While many had the choice of celebrating the yuletide with friends and family, displaced persons in various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, had no such luxuries.
At New Kuchigoro IDP Camp, Abuja, many of them looked subdued and forlorn. Some wore tattered cloths alongside their children and moved sluggishly around the camp. However, the coming of some good-spirited
individuals and bodies brought smiles to many of them.
One of such organisations that visited the camp was Evergreen Initiative for Empowerment and Constructive Development, a an NGO based in Abuja.
In Abuja, alone there are over 10,000 IDPs, about 50 per cent of them are children. In the camps, they have no
proper food, water or healthcare. Life is very tough for them.
The residents of the camp did not hide their happiness as they sang, danced, ate and drank to their satisfaction last Christmas.
In line with its mandate of good faith and commitment to the parallel growth of Nigeria, Evergreen Initiative for Empowerment and constructive development, based in Abuja, put together a project to celebrate the festive season for the less privileged and vulnerable children.
In collaboration with some partner organisations and sponsors from the public, the venture titled “The Christmas 1,000 Project,” was aimed at feeding 1,000 less privileged and vulnerable children, providing free medical checkups/sensitisation alongside creating awareness about the struggles of the children and urging the public to pay more attention to them.
The project was carried out in two phases. The first was launched on December 25, 2018, with a community outreach to the New Kuchigoro IDP Camp.
It was a successful and fulfilling experience as the youngsters were able to gather enough resources to feed over 500 people in the community and organise a Christmas party within the community.
The second phase held on January 1, 2019, with the sole aim of making New Year’s Day in the community of internally displaced persons joyous and to spread happiness and bolster the spirit of continuous enthusiasm
among the beneficiaries.
The project ensured the feeding of another 500 people and was facilitated through donations from the public and with the help of several volunteers and members of the NGO.
According to a volunteer, John Fabunmi, “doing this sort of selfless work makes me genuinely happy because the way the country is at the moment, it is really hard to imagine that these category of people do not have access to the basic necessities of life that we take for granted, talk more of celebrating Christmas and new year.”
One of the beneficiaries, Macaulay Desmond, aged 12, said, “We are happy that Evergreen always comes to help
us even when we don’t give them anything. They also came to teach us during the summer school and are always checking on us. We pray God will bless them.”
The founders of the initiative, Alli-Bob Cinwon and Abbas Oroh, explained that the project was one of many that they usually implemented in line with the organisation’s mandate as the core interests of the NGO were: youth empowerment, leadership, governance and human capital development.