Following the lingering Boko Haram insurgence in North East that made many children lose their parents, hope has at last risen for the orphans through an Evangelist and his wife, Mr and Mrs Eleojo Joel Jinjigi who offered them free education, feeding, clothing and accommodation.
Interacting with some of the orphans at Cornerstone Orphanage Yelwa Kagadama area of Bauchi State, Sunday Garu, 13, told New Telegraph that both of his parents were killed in his present by men of Boko Haram. Garu, who cannot speak English language fluently, said he found himself in the orphanage house because parents were killed by Boko Haram but God save him. He said he was following people about from one place to another without direction and when the people saw that his suffering was too much, some good Samaritans contacted the orphanage house in Bauchi if they would be able to accept him and that was how he found himself at the orphanage house.
Due to the enormous pains of his parent’s death especially as they were massacred in his present, Garu lives with pains daily. His childhood sparkle also seemed lost. He does not laugh to jokes, not willing to play with his mates, does not even trust anyone around him. “I always see how my mother and father were slaughter,” he said. However, he has thus far learnt how to write, even though it is still on gradual process but he cannot read fluently in English and that is his major problem. He said, “I am now comfortable with my new parents but it took me a year before I start talking to other children around because of the shock of what I saw.”
Peter Geji, 20 years old from Toro local government council of Bauchi state and a two hundred level student of the University of Maiduguri reading Enlglish Language told New Telegraph that at the aged of six, he lost his mother in the village and he was left with no one to take care of him but the missionary picked him up in 2014 and brought him to the orphanage house because of his condition.
Geji said with help from other people, he was able to go to public school in the village but since the missionary brought him to the orphanage, he was enrolled at Zion primary and secondary school Yelwa, Bauchi. He said, “I am here because I lost my mum. She passed away when I was six years old, my father is still alive but could not take care of me in the village and the missionary found me in that condition and picked me up and brought me here. I thank God because I am doing well with studies and may God bless Mummy and daddy for their kind gesture.”
He added that, “when you are living in the midst of many people, there are things you learn and there are many misunderstandings amongst us but we thank God, we settle it amicable. Our parents here are not showing any favouritism the treat us equally like one family and they pay all my school fees at the University including pocket money.”
Also Suzana age 14, a primary five student from Adamawa State whose parents were also killed by Boko Haram said she has now found a new home, parents, sisters and brothers at the orphanage saying living with plenty children is exciting.
While, Ana Amos age 19, ND1 student Federal Polytechnics Bauchi said she is from Maira local government council precisely Gida, Zaki Kano State and have stayed in the orphanage for nine years right from her JS2 explained that, being in the orphanage has been so far good and comfortable for her. For her, the orphanage couldn’t have been different from her parent’s real home. “It has been good when I came here, I was feeling somehow because none of my relations is here but as time rolls by, I came to understand that we can live with people comfortably even though we are not from same back ground or tribes. We relates here as one family, as brothers and sister and our new parents here treat us equally without bias so I am really comfortable as we are all accommodated.” She said further that she became what she is today because she is a family of a good orphanage. “It is a privilege for me to be here, if I am not here I may not have gone far with my education. I think is God grace.”
Interacting with the founder of the Cornerstone Orphanage and the proprietress of Zion Pilgrims Christ School Yelwa, Kagadama Bauchi, Jinjigi said his wife started the orphanage about twenty years ago out of her love for children.
According to him, “my wife is a professional teacher with a master degree in education notice that some of the children in our community were malnourished, abandoned and not attending school so she decided to find out from parents what is wrong and discovers that most of the children were orphans living with their relatives mostly uncles. Therefore, she seeks for their consent to allow the children live with her and enroll them in her school and they agreed with her suggestion and that is how the orphanage was borne.
Evangelist Jijingi said, as at the moment, he has more than forty orphans under his care but lamented that he is handicapped in sponsoring most of them through Tertiary institutions, adding that he has enjoyed support from individuals and groups but there is need for more.
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