By Chesa Chesa
The oldest orphanage in Nigeria’s Southeast region Ngwa Road Motherless Babies’ Home, Abia State, has restated its commitment to giving second chances to abandoned children in the society.
The Secretary of the Home, Barrister Reginald Nwobbi, reiterated this objective at a recent event to celebrate the selfless life of the nonagenarian founder of the Home – Madam Joyrita Onyekwere Nwobbi.
The Home’s foundation stone was laid on the 7th of May 1965 by Chief Mrs. Adanma Okpara – wife of then Premier of the Eastern Region, Michael Okpara, making it the first orphanage in the entire South Eastern Nigeria.
Barrister Nwobbi said that the greatest desire of “Mama” as the founder is fondly called, is that no abandoned child is turned away from the safety of the Home.
He said that despite several challenges the Home had faced, there was no other choice than to keep going, noting that organizations like this are playing a very significant roles in curbing crime in the society.
Calling on well-meaning Nigerians to keep the dream of Mama Joyrita alive, he stated that “the vision has evolved beyond what can be managed in-house, so we need support because every child deserves a fair chance in life.”
On the choice of the name, he explained that “the name evokes a lot of nostalgic feeling” as she recounted the days of the Nigerian Civil War; recalling that “it was the toughest season of our lives but we survived.
“There were about 15 babies in the Home when the war broke out, and determined not to let go of any of them, Mama reached out to friends of the Home for help.
“While bombs rained on Aba, the United Nations sent a 911 truck which ferried the children, including Mama’s family, away from its initial location, until the situation became calmer and the Home found a new beginning at Ngwa Road.”
The Home, initially registered under the old Companies Act of 1968, is now duly registered as an Incorporated Trustee under Part C of the Companies and Allied Act of 1990.
Trustees of the orphanage recently kicked off a digital campaign to make the Home more visible, a move necessitated by the disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic which has forced several organizations to think out-of-the-box in order to continue rendering public service.