George Onyejiuwa, Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
It was a memorable night for some widows in Owerri, particularly, those from the Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State as they were hosted to a special night by some philanthropists on the New Year eve.
The group, Orogwe Integrity Forum (OIF) stopped at nothing in putting smiles on the faces of this ordinarily forgotten people as they wined and dined with them.
The widows comprising mostly aged women were pampered with love by the OIF as they were hosted to a sumptuous dinner at the residence of one of the promoters of the organisation.
Aside having a lot to eat and drink, the indigent widows were also given the sum of three hundred thousand naira to support their businesses.
They were additionally, given wrappers and assured that the group would continue to cater for them including assisting them in provision of shelters.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Akunna Ofoegbu who spoke on behalf of others could not hold back tears.
With teary voice she said “Since my husband died, I have never been loved like this, you raised me up and gave me hope, I will never forget this night being the last day of the year, sitting and eating with big people like all of you. May God bless you and give you the resources to continue what you have started”.
Earlier, spokesperson of OIF, Dr Jojo Onwukwe said that the forum was specifically established to cater for the less privileged in Orogwe community.
The forum, he said, is not limited to assisting only widows but has also been paying medical bills of indigent people.
“We are just about few concerned citizens who care about the pains of the less privileged ones; our motive is to identify such people and empower them. It is an annual ritual, we have been paying WAEC fees of some indigent students; we also renovate school buildings and drill boreholes in villages, we pay stipends to students in higher institutions besides their school fees”, Onwukwe said.
Surprisingly, OIF is not politics inclined as the members do not indulge in politics, and any member who indicates interest in politics, according to Onwukwe, automatically loses membership.
Elsewhere, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Collins Rich Foundation (CRF) donated over 500 bags of rice, garri, other food items and toiletries to widows and the motherless homes for the Christmas celebration.
Not done yet, the foundation also paid the hospital bills of 50 patients who had been detained by the management of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri and Mgbidi Healthcare Centre to enable them join their families for the yuletide.
The foundation presented the materials at the Red Cross Motherless Home and other less privileged homes in Owerri, to alleviate the plight of inmates.
Founder of the group, Mr. Collins Ezenwa, called on governments and philanthropic organisations to make life more meaningful for orphans, widows and senior citizens of the society.
“Nothing will make any meaning to a hungry and sick person and we are doing this to make the yuletide a memorable one for every family. Nothing gives me more joy than giving to the poor and making life more meaningful to the less privileged members of the society,” he said.
He said even though giving is the most difficult thing to do, his foundation has been providing food items to the less privileged, especially widows and orphans, particularly during Christmas, but this year, “we decided to expand the programme a little by settling hospital bills of indigent patients in the state.”
Daily Sun gathered that 500 people, made up of 350 widows, 100 aged persons and others went home with bags of rice and garri to celebrate the yuletide with members of their families.
Assistant Chief Nursing Officer, FMC, Owerri, Mrs. Ohamaeyi Laurence, who spoke on behalf the healthcare facility, thanked Ezenwa for coming to the aid of the indigent patients.
One of the beneficiaries, Uhiara Ogechi prayed God to reward him in hundred folds.