Charity, Clothing, Fashion, Folabomi Foundation, Girl-in-Transition, Lifestyle, Motivation, Photography

#ClotheTheClothless19

As Dammy and I walked through liquid, solid, organic recyclable and hazardous rubbish, trying to locate the Baale’s house, we could barely come-to-terms with the actual reality of people living, eating and bearing children in this … this… this place. No, you don’t understand – every single step that drew us closer to the Baale’s courtyard, had us going into more intense debris.

The entire landscape was covered in all forms of waste and every further step we took was more calculated than the last, as we desperately tried to avoid getting our feet into dung. I fought the urge to puke so bad and almost wished we could run back to Sogunro community of Clothe-The-Clotheless-2018, it was definitely not this bad. *Deep sigh*

Over a month before this, we had commenced planning and had been in search of the perfect community for Clothe-The-Clotheless-2019. After visiting and carrying-out a thorough survey on about three (3) communities on Lagos mainland, we finally found the Mosafejo Community — a slum inhabited by people that lack fundamental resources and capabilities such as adequate sanitation, improved water supply, durable living space and decent clothing.

Our goal for Clothe-The-Clotheless-2019 was straightforward, “Make these under-served children realize that they matter, by giving them a tiny-weeny bit of the Christmas they deserve through the gifts of Christmas dresses and a decent lunch”.

Finally, we got to the baale’s residence and met with Baale Koja who was very receptive and expressed how deeply-touched he was that we even thought of reaching-out to their community.  Baale Koja prayed for us and with warmth and much enthusiasm, offered to let us make use of his courtyard for the event on the 21st of December.

We went about purchasing rolls and rolls of fabric for the dresses and we commenced sewing almost immediately. The figure we set out to reach-out to in December 2019, was triple of what we did in 2018 – thus the plan was to clothe and feed two-fifty (250) under-privileged children! Did it seem like we were biting more than we could chew? Oh yes! But guess what? – Your kind souls made it absolutely achievable! Goodness gracious!! The Folabomi Foundation received donations from one-hundred-and-three (103) individuals and brands combined. We were blown-away by your support! Thank you! Thank youu so much!!!

Weeks were counted down to days, the Folabomi House of Fashion tailors delivered 100% on the clothes, Martins and Anu came through 100%, Onyiye helped-out and soon enough all the bags were ready for delivery. Drinks, safe drinking water, goodies, party-jollof and chicken, buses to convey the clothes were all sorted-out. Everything seemed to be falling in place nicely.

Suddenly, the evening just before the D-DAY, Dammy called to share the most heartbreaking news: “Tolu, I am currently at Mosafejo for final checks and arrangement and I have just been informed that the Baale lost his daughter today.” Dammy spoke in hush tones over the phone. I was struck. Confused and lost for words, I whispered a prayer to God and felt a calm! Dammy went further to explain that we are still much welcome to make their children happy, however, we wouldn’t be able to use the courtyard anymore as the Baale’s household was mourning.

Dammy went ahead to finalize and secure the new spot we would use which was a safe-distance from the courtyard. Couldn’t have been more thankful for the most proactive team-players.

The 21st of December finally swung-in and it was an absolute rush of adrenaline, as the past three (3) months of planning were about to become three (3) hours of execution. As soon as it was daybreak, Phresh Treats Nigeria sent in the most mouth-watering cupcakes for the children. The drivers were already outside with their buses before 8:00am. Volunteers started arriving, with Ebenezer leading the way. Shortly after, Ifunanya arrived bearing cartons and cartons of goodies for the children. James and Daniel went ahead to collect the packs of rice and before long, Zino, Laolu, Ayobami, Ayodeji, Jumoke, David, Olushola, Ademola, Mary, Titilayo, Pelumi, Busola, Christy, Esther, Daniel, Onyiye and Ireti were all ready to be of service. With a convoy of two (2) buses and three (3) cars, we were enroute Mosafejo community.

 

We had left the usual express roads we were used to and had veered off the Gbagada–Oworonshoki express into the suburban communities. The drive-through suddenly became narrow, a skilled driver would still need some expertise to navigate the road well. Fam! We started off on what seemed like a straight path until we got to the high pavement. Our Coaster buses revved and revved till their bumpers couldn’t take the pressure. Thankfully, we had a kind Army of young men that decided to become soldiers, driving instructors, all things and everything for Folabomi Foundation.

 

At last, one of the volunteer’s brave car successfully went over the pavement. Car loaded, bags in hand, we pulled-through with all of the goodies we could muster into the heart of Mosafejo community. We got to the venue that was already laden with a canopy, chairs and a waiting crowd. We initially thought we would have to announce our arrival but I guess good news spreads faster than wildfire. Our volunteering MC swung into action as soon as we got there; a little boy no less than four (4) years old whispered a sincere heartfelt prayer and set #ClotheTheClotheless’19 officially in motion.

 

The minute the little boy who successfully sang the second stanza of the national anthem received his Folabomi Branded Tee Shirt, was the minute our drafted-program came to an end. It went from 0 to 100 really quick!

Within seconds, the population increased from one-hundred to five-hundred and then we lost count. It was a fast and furious showdown. These little fellows and their parents might look calm here in these pictures, but they were everything except that – calm. We began to dress the little children with their brand-new Christmas dresses and it was such a joy see that each child would have something decent to proudly wear on the 25th of December.

The excitement on the faces of the children was second to none. There was a little boy who got only one item. As soon as the volunteer was done dressing him up in his Tee-shirt, we literally watched his smile walk from the depth of his heart till it completely lit up his face. He looked like he just got the whole world. That was all the gratitude we needed. His Smile was full and genuine. Nothing could have compared to that little boy’s warmth.

To think that there are a group of people who do not care for phones and laptops and all the complex stuff but are most grateful for basic shelter and a decent meal? That was stunning to watch. It was simply Magical!

After about three (3) hours of the twenty-two (22) volunteers being pulled and tugged-at while draping the little girls, giving out Tee shirts and joggers to the boys, sharing plates of firewood party-Jollof, sweets, biscuits, noodles, drinks, caprisonne, lollipop, safe drinking water, everything we came with; we were ready to go.

However, our Omo-Onile brothers were not quite ready to let us go. Not that they were displeased at all the beautiful gifts we had to share to the children in their community o, they just didn’t understand why they shouldn’t also be classified as children and thus settled. We seem to be getting better in “The Art of handling Omo-Oniles” as we were able to wiggle our way out without much damage happening to our wallets. Truth be told, some of them were really helpful. They made distribution and decorum almost easy. 😂😂😂

As if our day wasn’t already a pot full; the tyre of one of the buses got punctured in the process of skillful reversing. Aha!!!! There was now no way we were leaving without settling our make shift mechanics.

Clothe-The-Clothless-2019 was intense. It definitely wasn’t all fun and games because these children gave us a run for our money goodies, but it was the most fulfilling experience!

Do you realize that because of you, over two-fifty (250) children in Mosafejo community were decently clothed and fed? Folabomi Foundation says a massive massive ‘Thank You’ to you all – our volunteers, online and offline support systems, angels in Human clothing, our donors, cash and kind sponsors – for making Clothe-The-Clotheless-2019 an immense success. May the good Lord bless you and satisfy you with the best gifts this new decade.

It really was a world-wide effort and in every spoken and unspoken way, the children were beyond grateful. We, on the other hand, were just honored to have served them.

Already looking forward to Clothe-The-Clothless-2020 but till then, will like to end this by quoting Ifunanya, one of the volunteers, who said “People are suffering, do not take your present situation for granted, you are living someone’s dream”.

Very very very special thanks to our volunteer-photographers capturing these priceless moments:

@afrovisualz

@davidogunjimiphotography

@nd_jnr

55 thoughts on “#ClotheTheClothless19

  1. This is so beautiful…….May God continue to bless the works of your hands. 🙏🏼🙏🏼💪🏽

  2. Tolu, you may not see the big picture but I tell you what, God is moulding you for something globally massive.
    God bless your heart for this initiative.

  3. Wow! It is a wonderful venture
    May the Lord bless you and establish the foundation. It’s a privilege to be part of the venture. I will love to contribute a bit of drama next one God willing.

  4. Wow! This is incredibly beautiful! I was emotional and also had to laugh at some point. Seeing smiles on the faces of these young people is precious and even knowing that you’re the reason behind it is priceless! I pray for greater successes for this foundation. I can’t express my joy well enough. I’m so glad to even get to see this! God bless the Folabomi foundation!

    1. Hahahaa! So happy it made you laugh. Their smileeeeeee – Absolutely with you on this!
      Thank you Testimony. Amen, God bless you too.

  5. This is really lovely.
    God bless you for this initiative.
    This is simply amazing!
    I look forward to “clothe the clothless 2020”

  6. Incredible! What a great and selfless service! Deeply-touched story! This is really beautiful. Hmm great vision. May God continue to uplift and bless Folabomi foundation!

  7. Tolu, Folabomi Foundation, Volunteers and Donors, May God make your lives beautiful.

    I love the way you told the story.

    1. Yeahhhhh… It was told beautifully well! You kinda get to have such a feeling like you were actually there! Kudos to the writer (or writers as the case may be).

  8. you haven’t only placed smiles on the faces of these young ones, you planted the smile, the happinesses, and the orientation that somebody somewhere still cares. And this will grow into something bigger and greater.

    “We can’t do work of the government, but we can do what the government left undone”

    Aunty Tolu of laif, God bless you. Thanks for making giving effortless. And thanks for making the world a better and happy place. I hope more people will walk in this path ❤️❤️❤️

  9. To know that some people are REALLY SUFFERING in this wide world can be so disheartening, but to also realize that God has placed some other people in a position to shed light on these dark parts is something I’m so grateful for. Indeed it’s heart warming and I’m so emotional right now.
    God bless you real good @Folabomi Foundation for the good work you’re doing.
    May the light never cease to shine and May the good Lord raise up more army of willing hearts who will work towards brightening other people’s lives in this generation so much that in the end, this generation will be devoid of every elements of poverty and suffering.

  10. It felt so great to be part of this last year. I am super proud of you girl 👍🏻. Bit by bit, we will heal the world 🙏🙏🙏.

    1. Yes.. Bit by bit… in our own little way.
      Thank you so much for your support and involvement. It means the world!

  11. God bless you sis for this initiative. Thanks for giving each and everyone the opportunity to put smiles on the faces of these young ones.

  12. Nice one dear.. Life is more beautiful this way

    Got a big collab coming your way..its gonna be huge.. You will hear from me soon.

  13. God bless you Tolu.

    Seeing the smiles on these faces made my day.
    “Let the light shine”

    Thank you for being a shining star. Your light shall not grow dim. I hope to be more involved in the coming year.

  14. Awesome and lovely day, rugged and rural location, pleasant and grateful community, blessed and favoured volunteers. It’s all about 2 factors. Either do Good or Bad and they’ll be grateful or not… Thank you FOLABOMI…

    LOL… I’m trying to feel like a poet… Leemao. Message passed that’s all that matters.

    1. Leeeemaoooo! Hhahahahahaha! Can’t deal with this comment! Thank you so much Afrovisualz, you are absolutely absolutely exceptional. God bless you for your sacrifice to #ClotheTheClothless2019

  15. This is just what i think the word #SLAYING# should be, slaying good things into the less privilege heart, showing a little bit of kindness, that cup of cold water folabomi and her team gave out will someday turn to a source of WATER in The day’s to come and be of a greater blessings to the generation to come…

    God bless you guy’s real good…

  16. This is just what i think the word #SLAYING# should be, slaying good things into the less privilege heart, showing a little bit of kindness, that cup of cold water folabomi and her team gave out will someday turn to a source of WATER in The day’s to come and be of a greater blessings to the generation to come…

    God bless you guy’s real good…

    God bless FOLABOMI..

  17. It’s amazing what you are doing with your foundation. Good job and I want to commend your execution. Kudos !

  18. Hi there! This is my 1st comment here so I just
    wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading through your blog posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Appreciate it!

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