Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Volunteers in Nigeria

Sometimes, a simple human interest story helps remind us that civil society functions pretty well in some places where we don't expect it to.

In Nigeria, Every Little Effort Goes a Long Way
A team of GE volunteers recently joined the the United for Kids Foundation Nigeria (UKF) team during a hospital outreach visit at the Pediatric Department of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Ikeja, Lagos State, to cheer up the children and alleviate some of their immediate treatment needs.

GE volunteers in Ikeja
Volunteers started their day by sorting through boxes of donated groceries and toiletries before splitting up to distribute these goods and meet patients and their families. But, said team member Chinedo Ugwu, they were shocked by what they found.

There were premature babies smaller than the size of a purse being fed through tubes in incubators; there were other newborns who couldn’t be sent home due to birth complications; and there were infants who had made a second home of the hospital due to recurring ailments that needed urgent treatment…

“Nothing prepared us for what we met,” said Chinedo Ugwu. “Some of these cases seemed so dire, in need of much more than the gift bags we came armed with.”

Ugwu’s team was particularly moved by the case of 10-year-old Aduragbemi, who needed surgery after she was diagnosed with an acute prolapse of a major organ. The team raised N$128,000 not only from their own pockets but also from the wider GE Nigeria community for the girl’s surgery and ongoing medical costs. Any remaining funds will be sent to the UKF and the team will also maintain a monthly commitment to the UKF.

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