For the children and staff of Goshen Home & Orphanage, Akute, Ogun State, Monday, May 29th2017 will for a long time remain memorable; not just because it marked Nigeria’s Democracy Day or President Buhari-led administration’s second anniversary but because the vulnerable children at the home were treated to an elaborate birthday bash by one of Nigeria’s amazons; a foremost educationist, Managing Director at Goals & Ideas and Principal Partner at Edumark Consult, Mrs Yinka Ogunde.
The celebrant, who came in the company of her husband, Barrister Wemimo Ogunde (SAN), her children, siblings and employees expressed great delight at the opportunity to share the joy of her special day with the less privileged, stressing that such vulnerable children need be showered with love, even as they areencouraged and supported to reach their full potential in spite of the loss or rejection they might have suffered in time past.
The children at Goshen Home were also joined by the vibrant and upward-mobile youths ofBestspring Foundation, Ijegun, Ikotun in fulfilment of Mrs. Ogunde’s promise to visit them when the students attended the 2017 edition of her annual WATFON educational summit, which held in March at Vintage Point, Ikeja.
Speaking on this occasion of his wife’s birthday, Barrister Wemimo Ogunderecalled how that he suffered a major setback in his academics at the tender age of 12 due to the loss of his mother.
“I was born into a polygamous family, the popular Pa Hubert Ogunde dynasty. Unfortunately, my mother died when I was 12 years old, hence she did not even see me wear secondary school uniform. As in every polygamous house, the mother is the advocate for her children and she is the one to fight their course before other contenders in the home.
So, where she is not there, the child is left to wander with no one to plead his case before his father. And so, in my case, my mother was not there to advocate for me and this of course marked the beginning of my failure.
I started failing at school because there was no mother or father to check on me.My case was indeed hopeless until God raised some destiny helpers to counsel and mentor me. And that was how my life changed for good and today, I am a foremost lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria”, narrated Ogunde.
The erudite lawyer therefore charged the children/youths not to bemoan the loss of their parents or cling to their pain as an excuse for failure. He urged them to rather make good use of the opportunities and destiny helpers that God sends their way and remain focused as they navigate through the hurdles of life.
Corroborating this, his wife and celebrant, Mrs Yinka Ogunde urged the children to look on the brighter side of life, stressing that regardless of whatever situation or challenge that comes, they can still get to the top.
Recounting how she and her siblings were raised by a single mother and how that in spite of the untold hardship all of them still turned out successful and outstanding in their different careers, she urged all vulnerable children to remain undeterred, work hard and put their trust in God who is able to see them through.
She also charged well-meaning Nigerians to invest their time and resources towardshelping less privileged children achieve their dream through provision of educational scholarship, mentorship and welfare support.
She promised to support those of that emerge with excellent result at the just concluded WAEC.
While commending the amazing work and dedication of Mrs.Aramide Oikelome, the Executive Director of Goshen Orphanage and Bestspring Foundation in nurturing these hapless children and youths over the years, Ogunde prayed that God will continue to send helpers to the organization that will support it with their resources and time.
In her response, Oikelome thanked Mrs. Yinka Ogunde and her family for believing in her vision and identifying with it. She also thanked them for defying all odds, including the deplorable condition of the Alagbole/Akute Roadto travel all the way to celebrate her birthday with the children and youths when she could have opted for more prominent and successful orphanages in the heart of town.
The two-hour event was thoroughly fun-filled, with lots of wining and dining, dancing and exchange of pleasantries. The youths from Ijegun also seized the opportunity to tell Mrs.Ogunde how WATFON 2017 impacted their lives positively and changed their mind-set from that of mediocres to become change-makers that are confident that they have what it takes to excel in life and make Nigeria better.
Goshen Home & Orphanage was recently commissioned, precisely on 4th March 2017 by the duo of Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media & Publicity and the General Overseer of New Testament Assembly, Pastor Samson Bamgbayan with a mandate to give orphans and vulnerable children a beautiful and purposeful life.