Let us tell you a story. Once upon a time, a young lady felt like the world was on her shoulders. She had big dreams but wondered how they could ever get actualised from her little corner. She concluded that her friends with smaller dreams than hers, who were getting ahead with life faster than she could imagine, were luckier than her. So, when she was alone and behind closed doors, she would whimper or cry, wondering if she was on the wrong side of the earth’s surface.
Then, one day, after graduation from the university, still feeling not so lucky, she was posted by the Federal Government of her country to a community that begged development, for her compulsory one-year service to her nation. Looking around at how much help the community needed, she realized she wasn’t unlucky after all. But rather than sit back and revel in the fact that her life was better than theirs, she took the little she had in her purse and used it to do the little she could for the people. With that little favour, she realized the much the community could achieve and become, and the hope that sprang up in their hearts for a better future. Only then did she realize that life doesn’t advance by luck but by the combined efforts of people who, with their not-so-sufficient-resources, touch the lives of others. This look of hope on the faces of the community members, women and children in particular, made her realize that what people lack to be better versions of themselves were the right opportunities and resources. She was moved to tears and even after she had grown into a woman, she didn’t stop giving hope wherever she found herself. Life Touchers Africa Network, founded in 2010, became the result of that one-year encounter and has over the years, evolved into a non-governmental body focused on touching the lives of women and children in Africa, and foreign immigrant and refugee communities by giving hope to them.
“Why women and children?” you may ask. Until the 21st-century, women and children were a segregated people, and even now, a large population of women and children are still segregated. Globally, over 130 million girls and women are out of school; 12 million girls end up as child brides every year (UNICEF 2020 statistics); over 200 million girls have undergone female genital mutilation worldwide, and yearly, 3 million girls are faced with being mutilated; 35% of women suffer domestic violence and less than 40% of these women seek help (UN statistics); up to 1 billion children aged 2 – 17 years have suffered child abuse via physical, emotional, or sexual violence, or neglect in the past (W.H.O statistics); 168 million children around the world are involved in child labour; in 2019, 21.3% of children had stunted growth which resulted from malnutrition (UNICEF statistics); and many more.
No one is lucky, really. What makes any person, community or society better than the other are the resources and opportunities available to them. We have seen many people, especially women and children, who could be better than their current selves but are limited, and we know that by making it a collective responsibility to touch lives by giving hope through empowering women and children financially and educationally, assisting in providing proper nutrition, and lending a hand in the fight against inequalities, the world will be a better place by 2030 and beyond.
If you are reading this and you have what it takes to lend a helping hand, we encourage you and appeal to you to donate to the course of humanity. We are counting on you to advance this course.