Wednesday 9th October, 2019 was the day the Agbeke Alaso-oke brand decided to reach out to certain villages in Lagelu Local Government Area, Ibadan as part of her celebration of Nigeria’s Independence anniversary and it was with great joy that the community inhabitants received the team.
Lagelu Primary School, Ejioku, Lagelu, Oyo State, which was established in 1957, boasts of a three-classroom block that serves about seven (7) villages that surround.
This was our destination. With a population of about 67 pupils of age range 18 months- 12 years, it is saddening to behold these pupils as they sit, huddled together in an almost fallen apart classroom.
The other two classrooms are not usable as they have now become death traps; from being havens of poisonous snakes and insects to being the receiving platforms of fallen trees.
Although the block currently being used is no better, one should still thank one of the parents who is a farmer that helped fumigate as much as he could.
Pupils and staff can stay in the classroom and have their lessons, which are usually learnt on blackboards and committed to memory because of lack of learning materials.
The welfare of the people of the community is also in a poor state as some pupils walk several miles, barefooted to and fro school, all because of their passion for education.
It is in the middle of these that the Agbeke Alaso-oke team reached out to Lagelu Primary School, Ejioku, with a generous donation of three hundred (300) exercise books, dozens of packs of pens, pencils, erasers and most especially our love, presence, and words of encouragement.
It was very emotional for us as we wondered why getting basic social amenities to people in the rural areas should prove difficult. We were also encouraged by the efforts of parents and staff and the resilience of these children who have basically nothing but strive towards getting as much education as they can.
The teachers’ service to humanity in the face of the hardship and challenges that combat them each day is touching.
One of the female teachers narrated how that two days before our arrival, while they were having their lessons, they heard a very loud noise on the roof of the classroom.
They were under the roof thinking it was going to cave in and collapse; she gathered the children as they all screamed words of prayer to Heaven. It was only by the mercies of God that they were not hurt by the huge tree that fell on the roof of the block, she noted.
Not only that, they also experience snakes dropping from the roof during classes. These and many more reasons have discouraged some pupils from attending school regularly.
However, our presence there was light to their hearts, and for this privilege we feel fulfilled. As hugs flew around, parents, staff and pupils expressed their joy and relief, sharing with us what great service we had done them and hope rose in their hearts that although they were hidden from the world, they were not forgotten by God.
Finally, it was time to go home and as we packed our bags to leave, we did so amidst many hugs and teary eyes and requests to return soon, which we plan to do.