Bishop's Junior students help a friend in need

Yejude Brizan, from left, Janaeda Christmas, Kesi Joseph, Yja Holder and Feyi Oladiran share the joy of friendship as students of Bishop Anstey Junior School, St Ann's. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI
 - Sureash Cholai
Yejude Brizan, from left, Janaeda Christmas, Kesi Joseph, Yja Holder and Feyi Oladiran share the joy of friendship as students of Bishop Anstey Junior School, St Ann's. PHOTO BY SUREASH CHOLAI - Sureash Cholai

We can all make the world a kinder place, one act at a time.

That was the mission of Yejude Brizan, Yja Holder, Kesi Joseph, Janaeda Christmas, and Feyi Oladiran, when they teamed up in November to raise funds for a friend in need.

The five Bishop Anstey Junior School students, all ten years old, raised $700 from a lemonade stand where they sold cookies, cupcakes and carrot cake. They sold their goodies at an entrepreneurial market event at their school in St Ann's.

Speaking to Newsday Kids, the five shared how the effort started when Yejude noticed she could help make a friend's day special.

Yejude's grandmother owns Enaame's Private School in Diego Martin, and on a visit some years ago she met Zion Morang there. Recalling their first encounter, Yejude said, "I was sitting on a bench and Zion approached me to ask my name. We started talking and I found out her birthday was the day before mine."

The two became good friends, and Yejude learnt Zion faced financial difficulties at home. In November, Zion told Yejude she had always wanted to attend Enaame's school Christmas lunch at the Hilton, St Ann's but could not afford to go.

At that moment Yejude knew she had to help make Zion's dream reality, and thought of ways to help.

One day she randomly doodled the logo for an imaginary company she named Lemonzest and realised by bringing the idea to life she could help Zion.

Determined to make Lemonzest a reality at her school's November market, she shared the idea with Yja, Kesi, Janaeda and Feyi. All on board, they brainstormed the idea for a few days and decided the money from Lemonzest would go towards an award they created named Kids Destined for Greatness. Zion would be the first recipient and as part of the prize, she would receive a self-care hamper, dress, shoes and a ticket for the Enaame's lunch.

"I like the idea of giving to people," said Yejude.

It was not difficult to get support from their school and parents.

"My parents thought it was a really good idea that we were giving them money to make someone happier," said Yejude.

Yejude Brizan, left to right, Feyi Oladiran, Janaeda Christmas, Kesi Joseph and Yja Holder, students of Bishop Junior Anstey School, St Ann's, make a promise to always help others.
- Sureash Cholai

They each had a different role in the lemonade stand, which raised $700. Kesi was the cashier, Janaeda helped with advertising and Feyi, Yejude and Yja managed sales at the counter.

With help from their parents, they budgeted the money and determined what they could buy for Zion.

The exciting part was giving Zion her gifts when she was invited to spend the day before the lunch at Yejude's home. They gave her tips on how to dress, braided her hair, played games and had a bit of pool time.

"When we gave her the stuff, it was heartwarming to see the joy on her face," said Yja.

"I felt excited and happy for Zion, she was very sweet and gave lots of hugs," said Janaeda.

They said the experience strengthened their love of sharing and caring.

But they don't think they'll want to go on to open businesses soon. For now, they all want to focus on studying, to help people in different ways. Feyi, Janaeda, and Yejude want to be doctors. Yja wants to be a doctor too – a neurosurgeon – and Kesi a vet.

"I wanted to be a lawyer but I decided it's too big of a job so I'll follow in my father's footsteps of being a doctor," said Feyi. She said that will still give her the chance to help people.

As for Kesi, she never wants people to experience the pain she did.

"I want to be a vet because I love animals. My dog recently got injured and ran away and I don't want other people to go through the sadness that I went through when my dog got injured."

The friends are now deciding on new ideas for helping other children, but for now, Yejude wants more people to care about each other.

"We can all live in one unity and work together to make TT a better place. People can give more and help from their pockets to those in need," she said.


"Bishop’s Junior students help a friend in need"

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