Fred Itua, Abuja
Pan African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique, through its foundation, the Shelter Afrique Foundation, has donated relief materials to over 4,000 beneficiaries in Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Kenya where It has regional offices.
The foundation’s intervention comes after many African countries have implemented preventive and restricted measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said the lockdown has placed an undue burden on those who work in the informal sector, which according to the International Labour Organisation, represents 86 per cent of the African Labour force.
“These informal workers earn their living daily and have been gravely impacted by the restriction on movement which impairs their ability to trade and provide for their families.
“It is on this basis that the Shelter Afrique Foundation has provided relief materials to over 4,000 beneficiaries across Africa; the relief package includes dry goods, detergents, and other staple foodstuffs,” Regional Manager for Nigeria, Mrs Elizabeth Ogonegbu, who represented the Managing Director, noted at a handover ceremony in Daki-biyu Village, Abuja
She further noted that “it is easy while ensuring the health and well-being of ourselves and our families, to forget that society is made of the many, not the few. Society will have to come together to relieve the burden Coronavirus places on all on us; society cannot be the government alone; it is the Civil Society, Private and Public Sector.
“Hence, in Nigeria Shelter Afrique decided to partner with the A-ONE foundation, led by Arc. Ezekiel Nya-Etok to achieve this.
“The Shelter Afrique Foundation supports Shelter Afrique’s advocacy and research work, created in 2016 the foundation had an initinal endowment of $1.7 million and receives an agreed percentage from the Company’s profits. While active in advocacy and research, this activity marks the first Corporate Social Responsibility of the organisation that targets low-income beneficiaries.
Ogonegbu added: “These are urgent times; indeed, there is little left of our daily lives which have not been affected in one way or the other by the Global Pandemic. The burden this pandemic place on us is unduly heavier on some of us, and that is why we are here today.
“The Shelter Afrique Foundation, the arm of our company which deals with Civil Society engagement has identified family sustenance as essential during these urgent times.”
Presenting the items including rice, beans, noodles, among others, Nya-Etok said it was aimed at putting similes on some of those who are hard hit by the lockdown.
According to him, “The choice of the settlement was informed by the fact that most of the residents were on daily income and will not be able to earn money with the lockdown since they can’t leave their immediate communities.
“Also, government may not be able to reach all the communities at the time hence the need for individuals and groups to reach out to communities, especially those within close proximity to their place of residence and business. We have to bear in mind that no one is too poor to give and nothing is too small to give.”