Love is All They Need
''Mummy, you are the best cooker in the whole wide world'' .
'Cooker' is oftentimes interchanged with 'maker' or 'baker' depending on the circumstances...and on what the trigger is (food or tea or treat).
''Mummy, I love you...you are the best''
I get to hear these words followed by bear hugs at least 8 times daily averaging 4 emotional-laden words from each starry-eyed boy per day.
It has become a part of me as much as it is a part of the daily ritual of living and nurturing in a peaceful and loving environment.
My children currently know no other way to express love- triggered by security, shelter and a full tummy in this growing phase of their lives.
Growing up for me was not without some reasonable measure of security, joy, fun, exhilaration spiced a tiny bit with pain but in our times, life was simpler than it is, now. Worries were of a different kind.
Young children could walk short distances on errands unchaperoned and there were no fear of being attacked or kidnapped on some lonely pathways or being carted away from dormitories in the dead of the night.
I know this because the whole six years I was away at the boarding house -6 towns away from home - was without chaos, trauma or any sad life changing event.
Distance from home to the Government Unity School was only 1hour 30mins by road and about 76.8km according to Google. At that time, it felt like a whole day's journey. Besides the first year, my sister and I...and numerous other young children made the journey alone with none of our parents going on the journey with us.
Of course, parents always favored the State owned transport company and we always got accompanied to the Bus park and they always took details of the vehicles and the buses always dropped us right in front of the school and we always went right in only to come out of the gates during the mid-term breaks for the next leg of the journey back home.
There were no mobile phones to track movement and monitor children everyday for the whole term but we survived because the world was a better place with 'Strangers' lovingly looking out for other people's children / wards without sinister thoughts precipitating their acts.
There was simply enough love to go round.
Needless to say that growing up in a loving environment is one of the keys to survival, these keys have been long lost and millions of children are suffering the world over on account of this.
Love is long gone with the keys. It has since been swallowed in hate and senseless battle for control.
Suffice also to say that growing up with loving parents committed to the tendering of the fresh gardens that children are could not but result into a lovingly balanced tomorrow. Our tomorrow are really the children and we have little choice than to bestow all the love we are capable of giving on them, today.
It deeply saddens me that some children would never have enough love to fill their hearts and tummies to induce the ''mummy, you are the best cooker..'' or similar love-induced lines.
More disheartening is the fact that some children all over the world no longer have someone to love them or look out for them and so they have nobody they can love back. Millions of children have nobody to provide them shelter, shield them from the harsh realities of the day, send them to schools or wipe their fevered brows on some clean hospital wards while awaiting needed and timely medical interventions.
They have been left love-less and unloved due to activities of war, terrorism, senseless xenophobic crisis. They have been forced to witness and experience traumatizing acts of terror that could permanently scar the hearts of even the strongest adults. Their lives have been disrupted, their hearts have been scarred.
According to UNICEF, about 800,000 children have been displaced as a result of islamic millitants' activities in Nigeria alone. Those are the documented cases only, the actual figures may run much higher.
Add that figure to the millions in Syria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and other crisis-ridden regions and you would come close to the figure of children in distress -globally.
Their childhoods have evaporated with the fumes of gunpowder and some of them are currently on the run, for their lives!
Asides competing in inter-school sports activities, children really have no business running when they should be living, schooling, partaking in developmental activities, safe and secured in loving environments with access to everything that makes childhood fun.
“Children worldwide are living in extreme poverty, witnessing horrific violence and suffering the long-term impact of deprivations. Without our support, these children are at heightened risk of exposure to trauma and exploitation,”
- Lynn Croneberger, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages – USA
They are living in palpable fear in volatile environments with no access to the basic amenities needed to survive. No food to fill their tummies, tons and tons of wide-eyed kids and adults huddled together in make-shift open shelters and are prone to all sorts of ailments and diseases with no access to medical care, education, etc are the order of the day. They currently have no hope of a 'good' future given their current circumstances. This tugs at my heart, constantly.
But there is something we can all do to assist these innocent and helpless ones. There is something we can all do to show them some love and that will only take 1 minute or less of our time.
I believe every child is important in the scheme of things. Every child deserves LOVE and we do not need several millions of cash in the bank to help them neither do we need gigantic buildings or single-handedly build schools before we can demonstrate some measure of love.
Although putting structures in place or donating to a worthy cause that supports helpless children all over is not a bad idea if we all have the means and resources but one inexpensive way I am pretty positive you can show some love right now is by pausing to support the Relay for Kids initative.
Relay for Kids is about two things: kids in crisis around the world and what you can do—right now—to help them. As you read this, millions of children from Syria to Liberia are seeing their childhoods stolen from them by prolonged violent conflict and a debilitating disease. Relay for Kids is a chance to directly impact the lives of these children—all with a few clicks of your mouse.
Every time you like and/or share any of the posts on Huffington Post's website, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 per like / share to SOS Children's Villages which is the world's largest organization dedicated to orphaned or abandoned children. This could go up to $30,000 which is a lot for these children.
Relay for Kids is an initiative of Johnson & Johnson, SOS Children' Village and The Huffington Post and the objective is to raise global awareness and support for children around the world who are affected by poverty, conflict, disease and natural disaster.
So do show and share some love by liking and sharing.
Love makes us think of strangers in distress, enough to want to help anyhow we can.
Love makes us want to protect our children and every other child with all we have.
Love makes us want to provide for our children's needs while also sparing some thought for the 'less privileged'.
Love prevents people from hurting other people's children just because their parents decides to leave their own habitats for some other 'greener' places thereby competing with local indigenes for supposedly limited opportunities available.
Love makes us see ourselves as one, regardless of color / race.
Love prevents people from massacring young children just because their parents sends them to educational institutes to get some knowledge.
Love prevents people from invading learning institutions and kidnapping young scholars whose only crime was being in the right places at the right time.
Love makes people place others on pedestals much higher than color, religion or social standing.
Love will make you pause for a second, ruminate on this message, visit the #Relay for Kids website and like / share the day's post so that at least one helpless / hopeless / displaced / distressed child may have hope and the tiniest fraction of love for truly, love is all they need to survive.