09 Feb Broken Hearts in February: A Time for Reflections
The month of February brings with it a certain air of extreme importance to love. We look forward to it for many reason. For some, it brings with it good memories and to others painful memories. The mixed feelings are what makes it a month to look out for.
For us in Nigeria, it’s different and I’ll tell you why. We look forward to a transition government(although that may not apply anymore as elections have been postponed to march). We look forward to the election of those we desire to see lead and produce the change we so desperately want to see. There will be plenty of mixed emotions to last for the month. Everyone is watching but some others who we do not seem to notice are watching too….
The day began well for the butterfly team and as usual we were looking forward to being with the kids but this time it wasn’t going to be business as usual. We were going to speak to them on something that was extremely sensitive and it left us quite unsure of how to handle it. We wondered how best to pass on the message. We were nervous. There were no smiles at all from each one of us. Many times before the classes began, we would go through our lesson notes and find out if we could tweak any message here and there. We would whisper in low tones to each other to make sure we had a uniform message.
Eventually, the moment came and as we walked in we could see ready faces. The team introduced the lecture which was to be political education and the class went mute for a while. Next, we asked a question on what elections meant to them and in that moment, we knew our work had begun. The class went crazy with shouts from all sides. The kids would not stop mentioning political parties they supported. Those with different views were screamed at and the kids were almost going into a fight with each other(much to our horror!). Thankfully, the volunteer teachers were able to calm them down and asked further questions to determine their level of mental awakening to sociopolitical issues. We were shocked. Many of the kids expressed that elections were times of killings, curfews, terrorism, WAR(that was the deal breaker). We had heard enough.
It became obvious that the kids were observing the adults in many ways than one and had picked up subliminal messages from the political atmosphere that surrounded them. We were sad not because they were politically aware but because they had become wrongly exposed to the real reasons behind elections and government transitions. The society was unfair to them. At every turn, people were expressing their opinions without stopping to think of how much their actions affected others. We were all guilty of it and were deeply ashamed. We left there with a heavy heart determined that we would do right by them and ensure that the right message is passed. All the negative ramblings and silly propaganda from everyone had got to have a limit. We had crossed those lines where truth and fairness lay in the bid to express our opinions to others. We now have a duty to the younger generation to see that the right values are impressed in their ever so absorbing minds.
We had learnt. We had been humbled by the experience. Let’s do something about it. We all have a duty to spread the right message. Some little eyes are watching too…
Check out our follow up meeting with the kids this weekend and see how the story continues.