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A few years ago, a friend drew my attention to a really sad story.  Her neighbour had gone to an orphange, adopted a young girl (about 9 years old) with the promise to love her and treat her as one of her own and then brought her home to act as an unpaid housemaid.

This woman had about 6 grown children who had moved out of the house. Most were married and had their own children. It was thought that the reason why she adopted was not only to have company in her old age, but also to help a child in need. She enrolled the girl into a public school (her children had attended expensive private schools) near her house and then set her to work as a cleaner, dishwasher and laundress. Naturally, her duties extended to cleaning up and taking care of any visiting grandchildren. After a short while, she stopped attending school and started facing her tasks at home fully. According to my friend, this went on for about 18months and then she suddenly stopped seeing the young girl in the area.  She believes that she went back to the orphanage but is not sure.

My friend’s greatest regret is that she stood by and watched things unfold and did nothing. She feels that at the very least she could have approached this woman and threatened to report the situation. According to her, it was her lack of belief that the Nigerian Police would do anything constructive that stopped her.

I watched the CNN Freedom Project documentaries the other day and couldn’t help but think that a lot of the people that make a difference are ordinary folks like you and I.

A lot of housemaids in Nigeria are little more than slaves and forced to work under inhuman conditions. Some are even raped by several members of the family they work for. If you know anyone that is maltreating a housemaid or someone in their care, please report it to NAPTIP or  to the police. If you are doing maltreating anyone please stop.

Let us stop modern day slavery in Nigeria. You and I know that it happens.

20 Comments

9jaFOODie

:( this is sad. We have to change the mindset in our country, the fact that people depend on us to provide the basic necessities of life doesn’t make them our slaves.

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Natural Nigerian

You are right on point. Like I said before, I do not believe that people should be maltreated simply because of their prevailing circumstance. With everyone we meet, we should apply the “Love your neighbour as yourself” principle.

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Dee!

It does happen! I have always expressed my disapproval about such inhuman treatment(s).
The orphanage that released the child should be notified of the wicked act of that woman! Ordinarily, should the orphanages do impromptu visits to ensure that the child is in good hands.
It is a pity! :(

Reply
Natural Nigerian

It is a big pity. I am not sure how it works with Nigerian orphanages but there should be a policy that ensures that the children are checked up on. I am just not optimistic enough to think that it is carried out.

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Adura Ojo (Naijalines)

This is sad. The fact that the child was taken out of an orphanage and treated like this. I think adopted children should be followed up until they are at least 16, due to the sometimes oppressive climate that allows the most dreadful child abuse in Nigeria. I suspect that the child in this case could well be dead or sold on and that is why she is no longer seen. What a sad story.

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Natural Nigerian

You are right about the children being followed up. However, we barely do a proper KYC (know your customer) in terms of adoptions much less have social workers that go calling. Hopefully we will get there one day soon. I did not even consider that the child was not returned to the orphanage…

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S

Thanks for this post, it is very sad. I must add this though,aside from someone going to an orphanage, I see a lot of young children employed as house boys and girls, as young as 12 – 15 year olds. I believe we can only turn the situation around if each and everyone of us does NOT encourage it, I mean you would not let your own child be a house boy or girl but you are ok with hiring someone else’s child?

I know of a young boy, who was brought to a house of a friend by an agent, who by the way collected his salary, and mind you this boy has never seen the inside of a classroom, he worked for a year and he was taken away,no idea where his next household will be or the conditions he will find. It is indeed very sad, it starts with each one of us.

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Natural Nigerian

It would indeed have been better if she had left her there. No-one should treat anyone like they are second class citizens simply because of their prevailing circumstances.

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chibaby

Na wa ! so sad! The adoption agencies really have to follow up.
However, lets even say she wanted a help why cant people treat help well? I have watched with horror as some friends of mine have treated their helps like slaves and | wonder why?
I have been accused of spoiling my helps..just because I treat them well, but guess what the ingrates and silly ones among them misbehave and leave but the ones that appreciate stay on and treat my children so well. Infact the help with me now has been with me for 5 years and keeps on saying “mummy we need a new baby in the house”.
I was raised in a home where everyone was treated well, helps were educated given job opportunities (3 of our former helps have govt jobs and 1 lives with her hubby in Asia) growing up in such a home we were made that housework was not the sole repsonsibility of the helps. Thats why even today though they have all moved on..whenever the family needs them they rush to help. I thank God my folks could afford to look after me if not I may have been a help in someones home.

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Natural Nigerian

You are right about the adoption agencies doing more follow-up work but judging by the ones that I have gone to, they are usually not set up to do that. Please keep your friends accountable.

Your parents had the right idea, treating their helps well. That is the only way to treat our fellow human beings. The only thing that seperates us from them is “condition”

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DEBORAH ADIMULA

i support. but how can a human being sure a thing to her fellow one which is bad.

Reply

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