From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
The problem of housing in Nigeria is getting worse, or so it seems. Indeed, Nigeria has a huge housing deficit. This is because the cost of building materials has hit the rooftop, making it difficult, if not impossible, for many to own their own houses.
However, Ebele and AnyiChuks Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, says it seeks to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor by building houses for widows in various parts of the country.
Founder of the foundation, Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Odii, made the disclosure at Isu, his hometown, recently, while distributing foodstuff and cash, among other things, to the people of the area to celebrate the New Year.
Daily Sun gathered that the activities of the group were in the real sense beyond the provision of handouts as many other NGOs do. The Ebele and AnyiChuks Foundation has brought succour to many homes in Ebonyi State and beyond in its avowed effort to lift the poor and vulnerable.
Odii said that there was a big gap between the rich and poor in the country, which has created inequality and discontent among the people.
“The foundation has been assisting the needy and empowering people for over 15 years and was motivated by God’s selflessness in sacrificing His only son to save mankind.
“We have built 77 houses for indigent persons, six churches to assist in propagating God’s word and a palace for the tradition ruler of the area.
“I have added another 23 houses to the 77 houses we built and they would soon be handed over to the beneficiaries,” he said.
The foundation’s founder said that he built the houses with the same quality he used in building his house in Lagos and this was to give the beneficiaries a sense of belonging.
“This is to make the children of the beneficiaries appreciate God’s kindness on them and make them offer nothing less when they want to assist others.
“Nigerians always offer leftovers to others, but at the Ebele and AnyiChuks Foundation, we selflessly offer all we have with the fear of God,” he said.
Odii noted that the foundation’s activities do not have political undertones, as the United Nations has always identified with its ideals.
“Everyone cannot be in the forefront of politics and there would be people who would operate at the home front to organise things.
“We pray for God’s continuous guidance and capacity to impact positively on the society and once such grace continues our efforts would be relentless,” he said.
Odii explained that the foundation’s activities extended beyond the frontiers of Ebonyi State and Nigeria, as it has supported many other people with empowerment packages and scholarships, among others.
“We constructed over 2.2km of asphalted road with drainages in Magodo Estate, Lagos, while distributing COVID-19 palliatives to people in 11 states of the country,” he said.
Christian Onu, the foundation’s coordinator in Ebonyi, told Daily Sun that its staffers were motivated by the zeal shown by the founder and his wife Ebele, to assist humanity.
Said he: “We are presently distributing over 15,000 bags of rice, over 2,000 bales of wrapper, cash running into millions of naira and also empowering youths to be self-dependent during this exercise.”
He said the foundation strictly observed COVID-19 protocols: use of face masks, hand washing and use of sanitisers during the distribution, while restricting the number of attendees.
Special guest at the event, Senator Amah Nnachi (PDP-Ebonyi South) commended the foundation for its philanthropy to people in his senatorial zone, noting that its gestures do not have political undertones.
“Dr. Odii has done the senatorial zone proud and his actions should be emulated by all, especially those involved in politics,” the senator asserted.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Vivian Nwaje, thanked the foundation for the gesture and prayed that God would give it the enablement to sustain good works.
Meanwhile, the humanitarian organisation, in continuation of construction of new bungalows for widows and indigent families across the 13 local government areas of Ebonyi State, has taken up another building project for Mrs. Beatrice Nwede, from Enyibichiri, in Ikwo LGA of the state.
It also offered scholarships to four children of the widow, who had dropped out of school because of the inability of their poor mother to finance their education.
The group equally donated N1.2 million to another widow, Mrs. Kosoko Okoronkwo, from Uburu in Ohaoazara LGA of the state and offered scholarship up to university level to her five children.
Thrilled by the uncommon philanthropic gesture of the foundation, the Nigeria Youth Organization (NYO), South East zone, described its founder, Odii, as a philanthropist with a difference.
NYO further extolled Odii as an angel sent by God to help the needy and the downtrodden in society.
Leader of the group, Chukwumaobi Okorie, who gave the commendation in Abakaliki, the state capital, said youths in the zone have adopted the philanthropist as their ‘religion of worship’ because of his good works across the state and the country at large.
“Chief Ifeanyi Chukwuma Odii has through his numerous philanthropic works and activities demonstrated that he is truly an embodiment of Christ’s love and embodiment of human relief hence we the teeming members of Nigeria Youth Organization, South East zone, have adopted him as our religion of worship.
“We also commend him for the recent entrepreneurship grant he extended to Ebonyians studying in UNIZIK, donation of N5 million to the family of the late Chief Kosoko Okoronkwo of Uburu in Ohaozara LGA Ebonyi State and awarding of university scholarship to the deceased’s five children.
“And for approving the immediate building of a bungalow for an indigent widow, Mrs. Beatrice Nwede, of Enyibichiri in Ikwo LGA, whom he spotted on the social media, adoption of her four out-of-school children into his scholarship scheme and approval of N20,000 monthly stipends for the upkeep of the indigent widow’s family,” Okorie said.