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For Street Children, The Oratory Hits Nigerian Cinema

By Florence Utor
04 September 2022   |   3:53 am
The Salesians of Don Bosco is not resting on its campaign to take internally displaced children in Nigeria off the streets.

The Salesians of Don Bosco is not resting on its campaign to take internally displaced children in Nigeria off the streets. Only recently, the Catholic mission centre screened The Oratory, a Nigerian film raising awareness on displaced children.

The movie takes viewers through the life of Father Michael Simmons, an American Catholic priest, on a missionary trip from Turin (Italy) to Ikoyi (Lagos). Once in Lagos, Fr. Simmons witnesses the harsh life of street children in Makoko and resolves to help them. To do that, he must confront Shuga, a dangerous Makoko kingpin, who has the street boys locked in criminal servitude.

Chairman, organising committee of the movie project, Gbenga Adebija, said it is in support of the Salesians of Saint John Bosco Child Protection Centre for Street Children in Lagos.

He said: “The Oratory is not just a movie, but a call to action, as it reminds us individually and collectively of our civic responsibilities towards street children. It is a broader aspect of a multi-dimensional initiative of Dr. Odia and his fellow Salesians of Don Bosco, which they are passionately committed to bringing to fruition. It also creates an inclusionary framework for the upliftment of homeless, delinquent, and juvenile youths who are at risk of negative societal issues such as violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, and crime.”

The Executive Producer of The Oratory, Fr Cyril Odia, who is encouraged by the response the Centre is getting since the release of the movie, said, “because of the commitment we are getting from people to support the movement, we know that the movie has played its role.”

He pointed out that supporters of the movement also believe that something very urgent needs to be done to curtail the constant increase in the number of children on the streets.

According to him, “it’s a national embarrassment. We are seriously studying the Nigerian youth situation, election is coming, there’s need to motivate the youth to have faith.”

He said there was no use preaching to children on an empty stomach which is the reason the organisation is committed to its mandate of restoring their lives.”

After making the rounds in cinemas in Nigeria, Dublin, London, Turin, and Venice since its release, the movie returned to Nigeria last Saturday at Genesis Cinemas in Maryland, and hosted hundreds of street children alongside dignitaries.

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