Friday, June 12, 2009


Children are important. Every society that wants to secure its future must invest in the children…the foundation must set right! Bad home training and bad influence from peers are some of the factors that contribute to the increase in juvenile delinquency…The CATE Green Africa trip to Badagry is not one I will forget in a hurry. Not because it gave me an opportunity to associate with people who are keen about greening the environment, or the significant experience of visiting the renowned Badagry Heritage Museum and the First Storey building in Nigeria but also because it gave me the opportunity to hangout with some brilliant kids who revamped my perspective on some critical issues. Yes, you can never underestimate how much you will learn from children by listening to them and taking note of every thing they say. That was exactly what I did…here are excerpts of our conversation:

So guys, did you have fun today?

All: Yes!

What is the significance of this trip to you?

Immanuel Oke: Well, the significance of this trip is to celebrate the Bicentenary of Bishop Ajayi Crowther and learn about the values that distinct him.

Sometimes we overlook the importance of history, did you learn anything at all from the tour?

Daranyo Omotunde: History has a role to play in the development of every child because it helps them learn where we are coming from and understand why things are the way they are.

Oluchi Amakoh: Learning about Bishop Ajayi Crowther really inspires me to aspire to become great too. The Nigerian children today are terrified because of the kind of environment they are exposed to- fighting, quarrelling etc as a result; they tend to define Nigeria based on such exposure, without knowing there is more. My visit to Badagry today has really challenged me to appreciate Nigeria better, despite the present challenges, because our forefathers faced worse situation. Imagine being in the generation where slavery thrived! We should endure and believe that Nigeria can change anytime just as it changed in the days of our forefathers. But we all have a role to play to change Nigeria .

Immanuel Oke: Yes, we all have a role to play. We can’t really leave everything to the government. Growing up in a bad environment is not an excuse to become bad. We must learn not to allow our environment influence us.

Michael Daranyo: the environment children grow up in matter too. But it is just that we are too quick to criticize the government in Nigeria , forgetting that the dirty environment we live in today was not made dirty by them. For example, is it the governments that drink pure water and litter everywhere with the sachet? If we don’t help ourselves, no one else can!

Israel Joseph: I think the Nigerian children should concentrate on their education right now and not worry about money. Our government only thinks of themselves. I am sure when we become leaders, we will not be like that.

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