The Story of RoDan is one that can set tears in their eyes of any parent. His story is mindboggling.
Before we explain his story, let’s take a minute or two, and close your eyes and begin to imagine; rain is falling, thunder is sounding, the place is dark at 11 pm. You pass by a huge swamp and you begin to hear the voice of a one day old baby. The abandoned baby is left alone and is crying in the middle of the swamp. You can imagine the water in the swamp is rising and could cover this child or that snakes or wide animals could attack this crying child. How would you feels if you went and rescuer this abandoned child? How much more heroic would it be for a person to step forward and sponsor him so that he could grow up to be a productive adult?
Now you can stop imagining. What you read is the real story of Rodan Nimene. RoDan was found on a dump site in the middle of a swamp as midnight was approaching on August 22, 2014.
Mrs. Cynthia Nimene was on her way home from setting up for Sunday Mass at the Holy Maters Parish. She and her children begin to hear a noise like a child crying in the middle of a swamp. She asked her children to go with her into the swamp to find out who was crying. The children, who have just lost their father to the deadly Ebola virus, were afraid of death. They said it must a big snake that is hungry and crying like a baby to trick other smaller animals or someone. Her children did not want to go into the swamp and they continued their journey. But approaching the house, Mrs. Nimene was not satisfy and her conscious was telling her to go back and find out what was happening.
Cynthia said “I am a mother and I know the cry of a human child.” She went to a neighbor’s house who was a contractor. She knocked at the door and said “I am hearing something crying in the swamp like a baby. Can you please go with me to find out what is going on?” The contractor confirmed that he has been hearing same sound but had been also afraid to go out. The two agreed to go and he put on a pair of rain boots. He brought a flashlight and they started to walk slowly towards the swamp. They followed the sound and it started raining. As they drew closer, fear overcame them and they wanted to run back. Cynthia remembered that fear and faith do not work together so they continued their journey. The sound was still coming and when they got almost to the spot, the guy flashed the light in fear and they were approaching a snake or wide animal. It was at that moment that this tiny and handsome naked child estimated to be only one or two days old, was lying on a piece of cloth and partially covered in water which was rising as the rain continued to fall. Immediately with tears and joy Cynthian gently picked up the child, took off her blouse and rapped him up him. She gave him five kisses and together with her neighbor took him home.
The next morning the case was reported to the community leadership. An announcement was made throughout the community. No one came out to claim the child. The story was also reported to the Liberian National Police and the ministry of Gender and Children Protection. They did all they could but still no one turned up to claim the baby. As a result, he was taken to the Hospital for a medical examination. The doctors said nothing had happened to him while he was in the swamp and that he was ok.
This event was also reported to the local parish priest. An announcement was made at Sunday Masses for one month, but again no one came forward to claim the baby. After two months when no one had turn out, we named him as “RoDan” which is a combination of the names Roland and Daniel. Rev. Fr. Roland Biah was the Parish Priest and Rev. Bro. Daniel Taylor is a Maris Brother and Principal of the Parish School. They both helped with financially support the child providing milk, cloths, food, and for his medical bills.
RoDan is now five years old now and as he continue to grow so are his needs for basic services. Cynthia has loved caring for him but as a single Mother who lost her husband to the Ebola virus, she too is struggling to survive. A Teach Peace sponsor is needed to help RoDan live with the dignity that God desires for all of us.
You can learn more about RoDan and life in Liberia in the Teach Peace book, Going to School in Africa.