mary-mary
Isaac saw two women in the camp who were both pregnant.  Eventually, both of them gave birth, each to a baby girl.  Each mother decided to call her own baby Mary.  When the crisis subsided, the refugees left the camp to their various homes to find out who was alive or dead in the family.  The two women also left the camp.  The death of others and the suffering of those who survived kept coming back to Isaac's mind.  He was restless on what line of action he should take to assist the suffering men, orphans, and women.

“I was challenged”.  Isaac said.

The memory of the two children kept coming back to his mind. He must do something to assist them!  He moved his emphasise beyond the two women, on ways to help others who also lost their husbands.  His decision rested on the orphans particularly.  He had to consult the widows to seek advice on a possible way of taking away the orphans to train. “I took away the first eight children from Kaduna widows to Abeokuta where we originally opened a small centre to teach people computer skills and a primary school. The number increased to fourteen children all from Kaduna.  Their age was from five years and above. When they first came to Abeokuta, they did not speak  fluent English nor Yoruba languages.  We communicated with our hands.  Few months after, they were able to speak and sing and communicated both in English and Yoruba languages fluently”, Isaac informed.

A few years after, Isaac went in search of the two women refugees. In the cause of his search for the women, to help their children, he discovered that one of the women and her child, Mary, had died.  He found the second woman and her Mary. He took Mary to the Stephen Centre International Group of Schools at Abeokuta to train. Wonders shall never end, people say.  Last July 2009, I was in Isaac's office discussing about the children's future, particularly those who were graduating, and so on.  A small girl came in, gave a letter to him, and left.

“Do you know that girl?” Isaac asked me.
“No.  I do not know her”. I replied.
“She is Mary. The girl her mother gave birth to at a refugee camp at Kaduna. I went to search for her and I succeeded.  I brought her here to study”.  He concluded.

That was a thrilling story to me. That was a very serious co-incident. At that moment, I was discussing with Isaac about the number of children who were graduating.  Mary came in as if someone called her from her hostel at the time we were discussing the future of the children.  She gave a letter to the 'Big Uncle' and left. Below is the content of the letter. The children call Isaac 'Big Uncle'.

mary-mary2Dear Uncle Isaac,
I thank you for every thing you have been doing to take care of me, and the others.  I pray all the love you have been showing to us, someone who God has blessed will also show the love to your children in Jesus' name.

God bless you.
Dear Uncle Isaac.
Good night.
Mary.

The eight children from Kaduna formed the nucleus of the Stephen Centre International Group of Schools.  “The following year, 2001, we increased the number to fourteen, and we added another six, bringing the number to twenty, all from Kaduna state. We decided to call them “Nigeria Special Children.” Isaac said. The reason for the name is obvious.  One can imagine that as the children grow, they may not want to be called orphans.  Isaac decided to call them “Nigeria Special Children”.  As crises began to spread across some northern states, May 11, 2004, Kano had one of the worst crises that claimed 1,750 lives and 30,000 people were displaced, while 30 Churches burnt, according to “Compass Direct” (all Nigeria archives).

Many children from Kano, Jigawa, Plateau, Bauchi and other neighbouring towns and villages, regardless of tribe, were brought to the Stephen Centre International Group of Schools at Abeokuta in Ogun State capital to study under total scholarship. The number had since increased to 250 (Two hundred and fifty) children. They study from Crèche to Primary and Secondary Schools. The first grandaunts, some of them having spent nine years, graduated last July 29, 2009.  They may either complete the Secondary School Education to face a bright future by your help for them to obtain tertiary education, or join others in the labour market without adequate and further preparation to face the challenge of employment.      Stephen Centre International, a subsidiary of the Voice of the Christian Martyrs has no tertiary institution to admit the children.  The foundation is laid.  The door is open for anyone to come in and lift these special children to attain their goals.