From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Over 200 widows and other indigent people of Umuodu Ihitte Mberi autonomous community in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State recently had cause to smile, as a non-governmental organisation, Calbertiqs Extra Helping Hands Foundation, distributed commodities, including bags of rice, and cash to widows.
The foundation also launched two boreholes in the community.
The event attracted dignitaries and indigenes of the local government council from far and near.
Chairman of Marcon Group, Chief Marcellinus Nlemigbo, who chaired the event, commended the humanitarian spirit of the founder. He said he had done well by remembering the widows and the less privileged in his community.
The former chapter chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, who is now an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, donated N5 million to the foundation.
He noted that, “These days, it is quite rare for young men in the same age bracket with him to float a foundation whose sole purpose is to help widows, orphans and the less privileged in their communities. It is worse for those who live abroad because whenever they return home, you hardly see them in the village. I am very happy that such a young man is doing such a thing and that is I why I have made the little contribution of N5 million to assist in this laudable cause.”
Hon. Rita Orji, who represents Ajeromi/Ifelodun Federal Constituency of Lagos in the House of Representatives, was full of praise for the founder, stating that the Canada-based businessman has remained a good ambassador of Nigeria in Canada.
“he is one of those living in Canada that are engaged in legitimate business, and I’m happy about that. As the chairman of the House Committee of Diaspora Affairs, we have had to intervene in so many issues involving Nigerians living abroad, primarily because they are dealing in drugs or other illegitimate businesses. But he has shown that you can earn a legitimate living, and that is why I came here to witness what he is doing today,” she said.
Hon. Henry Nwawuba, representing Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency, said the gesture should be emulated by others with the capacity.
“This is a sign of progress. He lives in Canada but he comes home every year to help the needy. This is my constituency and that is why I and some of my colleagues are here, to support him in the good thing that he is doing for our people. So, I am appealing to others who have been blessed by God to remember poor widows and the less privileged in their communities,” he said.
Many of the beneficiaries showered prayers on their benefactor, asking God to continue to expand his business.
One of them, Madam Alice, who was visibly elated, said: “he has remained the husband of the widows in this Umuodu village because he has been caring for us. And for four years now he not only gives us bags of rice and wrappers, he has also been donating money. God will continue to bless him for remembering us poor widows.”
Speaking after the distribution of the items to the women, it was said that the founder decided to float the foundation to assist the less privileged and widows, having also experienced poverty.
“I thank God, who has made it possible today. The reason I am doing this is not because I am the richest man in this community. It is just to help those in need with something, no matter how little, as a way of easing their suffering.
“I am not from a wealthy family and I know what poverty is like, especially when you cannot afford the basic necessities of life. So, it gives me joy if I can make people smile. This foundation has been on for the past four years but it is only this January that we decided to launch it officially and by so doing also extend it to the entire community of Ihitte Mbieri,” he said.