By Vivian Iweha
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Orphans are the world's forgotten children. They live in anonymity—feared, stigmatized, avoided, voiceless and invisible. But orphans—like all children—yearn for love and dream of bright futures for themselves. More than 153 million children in the world have lost one or both parents. Many, through no fault of their own, are destined to live out their childhoods in institutional settings or on the street, devoid of loving caregivers, sick and hungry, without dreams and without purpose.

Most affected are the children with physical and mental challenges. Because of their delicate nature and the difficulty in taking proper care of them, they are more exposed to sickness and hunger and death rejected by the normal orphanage and schools.

There is a home dedicated to taking care of these precious ones and i had the privilege of visiting this home and really at the end i was humbled.

Here is part of the conversation i had with some of the kids.

My name is Busayo and I am a member of the Eruobodo home. I was not born into this home but it has now become the only family I have. Most people look at me and see only my disability. They do not see that I am a person with dreams and aspirations. They do not notice my ability to run fast or my love for all forms of sports. In my home I am allowed to maximize my potential and it gives me the will to hope for the future. I am taught to function within my world and to be as independent as I can be. I have learnt to add my quota to my development and that of the other members of my family.

I am called Gift. At least that's what big mummy told me and this is my home. The term orphan doesn't apply to me anymore because I have a family in the Eruobodo house. Here I am looked after and loved. I have access to school, to books, to food and to medical care. I have a large playing ground and a little garden where I learn how to grow things. I am taught how to look after myself and help the remaining members of my family. I am also taught skills like mat weaving; barbing, carpentry and much more that will help me in the future.

The home has given us so much but we need more. We need cloths, books, teachers, food, and medicine. We need people to see us for who we are and bring hope for our future. Come visit me and my family and we will tell you our story.

Eruobodo House is currently located in Ijebu-Ode in a large bungalow provided as free-lease. In order to be more self-sufficient, fruit and vegetables are grown on the property. Money is raised through selling eggs and fish (during cat-fish season) and goats are run on the property. We also have a small stall where baskets, necklaces and cards made by the children as well as second hand goods are sold. Also present is a car wash with equipments donated by Carmudi Nigeria and a barbers shop operated by members of the home.

Day to day activities in the Home is run by the Matron and her assistants including nannies, an arts and crafts teacher, gardener and night security.

Eruobodo House is fully self-funding. We receive no public assistance from government sources and rely on both financial and in-kind contributions from private sources. To get an idea of our current costs, please go to Our Projects. If you wish to join our family of support to Nigeria's children in need.