Ogo hasn't seen her family in 16 years

Young Nigerian woman vows to repair family home in poverty stricken village

A 24-year-old Nigerian born woman living in Grangerath in Drogheda who hasn’t seen her mother in over sixteen years has started a campaign to raise money to repair the only toilet facility her family has access to in her poverty stricken village.

Born in the Anambra State in the village of Awka Ogo Mutto came to Ireland with her aunt when he was nine in the hope of a better life.

After spending a number of years living in different parts of Ireland, the young woman spent some time in the direct provision centre in Mosney before being placed with foster families who she says gave her the tools she needed to ‘go out and live an independent life.’

Now Ogo is looking for support to help her family in Nigeria who are living in impoverished conditions as well as assisting with the crippling medical bills for her elderly grandmother who is in hospital after suffering a serious fall as a result of the horrendous living conditions.

The young Nigerian woman is determined to repair her family's home

She said:

“My family live in small one bedroom detached house in the east of Nigeria which has a dilapidated toilet system outside that causes poor health due to the low hygienic conditions.

“For over a year they have had no properly functioning toilet, it’s too upsetting to think about.

“They are forced to use something similar to a child’s potty because the toilet is unusable.

“I’m trying to raise money to build a new toilet system and septic tank and fix the leaking roof before the raining season approaches.

“I come from a very poor family, and my grandmother who I call mama who is in her 90s fell on her way to bath a few weeks ago so now she can’t walk.

“For three weeks her bone was broken and she was bearing the pain, she could only sit or lay down so she had all of these body sores.

“She is still in hospital recovering from an operation on her leg.”

The outside toilet at Ogo's family's home in Nigeria.

“She was eventually taken to hospital where they realised a bone was broken.

“In Nigeria you just don’t go to a hospital and they will attend to you, before they take the person and give them a bed they will start asking for money, you literally have to pay for everything, the country is corrupt.”

Ogo who works as a sales assistant says she is struggling to keep up with the cost of both hospital bills and saving to repair her family’s home.

“So far I've spent more than a thousand euro on hospital bills, this because she was transferred to three different hospitals and each demanded money, it’s all about money in Nigeria.

“My mum is not working anymore so there is no income for her because she has to stay in the hospital with my grandmother.

“In my tradition there is a lot of responsibility placed on the eldest daughter, but her life is more precious to me than any amount of money.

“It’s not just my mum that provided for us, my mama raised us too.

Ogo has been struggling to pay the medical bills for her elderly grandmother who is in hospital after suffering a fall

“She is the one that when she was strong she was trading the market to feed the family and to put us in primary school she was really there for us.”

Speaking on her early life in Nigeria and her second chance in Ireland she said:

“I haven’t seen my family in over 16 years.

“They couldn’t take care of me and I came to Ireland with my aunt when I was nine. I was a happy girl going on holidays that is what I was told.

“I was ok for the first month and after that I started getting homesick, I really wanted to go back home.

“We moved around a lot, we lived in Carrick-on-Suir Dundalk, Cork and Dublin.

“We moved to Mosney when I was fifteen and I hated it. I felt like when the gates closed it was like a prison, I only spent about a month there.”

Nigerian born Ogo spent time with a number of foster families who made a big impact on her life including with Catherine Bond in Beauparc near slane and she says this time gave her the family unit ‘she had been craving’ since she left behind everything she knew in Nigeria.

“It was different, they made me feel like I was part of a family which I hadn’t seen for long while.
The back yard in the family home in the village of Awka

“I had a sense of belonging because I was treated as one of theirs, we laughed and argued like any other family, I'm just glad they took me in at the time they did.”

“I just remember small bits about Nigeria because I was so young when I left. My three brothers, my sister, my mum and my mama all lived in a tiny one bed house.

“I remember my mother would go and sell things at the markets.

“Her business started with her trading and carrying things on her head like groundnuts to the market.

“I want to go back to Nigeria to visit my family, I don’t want anything to happen to my mama in the meantime.

“I am really grateful that my aunt brought me to Ireland, I wouldn’t be able to help them like I am now if I was still in Nigeria, I would have been living from hand to mouth.”

To donate to this fundraiser visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-end-poverty-in-my-family?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR1GagQjRK2ys-3-BW4kk1bYkR2ARW1MhUsaiLxJXRhVA-Mailm9a54k8R8

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