BAKE FOR CHANGE: A cross section of Bake for Change partcipants after handing over their gifts at the Lagos State Correctional Centre for Boys in Oregun. First right is Mrs Karin Uwaje. Ashim Uwaje is next to her mum, while Nkem Uwaje is fourth from right.

While calling for youth empowerment through  Information Technology tools, the Nigerian Youth IT Ambassador, Nkemdilim Uwaje recently led a team of Bake for change in a Christmas visit to many remand  homes including  Lagos State Transit Home for Kids, Lagos State Correctional Centre for Boys, Lagos State Old People’s Home,  Lagos State Children’s Transit Home.

In each of the facilities visited, the  group donated many items including  rice, Indomie  as well as juice for the residents, among other things.

According to Uwaje,  “I couldn’t sleep the night before the Bake for Change Xmas drive, I was so excited it was unreal. Like a little kid before Xmas Day I lay awake, hoping the day would go as perfect as I imagined it.

“We had baked for 6 hours – 470 cookies, we had wrapped gifts for a total of 12 hours. We  had a sack of rice and a carton of Indomie for each facility, as well as juice for the residents.

Our little foyer looked like a warehouse and I am sure it was driving my parents crazy already

“The head warden of the Lagos State Correctional Centre for Boys gave us a warm welcome, talked to us about the facility and gave us a tour. Our volunteers came up with ideas of what can be done to help the kids on the spot”

At the  Lagos State Old People’s Home in Yaba that caters to 30 senior citizens that were either found on the streets or placed there by their families, the group according to Nkemdilim  visited each person in their rooms, disclosing that  some of them were  not able to walk and others are visually impaired.

After distributing the gifts, she said hat they were  given a short historical overview of the home, which was built by missionaries after the 1st world war.

At their visit to the  Lagos State Children’s Transit Home, Uwaje who is passionate about capacity building said that they were amazed by the drastic changes that had been done in the home, since their last visit. Bake for Change according to her, “wrote a letter to the Governor asking for immediate action, after we saw the home in a deplorable state during our last visit in October.

Things have really changed, the home is not overcrowded anymore, additional dorms have been built and a playroom has been created for the kids, as well as adequate educational facilities and adequately trained staff. It’s amazing – one letter – our first real change! she said.

The 4th and last facility  was the Lagos State Correctional Centre for Girls, she commended the  Social Workers and the principal of the facility that gave them warm welcome

According to her, they  were given a little tour of the facility and once again the ideas started pouring out of the mouths of our volunteers.

“We visited the dorm of the girls and they jumped and hugged us, because they remembered us from our last visit. It was truly magical. The hugs were real bear hugs filled with so  much joy” she said.

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