JUSTICE and SOLIDARITY Justice, Non-violence, Integrity of creation
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Caring for the vulnerable
Rol 10: 4 says that, our involvement in mission is often expressed through simple human gestures, apparently without significance.
During my study period in Lagos, I attended Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church Aguda, Surulere Lagos State. There, I used to see a woman with a little girl every Sunday at mass. Little Pamela Nwachukwu was nine years old when her mother passed away April last year. She was left with her nanny ‘Blessing’ who lived together with Pamela in her late mother’s house. Pamela has two uncles who both reside abroad. One of whom is Mr. Julius who is solely in charge of my little friend. Pamela is not given the necessary attention in life. The other uncle is fatherly but does not want to interfere with his brother’s responsibility. Together with an HHCJ sister who happened to be Pamela’s mother’s friend, we encouraged Pamela to continue her catechism class since it was her mother’s fervent desire to get her enrolled. The girl happened to miss the first chance of the baptism which was on an Easter vigil. I requested from the parish Priest to give her a second chance, and my request was granted. I became exceedingly happy when little Pamela received the sacrament of baptism on the 7th July, 2018. It was a very joyful day for the little girl.
My regular visit to the family made me discover their challenges, with feeding problem. Pamela no longer receives the care she used to receive from her late mother. The mother had a big shop which was their major source of income. Other sources of income in the family have been carelessly abandoned without proper maintenance... I often communicate with Mr. Julius to see the need of caring for his little niece since she has no other person to rely on. When I realized that Mr. Julius was not responding positively to the request, I discussed the matter with one of the staff who also talked to him. Consequently, Julius agreed to send some food stuffs for the girl’s upkeep.
Presently, Pamela is in JSS 1 at Holy Child College Ikoyi, Obalende Lagos State as a boarder. It is Julius who pays her school fees. But the life of the girl appears to be sad, since she lacks parental care and she is not certain of where to stay when the school goes on holidays, since her nanny is no longer there, though some teachers love and care for her.
BY Sr Maria Enemuo, DHS - Posted November 6, 2018
Photo. Pamela and myself during Pamela’s Primary School graduation on 13th July, 2018.