From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Governor Bello of Kogi State
An NGO, Heal For Africa Initiative, recently donated food stuff to at least 100 women and dewormed over 200 children in Adankolo community, Lokoja, Kogi State.
The Convener for the foundation, Dr Kelechi Okoro, told journalists at the end of the program in Lokoja, that the gesture was part of Valentine celebration to show love to communities especially those people living in slums.
According to her, Heal for Africa Initiative is a non profit organisation that is committed to empowering communities in Africa in the areas of Health, Education, Empowerment, Affection/Advocacy, and Livelihood.
“We want to give quality and better livelihood to African communities and we are starting the maiden edition in Kogi to lessen the suffering of the people living in slums to mark the valentine day
“We saw lots of needs that we have met. We have been doing a lot of empowerment programs before now, but we felt we should extend it to slums so that more people can benefit from it.
“The theme for this first edition is ‘Heal The Slum’, in partnership with Buka Delish, Crest Karaoke Bar, The Evergreen Initiative, Tehilah Shelter Foundation and National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN).
“In total, we have dewormed 200 children, provided food for 300 children and gave them over 500 note books. We have also empowered over 100 women today including some men and youths.
“We are not only encouraging them but also advancing them. We are going to pick a lot of people from the slum to school to empower them; This is just a preamble of what we are set to do for the people living in the slum,” the convener said.
Okoro, who is also a Health Entertainer, urged individuals who were earning money no matter how little to help a soul, saying “let us not wait for government to do everything for us; identify needs and solve them”.
The items distributed includes: rice, oil, tomatoes, salt, magi, school sandals, detergents, stationaries, among others.
Mr John Oladele-Nihi, the Chairman of NYCN in Kogi, commended the NGO and all their partners for putting the program together, saying it was a great initiative and urged them to keep it up.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Amina Usman, thanked the foundation for remembering them in the slum by coming to meet some of their immediate needs and for putting smiles on their faces.
Alimat Abdullahi, one of the children who received a pair of sandal and two notebooks, expressed gratitude to the organisers, saying “I can now wear new sandals to school”.