By Gilbert Ekezie
Members of the Rotary Club of Tin Can Island Lagos recently brought smiles to the faces of some widows, as they got N50,000 each to support their families.
While making the donation at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, president of the club, Chief Charles Ezenwanne, explained that even as a businessman, the present economic situation in the country was affecting him seriously, therefore, the case of those with no means of livelihood would be pathetic.
“That was why we at the Tin Can Rotary Club decided to affect the lives of the badly affected widows within our chapter. Obviously, I can do for one person, but through the collective efforts of members, we were able to cater for 20 widows, for now,” he said.
Ezenwanne was optimistic that the money given to the beneficiaries would be a stepping stone to their greatness.
“We investigated very well before we got these widows, bearing in mind that there are many widows needing assistance with funds. I also believe that they will use the money to make a difference in their respective families,” he said, as he urged the beneficiaries to be careful in managing the money.
“There are lots of businesses one can start with that money. The sum of N50,000 is enough money to survive with, provided the person is not careless. So, I pray that God will multiply the money and, from it, they will train their children to become graduates and be gainfully employed to help the family,” he said.
He disclosed that the chapter would embark on more poverty-alleviating projects to help those in need.
“In the next six months, we will give out money to 20 people. And, in two years’ time, we will empower up to 40 widows. This is part of my programme. I went to Special Fraud Unit at Alagbon Close, Lagos, and discovered that 70 per cent of the crimes are committed by the youth. Also, I went to the NDLEA and observed that those locked up in the cells were mostly youths. That is why I initiated a mega project, “Catch Them Young,” the first of its kind in my district.
“We are going to bring the youths from secondary schools in Lagos State and invite the Inspector-General of Police, NDLEA and NAFDAC to sensitise them on the dangers of being involved in drug abuse and crime,” he said.
Ezenwanne also explained that in order to succeed in the plan, his district would write the appropriate bodies for support so as to take the young people out of crime and drug abuse.
“We will bring the European Union, American Embassy, etc. Even when I am out of office as president, I will extend the programme to 36 states and educate youths on the dangers of criminal activities and why they should steer clear.”
According to the club president, the Rotary chapter had started donating 100 sticks to visually-impaired persons, even as the chapter was working on giving 50 wheelchairs to disabled persons.
The Rotary District 9110 Governor for Lagos and Ogun states, Dr. Wale Ogunbadejo, commended the Tin Can Island Chapter for its efforts.
He explained that District Governor had the statutory duty to visit all the 101 clubs under his jurisdiction each year to see how they were operating: “I am very happy that, on getting here today, I could see that the chapter president and his members were very wonderful and have done a lot within six months. I am happy that Chief Ezenwanne has come to revive the club, which had been encountering a lot of issues for some years,” he noted.
Ogunbadejo further stated that rotary club members help, impact and touch lives without considering the challenges or discomfort.
“We are not bothered about how the economy is or what the government policy is. We know that, since we are aware that people are suffering, we use whatever we have to help. We have devoted our lives, time, talents and resources to serve, not looking at the difficulties, but making people happy.”
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Chika Ezuruike, expressed gratitude to the members of Tin Can Island Rotary Club for the gesture.
The petty trader said she would add the money to the little she had saved: “I thank members of Rotary Club for remembering a widow like me. Since my husband died and left five children for me, life has been tough. But God has sent a helper to me and other widows. God will bless all Rotary members and their president. I will use the money to train my children,” she said.