It started with all the news on CNN about the massive earthqauke that occurred in Haiti. Then I woke up last week to read in the national dailies, that our leaders decided to donate $1 million dollars to the Haitian people. Soon, it was followed by the report that Governor Fashola, was donating same sum to the Haitian government.
I thought that was the end of it, but recently, while reading through some blogs (Bellanaija, Ladybrille and Facebook status updates of my friends), the Haitian tragedy has come up consistently. The above mentioned blogs have even suggested that our celebrities, fashion designers and other well meaning Nigerians should rise up by donating to the Haitian cause. Call me selfish or whatever, I simply do not care at the moment. I’m simply appalled that our government could easily shell out $1 million dollars to Haiti, while we have a simmering pot of religious crisis happening at our backyard in Jos.
Why are we advocates of unwarranted sensationalism? I emphatise with the Haitian people. Who would want to experience such things? I certainly don’t but I do not agree with all these calls for donations. The U.S. government and the rest of the developed world have already done enough for Haiti. Correct me if I am wrong, but, I’m yet to see any other African country donating as much as we are. We have misplaced priorities. We have people who have been displaced by the recent crisis in Jos. These people need shelter, water, food and clothing, yet, someone is asking that our fashion designers send clothes to Haiti. So gross, when I begin to count the number of orphanages, street children, physically disadvantaged people within our country who need this money to improve their lot in life. I support charity but let us commence our charity work from home.
Let us encourage and motivate individuals who are running this centres selflessly with the little they are getting from individuals and corporate organisations. If we can donate $1 million dollars to foriegners, we should do same for our own citizens. Yes, you might say it’s a natural disaster. I agree, but what we have within our country is a more greater disaster waiting to happen. This is why youth restiveness, unemployment, kidnappings and religious crisis can never come to an end with the kind of profligate attitude we have. For those of you out there (well meaning Nigerians), who also are thinking of donating to the Haitian cause, please do so…but before you click that pay button, your $1 or $10 dollar donation could have provided books for a Nigerian child out there.
Please take a moment and support the ‘Change A Life‘ organisation, being managed by the amiable Ms. Funmi Iyanda. I’m not her spokesperson, but I have seen what she has done within the past 10 years and I am confident that, with your able support and monthly donation of N5,000, we can keep our children off the streets and provide a better tomorrow. Í’m also supporting this organisation with my own widows mite throughout this year. This is part of the reason I’ve been gloomy for some days. I’m much lighter, now that i’ve gotten this off my chest. Have a splendid week ahead.