Nigeria: A non-governmental organisation (NGO) – Land of Hope, took its children to the Ibeno beach, located in the south of Nigeria and said that “For a decade now, we have taken the children to the beach every year during the dry season and on Thursday, January 12 we went on yet another beach trip.”
Land of Hope is an NGO that fights for the rights of children regarded as witches in Nigeria and is leading the fight against child witch branding.
A beach trip is a yearly event that staff and children look forward to, and they aim to go 2 to 3 times every year. The healing power of the water, especially the ocean, has been documented over the years. Being near the sea has helped the children deal with their past trauma.
“The deep biological connection between the ocean and humans has been shown to trigger an instant response in our brains when we are near water. In fact, the mere sight as well as the sound of water can induce a flood of neurochemicals that promote wellness, raise blood flow to the brain and heart & induce relaxation,” stated the Land of Hope on its official Facebook account.
Before they go to the beach, the Land of Hope kitchen becomes lively as they prepare home-cooked chicken, rice and salad to take along to the beach, and they added, “We will buy soft drinks at the beach to support the local beach shops.”
The NGO further stressed, “With 91 children, our most important duty is to ensure that all our children are safe. We don’t allow the children to go into the deep waters. There are always many staff in the water forming a line the children cannot cross.”
The NGO said that every time they go to the beach, they always have newly rescued children who had never seen the ocean before and added, “They have never had the experience of having sand between the toes and listening to the incredible sound of waves washing up against the shore.”
While highlighting the two new kids, Otuekong and Philomena, who visited the ocean for the first time, Land of Hope said, “This was the first time Otuekong and Philomena had seen the ocean, and they were both very excited. Philomena was jumping around in the water and having so much fun. Otuekong was not so comfortable with the water. He was happy to play in the sand.”
“There is nothing more powerful than how the ocean refuses to stop reaching the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away. It reminds me never to give up,” concluded Land of Hope.