From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Ezinne Josephine Elderly Care and Support Foundation Inc. (EJECS) has distributed various food items to the elderly people in Amawbia community, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The foundation also gave educational assistance to cover tuition, boarding and books for a polytechnic student, N100,000 loan each to three girls to start clothing and poultry businesses, as well as two grinding machines to a middle-age woman to start a business of grinding dry and wet food items.
Some of the food items distributed to the beneficiaries included 168 packages containing 5kgs of rice, canned tomatoes, canned meat, fish, spices, onions and envelopes containing undisclosed amounts of money.
For the youth support, EJECS listed Chukwuebuka Nwogbo as the beneficiary of its educational support; Miss Tochukwu Katchi and Miss Amarachi Ajaegbu for poultry farming, while Miss Ebele Obuana went for clothing business.
Mrs. Elizabeth Uduji was given two grinding machines with which she would start a small-scale business of grinding dry and wet food items.
Founder of the foundation, Mrs. Chinedu Okoye, said that the end-of-year outreach was part of the organisation’s programmes designed to support elderly people.
She lamented that many elderly citizens suffer hardship because of neglect and abandonment by their family members, adding that many were verbally and physically abused and misused by family and caregivers.
She lamented that many elderly people had been abandoned in their compounds with no food and visitors even as some others had been accused of witchcraft and consequently abandoned by children and relatives.
“As part of the solution, EJECS believes that the elderly should be given tender loving care and companionship in their waning years when they are weak and helpless.
“In EJECS, we believe in these goals: to give emotional, financial, and social support to the elderly; to provide food and clothing to them; to sensitize the rest of the society towards understanding the nature and needs of the elderly.
“We also encourage groups and individuals to reach out to the elderly in their areas of influence; preserve the continued spiritual life of the elderly”, Okoye said, revealing that “EJECS plans to provide a social forum, (senior care centre) where physical, social, medical and emotional support will be given to the elderly.”
She revealed that “EJECS originated in 2013 after I was inspired by how the Late TB Joshua of SCOAN was taking care of the aged people in his church and around him.
“Then I began to take care of my mother’s friends. After my mother passed on to glory in 2015, I decided to expand the services.
“The foundation was incorporated in 2016 and it started to attend to the aged from 80 years and above, men and women. Incidentally, many of the original members have passed on to glory.”
As for the loans, Okoye said that “they’re fully refundable within 10 months. Other small non-refundable financial assistance ranging from N25,000 to N50,000 has been extended to six individuals to assist them in their existing businesses.”
One of the coordinators of the foundation, Mr Samuel Ojeleke, said that the benefactor has touched many lives both in the state and outside since inception.
“She often sent money from abroad to the elderly people. I am the one she usually sends the money to. So, she decided to make me one of the coordinators.
“She has been trying; taking care of these elderly people. Last year, she sent money from abroad, which was distributed to all the elderly people in Amawbia. I used to do that for her every year.
“She also sends money to my own mother in Oyo State and even my mother-in-law. So, it is not only for Anambra State indigenes”, Ojeleke who hails from Oyo State said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Maria Nnanyelugo from Umueze village, Amawbia, expressed joy over Okoye’s kind gestures and prayed God to replenish her source.