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Celebrate Your Birthday by Doing Good | Ideas for Action

Angel Eduardo

Adesuwa Ogbemudia, a guidance and counseling student at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria, spends her free time researching nearby orphanages to visit and volunteer with. When she came across Mama Ariyo’s orphanage located right in her town, she suddenly had an idea. Adesuwa’s birthday was approaching, and she decided to do something a little different to celebrate it. “I discovered that there a lot of needy children there,” she says. “Some have never tasted cake. I felt touched by their situation and decided to celebrate my birthday with them as a sign of love.”

Adesuwa got in touch with the orphanage and began planning her birthday visit. “Sometimes I bring clothes, rice, garri, and oil to these orphanages,” she says of her usual visits. This time, her list was slightly different. “I baked a cake, made puff puff, and brought beverages. I danced and sang with the kids, and I asked those that were born in October to come out and take pictures with the cake.”

The children were all smiles. “It was the best birthday,” she says, “because it was full of passion for me. Seeing that I was able to put smiles on their faces with the little I could do was fulfilling.”

When she completes her studies at Ahmadu Bello University, Adesuwa hopes to work with an NGO that focuses on improving human well-being. In the meantime, she will continue volunteering and giving whatever she can at orphanages in and around Zaria. This birthday celebration, however, was particularly special for her. “The children were so happy,” she says. “They prayed for me, and when I was leaving they followed my car, shouting my name and waving.”

“I plan to do this again on other days besides my birthday,” Adesuwa says, “but I will do it on my next birthday, too.”

Angel Eduardo

Angel Eduardo has been published in Newsweek, Areo Magazine, The Ocean State Review, The Caribbean Writer, and Mr. Beller's Neighborhood. More of his work can be found at angeleduardo.com.