Eziomume Solomon, Nnewi
Succour came the way of the physically and mentally challenged in Anambra State recently when the wife of the governor, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, inaugurated a skills acquisition centre and sick bay in Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area of the state.
The inauguration of the facilities built by her pet project, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFE), attracted traditional rulers and town union leaders, women groups, politicians, among others.
The governor’s wife said the sickbay and skills centre would have a supervising doctor, and would give the residents and their caregivers access to healthcare, as well as skills. She also stated that the centre had successfully treated and rehabilitated 110 patients since inception in 2015.
While recalling her years of work of charity, Mrs. Obiano restated the determination of CAFE, in giving hope to the less privileged persons; adding that her belief in the core values of sharing with the less privileged would never wane.
She described the centre as her brainchild and appealed to Anambra people and well-meaning Nigerians to reach out to the inmates with donations, especially in the area of feeding. She acknowledged the immense support of her husband, Governor Willie Obiano to the running of the centre.
“It is a thing of joy now that we can manage cases of inmates by offering them immediate attention at this centre, before referral in emergency situation.
“There is no doubt that we have made tremendous progress in caring for the less privileged through CAFE; we will continue to support this facility, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Women Affairs,” she added, while also pleading with men and women of goodwill to lend a helping hand by donating items to help inmates of the home.
On his part, Speaker of Anambra State House Assembly, Uchenna Okafor, who promised that the state legislature would give support to the home, added that the governor’s wife, through her NGO, has set a great example of charity, which would remain indelible in the heart of mankind.
In separate remarks, the member representing Nnewi North in the Anambra State House of Assembly, chairman, House Committee on Gender Affairs, Nonso Okafor, pledged to build a new house for a widow in his constituency, in emulation of the governor’s wife.
Earlier in her address, the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Ndidi Mezue, noted that the centre has witnessed a geometric increase in the number of inmates as a result of constant relocation of mentally challenged persons from the streets by the ministry. She lauded the governor’s wife for using her NGO to cater for hundreds of inmates of the home.
Explaining the essence of the skills acquisition centre, the commissioner noted that the facility was unique as it would offer opportunities to equip indigent women and youths with skills for effective re-integration into the society.
“This centre is a product of visionary leadership; so, we encourage those rehabilitated to learn a skill to contribute to the overall socio-economic development of the state,” she said.
The governor’s wife also used the occasion to officially hand over ten inmates of the Home for the Mentally Challenged, Nteje, to their family members. The 10 inmates, according to Obiano’s wife, had been treated, rehabilitated and certified healthy by the home.
The First Lady added that the ten inmates, four women and six men, including a teenage boy, brought to one hundred and ten persons the total number of inmates, so far treated, rehabilitated and reunited with their different families since the centre was established in 2015.
In their remarks, two of the rehabilitated inmates, Chinyere Egonum and Obiageli Achume, expressed gratitude to CAFE for rehabilitating them.