We meet Emmanuel Ochibo from Suleja in Niger State. In 2011 this father of 7 suffered a stroke, and their lives changed forever.
Emmanuel Ochigbo was a successful commercial bus driver until he had a partial stroke while on duty. He was bed ridden for almost a year, and had to learn to walk and talk.
He has used all his money, and sold all his bus, to pay for his medical bills. Emmanuel has been able to get himself to a place of relative health. He has been driving for a school in the community but he hasn’t been paid in 8 months. They live in a run down 1-bedroom house on the school property, but conditions are far from sanitary.
Together with his wife they sell petty items to make a living. His children cannot go to school as they have no money to pay for their school fees. Sometimes the older children, aged 16 and 17, work as laborers in the construction industry to help the family with finances. Recently Emanuel’s wife has also fallen ill and is unable to get herself medication as they don’t have the money.
Some of their children are beginning to show signs of depression because they’ve had to leave school and worry about their future.
Revisit: Blessing the Poet (Season 1)
We look back at a story from season 1. Young poet Blessing Danladi and her mother Rhoda from Abuja.
Joseph Emmanuel Yaba is the president of the Youth Initiative for Sustainable Development in Africa (YISHDA) and the Youth Ambassador of Nigeria at the African Union. YISHDA is involved with many programs to develop youth by building capacity, leadership and responsibility skills.
Through one his programs at a rural school, Joseph came into contact with a very gifted 6-year-old girl by the name of Blessing who was giving a poetry recital. He was so impressed with her that he arranged for YISHDA to donate her a scholarship. During this process he got to know Blessing’s mother who is a widow and lives in poverty.
Despite being among the poorest of the poor she has a zeal for life and is enthusiastic about improving their living conditions. She does her best to feed Blessing and her brother by selling the local drink called Kunu, but it is just not enough. She knows that Blessing is gifted and has the potential to become a very successful person and contribute to the new Nigeria, but is frustrated that she can’t do more for her.
We report back on how Airtel’s support has aided this young girls chance of a better future.