Confused…What do I do?

“What do I do? I’m confused, heartbroken and wondering where I went wrong! Help!…what do I do?” This was a distress call I got from a mother after she read my last blog post on Back To School tips. I have gotten her permission to share a bit of her story because I believe there are lessons to be learnt. To protect the identities of the people involved, their real names have not been used.

what-do-i-do

Mr. & Mrs. Ola-Benson, a middle-class couple with 3 children, had worked hard and sacrificed to be able to send their children to University in the UK because they wanted to give them the best education they could. Thankfully things had gone well and it really wasn’t a strain to train their children… that’s until two years ago. Their son – Seni had graduated in 2014, returned home and started work. Their second child Teni had just graduated and returned to Nigeria and would be starting her National Youth Service before the end of the year. Their last child – Reni who is 22 was supposed to be going into her final year at a top UK university. Unfortunately, the ailing economy, a string of bad business deals, coupled with the depreciation of the Naira had taken it’s toll on the family finances and all efforts to raise the needed funds to pay Reni’s final year fees and other living expenses yielded no results. They had even attempted getting a loan from family and friends but the story was the same everywhere – the economy was biting hard. The only asset they had that they could consider selling was the home where they lived so that wasn’t even an option. Being the down-to-earth family they were, they decided that the only option left was to call Reni (who at that time was doing an internship in London) and inform her that she would have to come back home to complete her education in one of the private universities in Nigeria.

Mrs. Ola-Benson made the dreaded call to her daughter and while she didn’t expect Reni to be pleased with the news, she was totally unprepared for the “stunt” her daughter pulled. After crying for days, throwing tantrums and refusing to speak with her parents for over a week, Reni called her mum to tell her that she had found a solution to the situation. She said she had joined Seeking Arrangement an “organization” that afforded her the opportunity to meet with potential partners who would take care of her tuition fees and other living expenses. She explained that it was a mutually beneficial partnership. Naturally, Reni’s mum was curious to know more about this “organization” Was it a scholarship? A loan? A job? Reni kept giving her mum vague answers so Mrs. Ola-Benson decided to consult Google to see if she could find out a bit more about  Seeking Arrangement. To say she was shocked at the information she found would be putting it mildly.

How could her daughter, brought up in a Christian home ever consider this as an option? Where did she go wrong in raising her daughter? All efforts by Mr. & Mrs. Ola-Benson to talk Reni out of this foolhardy plan of hers has fallen on deaf ears as she is very adamant on going on with this arrangement. Mrs. Ola-Benson is distraught…while she would love for Reni to complete her education in the prestigious school she’s attending, especially as it’s her final year, she knows that the option and path Reni wants to follow has grave consequences. Reni has reminded her parents that she is an adult and that since they can’t provide for her education she is left with no choice but to “sort her life out”. Mr. & Mrs. Ola-Benson have considered luring her back home? Perhaps they should intensify effort in looking for a loan to fund this final year? Could it really be this situation that has pushed Reni to consider this as an option? Had she been influenced by bad friends? ….So many questions…confusion…

Please join this conversation by posting your comments on www.parentinvestment.com.

P.S For those who don’t know what Seeking Arrangement is, you can Google it.

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21 thoughts on “Confused…What do I do?

  1. From the perspective of a Nigeran living in the US. Cost of education is especially high in America. A lot of Americans. work their way through college, not through sugar daddy financing. Colleges make arrangements all the time. She would be allowed to finish. She would not get her transcript or certificate until she has finished paying. Other contributors have provided useful suggestions. Her whatever arrangements is the wrong way. Send her these transcripts. Best of luck

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel the pain of the parents. They need the help of the Holy Spirit in this situation. Presently, Reni cannot be forced back home she is already claiming adulthood. I pray that the lord will touch her heart and there will be a turn around in Jesus Name.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a heart wrenching account and I empathise with her parents. Unfortunately this is a very common way of life for young female Nigerian university students studying in the UK. They use these alternative avenues to generate funds to supplement the allowances from their parents. I am very surprised that the young lady chose to be open and transparent with her parents. It feels like she wanted to put them in a guilt trip for not being able to support her financially any longer. For that, I would have to say she has displayed a level if ingratitude that is appalling. The excessive consumption which Nigerians have engaged in over the last 5 to 10 years has led to unrealistic expectations in some of our children which in the current climate is no longer sustainable. For parents, the lesson here is to make sure our children are not raised with a sense of entitlement which breeds ingratitude. I really hope and pray for a desirable outcome to this difficult dilemma. The young lady needs to demonstrate wisdom and maturity in responding to the financial challenges the family is now confronted with.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Charity,

    Since I read your last blog, I had been pondering on how to respond. I am emphatic towards the plight of the anonymous family but I need to step out of their shoes and provide an objective and pragmatic tips.

    The family should discuss with the school re payment plans , this can be structured to assist them with the fees.

    I don’t know if they have 2 or more cars? Shares and stocks. Jewelries etc. They can sell to raise some money.

    They can re finance or pledge a collateral (maybe their home) for loan from their bank. They will eventually repay as I want to assume both parents are still working or doing business.

    Being Christians with strong moral values . I know they WILL do anything else to raise the fees apart from allowing their daughter seek help from Seeking Arrangements since she is adamant on completing her final year abroad.

    This is my 2 cents.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reni’s story is definitely not peculiar to her and her family. The best thing would be for her parents to try and talk her out of it. She would regret it in the long run! Her parents on the other hand should try and raise money. its difficult at this time, but God would always come through for his people. Ask family, friends for help and trust God. Like the bible says, “he would never leave you nor forsake you”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Charity I don’t know what to say or contribute. Given a scenario whereby the parents finally get the money to pay, will the child leave the arrangement having found it as an “easy” option? God have mercy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think there are some Educational funds that loan students in distress even the girls Uni can access .She should speak to her supervisor and Students Union they always have some aid /grants which are there for such circumstances- Final year – I just pray to God the girl has a good relationship with her supervisor / lecturer so they can speak for her. The world knows Nigeria is in a recession she will meet a sympathetic person / God-sent helper IJN

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Charity, I have read your blog on “confused ” Since you are in contact with the mother can you suggest they try taking a loan from their bank in the UK. If they have a good banking record and relationship with their bank, there is loan most banks give for up to £25,000 no collateral needed, it’s worth trying they have nothing to loose only refusal

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel the pain of Reni’s parents but as the bible says so many times, this “too shall pass.” Firstly I would like to advice them to look at the option of taking out a loan against the house they live in to pay the fees while they work towards the loan repayment. Secondly Reni could speak to the counsellor in school if they could allow instal mental payments for the fees.
    Finally I would like to enjoin us parents to begin to look inwards and project a more positive image of our nation to our children so that a situation like this does not look like the end of the world to them. Many many graduates of Nigerian private and government owned universities go on to be great achievers in life no matter what lies some of us have believed. I know of quite a few who who hold top positions in multinationals both in and outside of Nigeria. The man who Mark Zukerberg came to meet in Nigeria, who’s company he has supported with over $20 million did not receive any part of his education outside our beloved Nigeria. In fact, if you ask me I would say many of our children who studied outside Nigeria are at some sort of disadvantage. The immigration laws abroad are becoming more stringent, they end up coming home and feeling at a loss. A great part of thier lives when they would have learnt to know the terrain better is lost. Many many parents are still actively parenting adults as result.
    There is nothing we can do about Reni’s psyche in the short run, but going forward, after the fees are paid at all costs, she needs to be lead to Christ and discipled as we all should be doing for our children as a matter of urgency. May God enable us in Jesus’ name.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is really a hard one for any parent. Being a Christian woman, the idea being opted by the young woman is not one to explore. The good all praying and Fasting with singing praises continues to move mountains for me and would certainly be the kind of advise to give the mother. Her daughter has to be talked out of the idea and both parents must do all they possibly can even if it means taking out a bank loan. They risk losing a daughter entirely for the consequences of her supposed idea will far outweigh the cost of a loan. The family can also resort to cutting back on certain expenses in the family in order to survive through this; for example rationing on generator fuel consumption, eating home as against eating out etc. The mother should not give up on her daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I believe they must by all means find a way to raise the fees. They should not in their effort to discourage Reni’s option. I believe they should convince her to defer that session. Then tighten their belts to make enough together with her siblings to provide the final fees.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Charity, thanks for sharing this story. It’s quite painful and sad! The truth is that so many families in this country are also going through similar experience but I believe that God will always make a way. Believe it or not, the “seeking arrangement” or whatever name they call it, is equally a common occurrence among our undergraduates even here in Nigeria. Infact, they proudly refer to it as “runs”. I want to believe that Reni would have discussed her dilemma with a friend who advised her to consider “seeking arrangement” as her only option. The fact is that Reni is an adult as she rightly said and there is nothing her parents can do about it other than to continue praying for her. She should be encouraged to get a part-time casual job to support her parents with whatever they can afford to enable her complete her studies. May God help us to overcome these difficult times!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The parents should talk Reni out of the absurd plan whicch is the devil’s alternative and pray fervently for God to make a better way to enable them fund the fees required. Some of us had similar experience and God provided the means.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This is temptation! Both for the parents and the daughter! Remember in the Lord’s Prayer, our Lord Jesus in teaching us how to pray included the following request! Lead us not into temptation, also deliver us from the evil one! ‘”Adura nla”! Which in my native Yoruba language means “Big Prayer”! Due to no fault of theirs this family just found themselves in this situation! Yes she is an adult now, but the parents cannot just “siddon look” and allow one of their precious jewels go into this evil arrangement! On the other hand, they can’t force her! Which way forward? The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, they are mighty through God, pulling down strongholds! They must run to God and stay with Him only! Violence in the spirit! If you know what I mean! This can only be done supernaturally! Only God! The parents need the Holy Spirit now more than ever! They need Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Revealed Knowledge! The Holy Spirit is all these! Let us all join them in prayers! There shall be supernatural advancement in their situation in the name of our Lord Jesus! May God grant the family the grace and may His peace reign in the family!

    Liked by 1 person

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