From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
A Non-governmental Organisation (NGO), Widows and Orphans Empowerment Organisation (WEWE) in Rivers State said it currently caters for the well-being of over 80,000 Widows, Orphans, and vulnerable children in the State.
Also included in this number are women and children living with HIV/AIDS, as well as widowers and widows.
Speaking at the presentation of palliatives to members of 18 families drawn from 17 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the State, the Team Lead of WEWE, Everistus Aneke, said it is part of the Organisation’s commitment to better the lives of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVCs) in the State.
Other areas of focus, according to Mr Aneke, include ensuring that identified persons living with HIV/AIDS adhere consistently to taking their medications by providing the enabling environment and also embarking on houes-to-house based care of identified families and persons.
“We try to make sure that we support the business of the household.
“This is very key because we believe that once we support the business the household is involved in, they might not need external support to go to the hospital to ascertain that they’re okay”, he said.
He continued that the NGO also supports people who have lost hope of living, by offsetting their hospital bills, “to make sure that anything concerning them in the hospital, we clear the debts”.
He explained further that the Organisation “try to make sure that psychosocially, these children are sound.
“We engage them in some recreational activities, … The adulescent ones, we engage them in youth clubs where they learn the skills to better manage their lives.
“In education, we support their children. We return children back to school, especially the adulescent girls, transiting them from primary to secondary school”, he said.
Speaking on the distribution of the palliatives, the Desk Officer OVC, Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Mr Mene Ollage, expressed delight over the gesture of WEWE.
“One of the things you see here today is to achieve the goal of WEWE. The palliatives you see given to the OVC here present is to provide support for feeding, especially those malnourished children”, he said.
On her part, the Director, Programmes Coordination, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA), Obilor Emilia, noted that the distribution of the palliatives is timely, especially in this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, her happiness is in the fact that members of the NGO did not divert the palliatives for their personal use, “but took it to the OVC that really need it, especially in this era of COVID-19 pandemic”.
Also speaking, one of the beneficiaries, Madam Julie Ogah, expressed happiness, thanking WEWE for supporting her grand son through his education and daily sustenance after the death of his parents.
“If WEWE had not come to my aid I wouldn’t have been able to cater for my grand son’s welfare and educational needs”, she said.
Some of the palliatives presented include, Rice, Action meal for immune boaster, groundnut oils, packs of bottle mineral , cartons of biscuits, others.