VOLUME 1: JANUARY 2019. NEWSLETTER
GRATEFUL – THE OBI IKENCHUKWU FOUNDATION
One word to sum up the Obi Ikenchukwu Foundation (OIF) in 2018 is GRATEFUL – to God and the people who stood by us. We began the year with almost no support and our request to several institutions/organizations for sponsorship and partnership were turned down or ignored. This however, did not stop us from pushing and fighting for the achievement of our goals which remains promoting the welfare of Orphans, Female Victims of Violence and promoting our indigenous Art & Culture.
The OIF’s first outreach for the year was our community service trip to Makoko Community School on Valentine’s Day, 14th February, 2018, in partnership with Woodhall Capital Foundation (WCF), Edgewood and Dowen Colleges. It was a lovely time with the children of Makoko Community School, as they welcomed us with all enthusiasm and excitement. We addressed the children as well as encouraged them to face their studies so they will be the catalyst for change in their community. Our children from Edgewood and Dowen College, both in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, experienced first-hand how the other side lived and took away life lessons from their visit which is published in the Writers’ Club segment (Children’s Corner), of the 4th edition of our magazine Managing Intolerable Neglect and Domestic Situations – (MINDS). We also fed the whole school in conjunction with our partners WCF, as well as distributed gifts packs amongst all the children. It was indeed a beautiful experience and we have taken the decision to visit indigent communities and orphanages yearly on Valentine’s Day. The Makoko Community School which was in a deplorable state on our last visit has been fully renovated by our partners Woodhall Capital Foundation (WCF). The children can now enjoy learning in a conducive and functional environment.
The OIF, in furtherance of its goals, vigorously pursued its campaign #OffTheStreetIntoTheClassroom which was birthed by the story of Sarah Ibikunle, who lost her life to a bullet of armed robbers whilst hawking on the streets of Lagos on 12th March, 2014 as well as other girls who have suffered same fate of death or rape, violence, theft etc. We successfully got a girl, Evelyn Ofili, off the streets of Agbor, Delta State and into the classroom at Baptist Girls High School where she belongs. Evelyn, age 14, lost her father in 2014 and had to go live with a distant relative to help take the burden off her mother who had to take care of her 3 younger siblings. She was made to hawk sachet water on the streets to provide enough money to pay school fees and at a time had to drop out from school. With the help of the OIF, Evelyn is back in school, has returned to live with her mother and is doing quite well in her studies.
The OIF also awarded its Scholarship for primary school to a young girl, Princess Ndidi, an orphan. Princess is only 5 years old. She lost her mother in 2017 and never knew her father. Her mother’s younger sister, a trainee hairdresser, who is responsible for her care could not send her to school because she could not afford it. Today Princess Ndidi has joined Joseph and Runo at their school and is a healthy, happy and bright child.
2018 was a very special year for the OIF, because it marked the posthumous 80th birthday celebration of HRM, Obi Ikenchukwu I, the Great Monarch of Agbor Kingdom, in whose honour (and his wife’s), the Foundation was established. Our annual event, “Our voice… the change 2018” was held in the Agbor Community Hall in Agbor-Obi, Agbor, Delta State and themed “In Pursuit of Cultural Excellence”. Our keynote speakers at the event included Dr. Newton Jibunoh (Founder, DIDI Museum, FADE Africa and Nelson Mandela Park, Asaba) and Dr. Bruce Onabrakpeya (World Renowned Nigerian Printmaker, Painter and Sculptor). Dr. Onabrakpeya particularly emphasized the necessity to educate, teach and transfer culture to the younger generation in order to ensure that the wisdom, history and values of the people are continuously passed down from one generation to the next which is our goal at the OIF.
The 4th edition of our annual magazine, Managing Intolerable Neglect and Domestic Situations (MINDS), was unveiled at the event and reviewed by Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan (Former Governor, Delta State), Sir Steve Omojafor (MD, STB McCann) and Mrs. Ebele Irabor (Principal Partner, Vita Veritas LLP). The 4th edition of MINDS, themed “Art & Culture” is a special edition dedicated to HRM. Obi Ikenchukwu I of Agbor kingdom. The edition explores Art and its influence in every aspect of life with adults and children contributing their opinion and perspective. Our contributors range from different fields of endeavor such as the legal, sports, business and spiritual field. We introduced a new segment to MINDS, known as the “OIF Word of Wisdom”, which is aimed at spiritually edifying our readers with Pastor Wale Adefarasin, General Overseer, Guiding Light Assembly (GLA), contributing a beautiful piece titled “The Artistry of the Marriage Institution”. Our “Royalty and Culture” segment feature the seven days of the Oseizi Festival and timeless quotes from HRM. Obi Ikenchukwu I and HRM. Keagborekuzi I. In the words of Mrs. Ebele Irabor…“it is a well written and hard to put down publication”. Please visit our office at suite 016, Edo House, Plot 1225, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island or call us on +2348180000923 for your copy of MINDS.
We also held our Annual Christmas party on the 2nd December, 2018 at the Nelson Mandela Park, Asaba, Delta State. Children from Baptist Girls High School, St. Columbus Grammar School and Divine Infants Orphanage were our guests. The children were given a tour of the park by the tour guide and Princess Genevieve Ikenchukwu. They also had fun at the various entertainment machineries set in place. Princess Genevieve Ikenchukwu lost woefully during a do not fall down contest on the trampoline with the agile boys from St. Columbus Grammar School. Dr. Newton Jibunoh joined the party and addressed the children, taking them on an expose of his trips through the Sahara Desert and as well as bolstered and encouraged the children to always aim high in all their endeavors as impossibility is merely a thing of the mind.
Finally, we visited Divine Infants Orphanage, Agbor where we donated packs of indomie noodles, minimee chinchin, spaghetti and groundnut oil (all donated by our wonderful sponsors, Tolaram Group) as well as some money for the children. We were just in time to take pictures with the children before they all left for school. We did not leave Agbor without a visit to our children, Joseph and Runor at their school bearing gifts and it was wonderful to see them doing so well.
We were able to achieve the above by God’s grace despite the disappointments at the beginning of the year. This makes us grateful indeed. We say thank you to Tolaram Group/Foundation, members of the Board of Trustees of the OIF and members of the OIF.
P.S: This year, the OIF shall publish her newsletters quarterly. This is to give better time for research and publish articles touching on her aims and objectives as well as major issues in the world today.