Deputy Vice Chairman of Famfa Oil Ltd and foremost philanthropist Mrs Folorunso Alakija has expressed delight at The Sun Humanitarian Service 2018 award, which she won, saying she is humbled by the recognition.
Speaking while receiving a delegation from The Sun Publishing Limited, led by Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Eric Osagie, in Lagos, Alakija said: “I thank you for finding time to be here and recognising that there are some people who are making moves, trying to make a difference. I like to say that I’m humbled by the invitation to receive this award and that is why it’s weighty in my heart that I can’t say no.”
Alakija, who has used her Rose of Sharon Foundation to touch the lives of many widows and orphans, expressed gratitude to The Sun for the award, saying: “I do consider it a privilege. All things the Managing Director has listed as the criteria for the award are things that one has been doing from the heart and has been doing with the fear of God in one’s heart also, in obedience to the word of God.”
She explained the numbers of widows and orphans who benefit from her foundation were changing rapidly, empahsising: “We will be empowering lots more of orphans and widows before the month ends. We have just appointed coordinators and representatives in the remaining five geographical zones of Nigeria.”
The philanthropist called on well-meaning Nigerians to reach out to the less privileged in the society, saying when God blesses individuals, He expects them to also provide for others.
“God is not going to come down from where he is to do it. He’s going to send people like you and I to carry out what he wants done to be able to answer the quest of the other ones that are calling unto him. If we can be our brother’s keepers in whatever way we can and at which other level we are at, I believe the whole world will be a better place to live in.”
She said what The Sun is doing was part of it, by “encouraging those who are doing it so that more people can do it. If we are all doing our bits in whichever area we are, it will make a huge difference in the society.”
Earlier, before presenting the letter to Mrs. Alakija, Osagie said she was chosen in recognition for her numerous contributions to the uplift of the widows and orphans.
The Sun MD said: “You have made a mark as a caregiver than the conventional businessperson who is out primarily to make profit from any venture. With you foundation, the Rose of Sharon Foundation, you have helped widows and orphans through scholarships and business grants.”
On what exactly Alakija has done, he said: “Through your foundation’s youth empowerment scheme, hundreds of youths have been trained to enable them to become part of the country’s working class. Your foundation also sponsored several educational, mentorship and skills acquisition programmes for the widows. In this regard, hundreds of widows have been empowered, with some of them in university. Also, you have awarded scholarships to 1,366 widow’s children and 72 orphans.
“It must be noted that loans your foundation gives to widows are interest-free and the scholarships have no conditions attached. You have also provided accommodation for residential/ business purposes for widows.”
He said The Sun Humanitarian Service Award “is bestowed annually on that person who has touched the lives of the less privileged and down-trodden through philanthropic acts and therefore inspired hope for a better Nigeria.”
Osagie invited Alakija to The Sun Awards ceremony holding on January 25, 2019 at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.