and that the home management schedule, and foster care policies are followed. The administrator works closely with the project manager to design processes and programmes that will help the organisation achieve its objectives in the care and rehabilitation of the resident children. There are also part-time staff who come in weekends to teach, like the tailoring instructor. There is a cook and housekeeper on staff as well. The kids eat there times a day, following a meal plan designed by nutritionists to ensure that malnutrition is not a problem even as hunger is being more than satisfied.
The Home has the capacity for 16 kids per time. Presently, there are fifteen kids in the Home, 8 boys and 7 girls. The current, and indeed general age range, is between 5 and 16.
The home runs with the schedule, designed to help the kids with time management and prioritisation. A typical weekday starts with cleaning and aerobics. After the kids clean up, they have breakfast and go off to school. In the afternoon, they have lunch and have a nap before study classes in the evenings with volunteer and staff tutors who help out with school work. The studies end in time for dinner. After dinner, the kids interact with staff and caregivers during family time where they can talk about daily events or watch TV. This generally wraps up the day as they go to bed after. Weekends are more focused on vocational training. Volunteers come in to train the kids in tailoring and music. From time to time, there are computer lessons also. Games, both indoor and outdoor abound. The house has a 3-aside football pitch and a ping-pong table with all accessories.
The Home continues to need volunteers who can teach the kids various things like musical instruments, dance, computer etc. It could do with computers in the learning centre. The cost of running the Home is humongous. So if there are partners willing to sponsor the feeding of a child at N10,000 a month, and the education of a child at N150,000 a year (or N50,000 per school term), the burden will greatly reduce. Also, the Home needs regular donations of food items to defray the costs of procurement. Rice, yam palm oil, garri, beans, flour, sugar beverage and basic food items are constantly needed as donations from regular donors. Games, vocational training, and ideas that will keep the children positively engaged are also welcome.
If you want to be part of the good job taking place at the home, please get in touch with Abimbola Ojenike on 08034651702.
P.S I appreciate Seyi Mafolabomi, this post would have been unavailable without him. I practically just copied and pasted his answers to my questions unto this post.:)