Eid Celebrations in Maiduguri, BORNO
North East Nigeria has been plagued with terrorist activity for the last six years, leaving an ocean of orphans tossed up on the shores of history. Lovatt Foundation has worked to establish homes that are gardens and learning centres for groups of orphans from various villages that were ransacked and destroyed. The children come as family groups and join a household where their voices are listened to. The project is simply called COB: Children of Borno.
Eid has been celebrated by the children thanks to the help of supporters from around the world. This year the children of COB1 selected their own fabric, appointed a tailor who came and taught them how to sew, and then made clothes for each other.
This year they selected fabric to wear as an homogeneous group when last year they had chosen material to unite them with their siblings, so the sense of identity has expanded to include all the new brothers and sisters they live with.
A barber visited the house to tidy up all the boys and to deliver a little lesson in Social Studies, Entrepreneurship and the necessary lessons that may lead towards greater self-sufficiency as the children gain the skills to attend to each other in future.
Chickens that the children have tended all year have given many eggs and much happiness and, for Eid, some are now added to the plain menu that is shared like a great feast for all.
The practical lessons in Agriculture, Home Economics, Health and Hygiene have paid off as the children enjoy the fruits of their labours.
It has been a day of peace and celebration for the children and they extend their humble and sincere thanks to all who have assisted throughout the past year.
It takes a village to raise a child and these ones are well aware that it is a global village that stands with them and enables this pocket of hope to flourish in the midst of the theatre of sorrows that has marked their early years. Like the crops they tend and observe, there is hope and an anticipation of a fresh harvest.