In a society filled with children and young adults who are facing neglect and abandonment, there can never be too many hands reaching out to help. The Potter’s Children Global Foundation is barely three-months old and has already worked with over 100 children in the country’s capital.
In this interview with YNaija’s Impact365, we learn more about the two young people who joined forces together to set up the Foundation, their goals and challenges they’ve faced in this short time of running the Foundation:
Tell us more about The Potter’s Children Global Foundation.
The Potter’s Children Global Foundation is an organization centered on the well-being of under privileged children. The organisation was founded in April, 2017 and is currently undergoing registration with Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria.
The Mission of the foundation is ‘to enhance, impact and inspire the lives of vulnerable children, even in the littlest ways so as to put smiles on their faces and hope in their hearts by providing basic health care needs, clothing, food, education and lots more.’
Our vision is to behold ‘a society where children, irrespective of their background, enjoy the right to education, right to health, right to nutritive diet, right to good water, right to care, and other rights accruable to the average Nigerian child.’
The foundation has successfully carried out one major project tagged ‘Every Child Deserves To Be Celebrated’, designed to celebrate the children in orphanage homes on Children’s day.
What inspired the decision to set up the NGO?
The Potter’s Children Global Foundation is a product of the dreams of two person; Olayeri Abiola and Ayua Elizabeth.
Co-founder Olayeri Abiola, male, 24, having grown up in Gwagwalada, Abuja, witnessed firsthand the sufferings of children around him. He frequently empathised with these vulnerable children by exhibiting acts of charity. This fueled a desire in him to someday make a big move to alleviate the appalling conditions faced by children, especially as regards shelter, feeding, education and provision of their basic health care needs.
Co-founder Ayua Elizabeth, female, 21, has always loved children and enjoyed the act of giving from her younger years. She has since then desired to own her own orphanage when she grows up. For that reason she has always visited orphanages at intervals to spend and enjoy quality time with children and to meet their needs.
Coming together as friends in 2016, Olayeri Abiola and Ayua Elizabeth shared their dreams and decided to make it a reality, to establish a foundation which will serve as a means to cater to underprivileged children. Earlier than expected, steps were taken by them which led to the birth of “The Potter’s Children Global Foundation” in April, 2017.
How many underprivileged children have you worked with directly and what were their special needs that you catered to?
As earlier stated, the foundation has been existing for three months and within this period we have liaised with three  Orphanages in Gwagwalada, Abuja, which are:
Christ Treasured Royal Orphanage Ministries, Bako, Gwagwalada.
Anawim Home Orphanage, Bako, Gwagwalada.
Oblate Of The Poor Foundation, Police Barracks, Gwagwalada.
As a result of this, the foundation has catered for over a hundred and fifty children. Also, in one way or the other we have reached out to children on the streets who are not in the orphanage homes.
The needs we found necessary to meet included:
1. Basic health care needs, e.g. pampers, tissues, hair and body creams, mosquito nets, etc.
2. Food, e.g. provisions, cooked food, drinks, snacks, etc.
4. School needs e.g. notebooks, stationary, school water bottles and flasks.
With subsequent outreach we hope to cover such other areas of the needs of these children, e.g. medical needs, shelter, scholarships, etc.
What is the percentage of vulnerable and underprivileged children in the population of Nigeria?
According to UNICEF in 2015, the percentage of children under the age of fifteen (15) was about 45% of the country’s population, and 40% of children within that age range are underprivileged. We are quite uncertain about the percentage as at now, but from the above information it should range between 18% – 35%, knowing that the number of underprivileged and vulnerable children is on the increase daily.
How do you relate with and gain the trust of the parents of these children?
Majority of the children we deal with are orphans and the less-privileged on the streets. Hence, parents in this instance will be equated to guardians, patrons, matrons, etc. We gain the confidence of such persons through effective communication. We ensure that they understand our mission, vision and what we intend to do for the children at the particular period. After communication, we ensure that we do just as we have discussed with these parent-figures, with utmost care and diligence.
What parts of the country have you worked in and where are you taking your campaign in the near future?
For the startup, The Potter’s Children Global Foundation has worked in Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria. The word “Global” in the name of the foundation serves a futuristic purpose which is that we are carrying this vision to the ends of the earth. So in the very next future we hope to extend beyond the boundaries of Gwagwalada to other parts of Abuja and subsequently, to other parts of the nation and the world at large.
Do you receive any form of support from the government at any level?
We do not receive any support from the government at any level.
What is the biggest challenge the NGO is facing?
The biggest challenge faced by The Potter’s Children Global Foundation is finances. Without money, nothing can be done or achieved. That is why we engage in fundraising activities to raise some money for the various projects we are to carry out, instead of relying solely on donors. We do not fail, however, to always thank God and our well-wishers who have overtime assisted us.
What are the most important needs of underprivileged children in Nigeria and how can the government meet those needs?
The most important needs of the underprivileged children are: Food, Clothing, Shelter, Health and Medical Care Needs, Quality Education. All these because a good number of these children are homeless, they need protection. Both the ones in orphanage homes and the ones on the street need food for survival. Being prone to one illness or disease or the other, they require treatment, both preventive ad curative. The need for education cannot be de-emphasised.
Among other ways, the government can meet these needs by funding established and trusted philanthropic organisations to carry out the function of alleviating the conditions of these vulnerable children.
What campaigns do you have planned for the rest of the year?
For the rest of 2017, we have two projects in view. These are:
1. Five Books and a Pen: This project is geared towards providing books and stationary for the bereft children as they resume a new session in September.
2. Feeding the Street: This project is aimed at kicking out hunger in December, towards the Christmas Day celebration.
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