Parental mistakes and societal stigmatization

By: Eze Chinedu

Volunteer


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Sometimes  parents make mistakes in bringing up their children thinking they are doing the best for them. In a real sense, no parents would wish for their children to fail in life or to become a problem to society. However, as parents,  you must understand that you are the first school, church and role model to your children. In most cases, their failure or success depends on the foundation you gave them as Children to build upon. You present the society to your children, before presenting your children to the society . The question is,  how do you present society to your children? What do you teach them to value and prioritize in order to be valued and contribute positively to the society in which they belong. What are the academic and moral values you instil in them to work with as they swim in the ocean of life? Some parents have pushed their children into a regrettable end by trying to compare their children with others through a misplaced priority. All they wanted is for their children to start making money without question on how they make the money. Dear parents, how well do you know your child? What are the sources of the fortunes you celebrate? The story of Jennifer will help us here.

Jennifer, at age 7 was a very beautiful and intelligent girl child. In her elementary education,  she was the best amongst her peers. Everyone loved and cherished her. She was seen as a future fortune to the parents.  She grew with such love from the society until age 14 when the mother started comparing  her with others. She left the village for the city in order to satisfy her mother’s quest of MAKING MONEY. The mother was happy that her daughter now lives in the city without trying to know what the daughter does in the city. It is good for parents to enjoy and celebrate the fortune of their children, but not without understanding the source of the fortune. 

Jennifer, after a few months’ interval,  returned to the village with so many gifts for her mother. Clothes, shoes, bags, perfume etc. And the mother shouted “Wow” beautiful beautiful!! But never asked how she got them. This appreciation encouraged the little girl to go for more.

She kept bringing different gifts to the mother and she kept shouting beautiful, beautiful not knowing that the daughter has been involved in drug trafficking in order to keep wowing her with gifts because she loved her  to the point  that her wrongs seemed right to her. Her mother, without knowing, became the motivator for her daughter to do evil. However, it was a tentative celebration of fortune that would soon turn to sorrow.

Subsequently, Jennifer was arrested by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), for  drug trafficking. Every effort made to get through to her “master”, proved abortive. She was charged to court and remanded in prison custody. Here set in societal stigmatization. She was traumatized with her current situation as a prisoner, all hope was dashed and the future dimmed. She called the mother but the mother was nowhere close. The mother was still expecting her daughter to come back with more wowing gifts as usual. Little did she know that her daughter was now a prisoner. When she got the wind of her daughter’s situation, she wept bitterly, but tears could not change the situation. The mistake has been made and the damage done. Her world turned upside down and her noon darkened. Jennifer was subsequently convicted to ten years jail term. All the bright future she envisaged while growing up was dashed because of her mother’s misplaced priority. 

Who will bail her at this point? 

Is there any hope for Jennifer? Prison is a place where many people in the society dread to go. The society is full of negative impressions about the Prison and prisoners.  Everyone there is regarded as a black sheep of the society and therefore, not part of the society anymore. Yes, sometimes society could be correct. The Prison is a place for the “good “ , the “bad” and the “ugly”, but no one is to be condemned. Every human needs a second chance. The truth is that, both the “good “ , the “bad” and the “ugly “ as the case may be, will eventually find their way back to the society someday.

INFINITE RESPITE FOUNDATION (IRF) are continuously undertaking the responsibility of giving hope to the hopeless. Breaking through the prison to give basic education, character content and moral values to those in prison. Jennifer is one among hundred of inmates undergoing basic education and training through this  organization.  This is an articulated goal in reintegrating the ex-offenders back to the society as USEFUL and making the world a better place for all. The IRF is like a rainbow that appears in the sky for all to see and admire. Their goal of giving basic education to the less privileged persons transcend the Prison walls as hundreds of children in rural areas also enjoy the benevolence of their goal. Nevertheless, a tree cannot make a forest, the task is more than a single organization can shoulder. The truth is that giving basic education to the less privileged is not just a help to the individual, but to the world at large.  It is likened to a seed,  planted to produce more seeds for the benefit of many. 

My question to you as an individual or an organisation is;

  1. What are you doing to make society a better place?

 Don’t fold your hands waiting for the government to fix this. Join the movement to make the world a better place. 

  1. What are your contributions to humanity?

If your life is not to improve the lives of others positively, then you are only existing but not living. Yes it might not be your biological child but you share the same society with them. Stop complaining about how morally bad the world has become, but do something to make it better. It’s our world! Stop the stigmatization and let’s make it better. The less privileged in the society and in correctional custodies need education such as;

  • Formal Education.

  • Informal Education. 

  • Moral Education.

  • Skill Acquisitions and Training.

Through any of this means, we can achieve the goal of making the world a better place for all. You can be a relevant channel through which stigmatization would be eradicated . Make your service available for humanity.

Join us today as we take steps towards educating the society at large.

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