1] LOTS literacy supplementary classes: This was set up when we realized that most of the kids from age 4- 17 in school kids could not read and write effectively on their own. LOTS set up this class with just one teacher who started literacy from the beginning of A, B, C….. not dividing the class according to ages because all the kids had the same challenge. As the class grew in attendance, two more teachers were employed and the class was split into three classes. The kids that could read with little or no assistance were in one class, those that could pronounce and write between two letter words to four letter words were in another while those that cannot read at all are in the last class.
After interacting with the kids from dustbin estate that attend the literacy classes for over a year now, we have noticed that kids that attend private owned school do better academically compared with those in government owned school, thus we want to try out changing schools for kids from public schools to private in order to improve them academically. We reasoned that since the kids spend eight hours in school and maximum of two hours in our literacy classes, it will be better for them to be exposed to effective and efficient education rendered more in private owned school compared to those in public schools. Our first benefactor of our school change scholarship will be resuming at her new school come September, 2010.
The long term plan as regards education for the kids is to eventually build a school that will put into consideration the peculiarities of today’s Nigeria and thus educate the kids to be employers of labour not just employees. This will be achieved through the development of their individual talent; also they will have entrepreneurial studies incorporated in the school’s curriculum. This school is projected to be built outside the busyness of the cities to prevent distraction and thus foster concentration and focus from the students.

 
2] LOTS health outreach:- LOTS charity foundation in this case partner with other non-governmental organization whose major concern is health outreach to the poor and less privileged. Also we formed a group of private people in the medical field who do not belong to an NGO but want to contribute their quota to meet needs of others. This outreach is scheduled four times in a year.

 

3] LOTS soup kitchen:- LOTS endeavors to feed the kids that attend the literacy classes at least twice a week. Food items are given to the parents and guardian on behalf of the kids. This is to serve as supplement for their mostly carbohydrate diet which could led to kwashiorkor. We look forward to more partnership with not only private individuals in this regard but also food and beverage making companies.

 

4] LOTS relocation housing plan:- Most of our benefactors with their family suffer severe housing problems. The sharks they stay in mostly do not have sanitary facility; toilet, bathroom and even kitchen. Inhabitants of dustbin estate do their ‘business’ in paper or nylon carrier bags and it is thrown either at the lagoon or just dropped arbitrarily. To imagine that for their cubicle shape container called a house, tenants pay as high [compared to the value of the place] 1,200 naira per month. As a new tenant, one is required to pay two years rent with agency and legal agreement fees more than the house rent for two years. Rent for two years may be 12,000 naira and the real estate agent will charge arbitrary 15,000 as agency fee and another 15,000 naira for legal agreement. When asked why some of the occupants decided to stay at the ‘DUSTBIN ESTATE’, we were told that it’s the exuberant charges of real estate agent that has made other options of accommodation out of reach to most and thus all they could afford to pay for rent is what accommodation at dustbin estate cost.
Frost with all these problems, LOTS charity foundation came up with a temporal housing solution. LOTS get sponsors to adopt a family and thus pay for their relocation house rent. While the benefactors pay the exact amount they pay in dustbin estate, the sponsor contributes the difference between the actual rent and the one paid on dustbin estate.
Unfortunately, only one young family has been able to benefit from this programme. A young widow with four daughters, even her part of the bargain she couldn’t afford to pay, LOTS eventually had to pay the whole rent of 48,000naira for two years, 68,000naira for agency and agreement fee. The next family on the waiting list came to dustbin estate due to fire outbreak at their former house.
The long term plan of housing is to build structures on dustbin estate only it will no longer be on the refuse but sand filled land where the people can still pay the same amount they paid for rent at the initial refuse dump. The rent collected will then be used to maintain the building. It will be like the housing projects developed in America to help tackle housing problems of low income families.

 

5] Project LOTS:- This project is out to meet the social, emotional and psychological needs of the kids. Project LOTS is the fun part of our work. The kids get to go places, meet people, dream of a better tomorrow and aspire for greatness. It’s a programme that allows the kids be kids playing and getting to know their inner self through exposure. It gives them the picture of a future that they can feature in.
May 27th ,2009 marked children’s day and fifty kids living at dustbin estate had the opportunity of interacting and having fun with kids from twelve different orphanages and celebrities in Nigeria in a partnership event tagged ‘they are star’. The Nigerian celebrities in attendance included actors, actresses, on air personalities, musicians, comedians, fashionistars e.t.c. They had fun to the fullest. There were games from bouncing castles to dancing competition and more. The kids had close physical contact with stars that they only saw on television and assured they were larger than life. The party exposed the kids to the reality that stars are human beings who had their dreams come true and the idea was that this will ginger the kids to start to dream and think of the possibilities of their dream becoming reality.
December 18th, 2009 marked the day we celebrated the end of year and celebration of life party for the initiator of project LOTS. Sixty-one kids, two representatives of parents and ten other volunteers from dustbin estate had the opportunity of riding for the first time in fully air-conditioned buses, eating out at a prestigious Chinese restaurant [imperial Chinese restaurant at Ajose Adeogun, VI], viewing a movie on large screen at the cinemas [SILVERBIRD cinemas] and finally window shopping at the biggest shopping mall [the palms, Lekki] in Lagos Nigeria. All of these first experiences were planned to help the kids start to think outside the box, dream of a life outside the refuse dumps and expand their horizon while at the same time having fun of their lives. There were good testimonies coming out from the lips of the kids, one could literarily see the joy and excitements on their faces as they dined in the same restaurant with Chinese people, people whose closest contact to them before then was Chinese movies some creative Nigerians tried to translate their language to our local dialect mostly Yoruba. Most of the kids said verbally that they would love to go back most especially to the shopping mall. We encouraged them to study hard at school and increase their literacy level and we may just consider bringing them back thus they event and fun day served as motivator to the kids. Hoping for such an experience as that now serves as the red flag before a bull; the kids see such experiences as a gift for hard work. This desire is hopefully going to translate to improvement in their academics.