Barely 3 weeks after donating a brand new house to the Oluwakemi Orphanage Home at Ibadan in Oyo state, Nigeria, the Arole Oodua & Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II on Wednesday commissioned a vocational training centre which he donated to a rehabilitation home for destitute people called So-Said Charity Home in Ubakala, Umuahia South Local Government, Abia State in the Eastern part of Nigeria through his Hopes Alive Initiative(HAI).
The Obawure of Ife-Titun, HRM, Oba Taofeek Osunmakinde who represented Ooni Ogunwusi at the event said the project was in furtherance of the Ooni’s commitment to putting smiles on the faces of the less privileged in the society cutting across tribes, religion, ethnicity and geographical lines.
Oba Osunmakinde stated that the donation of the centre was aimed at empowering the vulnerable persons to become self-reliant and productive to themselves and the society at large thereby reducing vulnerability through efficient rehabilitation techniques, well equipped staff and charity.
“Baba Ooni is a great humanitarian who has chosen to live his life for the survival and advancement of the indigent youths, underpriviledged children and destitute people in the global society. What we are witnessing here today is In furtherance of his quest to put smiles on the faces of the less privileged in the society irrespective of religious ethnic and geographical lines”
“This will go a long in empowering the vulnerable persons so that they can be self-reliant and productive to themselves and the society thereby reducing vulnerability through efficient rehabilitation techniques..” Obawure said
Deputy Convener/CEO of Hopes Alive Initiative(HAI), Miss Temitope Adesegun stated that the donated vocational trainning centre is equipped with sewing machines, hair dryers, shoe and bag making machines, cobblery equipments, barbing and other equipments
The HAI’s boss pointed that the rehabilitation home has functioned for 22years without a vocational centre that could have trained numerous destitute people who have been helped at different times by the home, also saying that Ooni Ogunwusi’s decision to put a structure for the rehabilitated members of the home is to empower them so as to become useful to themselves and their immediate environment.
“Hopes Alive Initiative is cutting across boundaries just to empower people, His Imperial Majesty, Ooni Adeyeye, Ojaja II is a wonderful father, a great motivator and selfless humanitarian whose love for humanity transcends across all tribes, races, religion, culture and gender. This vocational trainning centre fully equipped with sewing machines, hair dryers, shoe and bag making machines, cobblery equipments, barbing and other equipments is just one of several evidences of His Majesty’s great philanthrophy.” She said.
“I believe that God divinely created Oon Ogunwusii for the less privileged, to make them happy and live a fulfilled life. I would say we are here in Abia State according to God’s directive who ordered our steps to be here for a very unique set of people created by God but abandoned by relatives, the So Said Home is reforming this set of people through the founder who is doing a great job of impacting lives. Our coming here is to add value to what she is doing by rehabilitating this set of people and in order to compliment her efforts, we decided to establish a vocational centre well equipped for training of these people after their rehabilitation process”, Adesegun added..
Welcoming the team to Umuahia, the Enyi Abia, HRH, Eze Raphael Mbagu who was the Host Royal Father at the occasion described the Ooni of Ife who is Co-chairman of Nitional Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria as a detribalized Nigerian traditional ruler and a great humanitarian who has proved that Nigerians are one family and should not allow tribalism to tear them apart.
The Nonagenarian prayed for long life for the Ooni Ogunwusi who was represented by Oba Taofeek Oshunmakinde, the Obawure of Ife. He also urged well meaning Nigerians to support the King in his humanitarian service by donating to the Hopes Alive Initiative’s selfless service to humanity, adding that those who listen to the cry of poor people will live long and obtain favour of God.
Mrs Felicia Martins, the CEO of So-Said Charity Homes with seven branches across the country said the Home was established for the vulnerable persons on the street and has been operating for over 22 years to rescue those who had fallen on the way path.
According to her the initial plan was to focus on mentally derailed people but later realised that not all persons roaming the streets are mentally ill but there are women with marital issues who are sent packing from their matrimonial homes, children who lost their way home, special children with syndromes, prostitutes, beggars and people with challenge in different areas.
She said over the years the Home has focused on mentally ill persons and children with syndrome as well as those retired to the roads due to their challenges, adding that those are the group of people the Home rescues.
Over the years, she said the Home has expanded through the help of philanthropists, and decided to train them before they go back to the society.
“One of the challenges we face is finance because we have given out ourselves to live for others and this requires money. What His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife has done today is a laudable achievement because when my manager was struggling to build the centre, I was asking where are we going to get money to roof it talk less of equipping it. The place has been abandoned ever since then but the Ooni came through his HAI team and roofed the place, plastered it, put the window, security door with burglary proof, ceiling fans and tiles everywhere, he turned it to a standard vocational centre with all the training equipments for different vocations”, she said.
Mrs martins stated further that working with the mentally derailed persons has not been easy and will never be easy as it takes the grace of God because she has severally been attacked by some of them who at times become violent
She said the Ooni’s gesture shows a true humanitarian who has left himself for God to use devoid of tribalism, ethnic or religion whose love knows no bound and has made giving part of his life.
“My word for other well meaning Nigerians is to show love, let them know that Nigeria as a country is in need and giving is part of life, people are suffering out there and if everyone can emulate this kind of a King who has given himself to service of humanity then the world will be a better place. It is a good thing to be blessed but people should realize that the purpose of being blessed is to give back to the society”. She said
Owned by Ooni of Ife, HAI is designed to alleviate socio-economic challenges faced by the indigent people.The NGO administratively led by Miss Temitope Adesegun has less than one year done several projects including donation of pharmaceutical certified Drugs, Power Generating Sets, school bags and books to victims of Boko Harram attacks at the IDP Center, Abuja in December 2017
The revered monarch on May 28th this year also hosted over 5,000 pupils from 80 schools and Orphanage centres in Ile-Ife and environ to a party organized by HAI marking 2018 Annual Children’s Day where cash gifts and other prizes were were won by outstanding students, parents and teachers.