Saturday, February 1, 2014

The story is told of a mouse that peeked through a crack in the wall as the farmer and his wife were opening a package. "What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning: "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it." The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathised, but said, "I am very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers." The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night, a sound was heard throughout the house: the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it; it was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital.

When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient: But his wife's sickness continued. Friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. But, alas, the farmer's wife did not get well... She died.

So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon. 

And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

The message of this story is central to our mission at House of Mercy Children’s Home, Lagos (HOM).

In our world today, there are many children facing child abuse, child marriage, child labour, child trafficking, child sex tourism, organ trafficking and a plethora of other issues and it is easy to say, “That doesn’t concern me!”

Through our various projects, we want children to know that when they face the mousetrap, they are not alone.

We are there for children who have no one to turn to and we strive to be an advocate for children who suffer in our world.

At House of Mercy Children’s Home, Lagos, Nigeria (HOM), we take seriously the maxim that child protection is a collective responsibility. Concerned citizens can play a vital role in child abuse prevention by reporting cases, helping to raise awareness about the problem of child abuse, taking practical actions to address child abuse and advocating for needed services and policy.

Bunmi Awoyinfa
HOM Lagos 
House of Mercy Children’s Home, Lagos, Nigeria (HOM) is actively involved in various charitable activities including outreach to street children, child beggars and child scavengers; provision of free meals and free clothing for needy children; school sponsorship for child beggars and family-based residential homes for girls and boys at risk. Within the limits of available resources, we support children in crisis across Africa. www.homchildrenshome.org
Convention on the Rights of the Child