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Giving hope to rural dwellers

Posted: Apr 7, 2015 at 5:04 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chinyere Abiaziem  / Reporter, Lagos


It is generally believed that rural and suburb area dwellers live at the lowest rung of the ladder as far as development, provision of social amenities, quality health care facilities, an d financial empowerment are concerned.

A cross-section of women and children at the event

A cross-section of women and children at the event

This is because daily sustenance is often left to chance as they have less hope for what the day has in store for them.

According to some charity organisations and individuals, the diverse calls put through to the various governments to come to their aid seemed to have fallen on “deaf ears” and as such, little or no help is rendered in fighting the scourge of poverty, which has visibly become their companion.

Nevertheless, benevolent-spirited folks in recent times have waded into the situation in their own way to alleviate the sufferings of these people.

One of such individuals who have risen to alleviate the plight of rural dwellers is Princess Ngozi Oluwagbemiga, Founder and coordinator of Charity Mission Empowerment Foundation (CMEF), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Ojodu area of Lagos.

Princess Ngozi Oluwagbemiga

Princess Ngozi Oluwagbemiga

Growing up for this evangelist was unpleasant that she had to resort to begging most times to survive. With this she knew how it feels to be without food, shelter nor clothes. Driven by passion, care and love for humanity, she said that her singular source of joy is giving hope to the less privileged and leaving smiles on their faces.

With CMEF, Oluwagbemiga is targeting the less-privileged and the physically challenged. For 15 years, she has traversed rural communities providing medicals, skills training opportunities, counseling, and sometimes, financial assistance. CMEF has delivered drugs; conducted various kinds of tests – Diabetes, PVC, temperature, blood pressure; including free eye glasses, trained, donated mobility aids and assorted food items estimated in several hundreds of thousands of naira across villages and in states like Imo, Ogun, Lagos, Anambra, Ondo, Osun and Rivers in Nigeria, and four countries in Africa – Niger Republic, Ghana, Benin Republic and Togo, with additional locations in view.

Despite the challenge of absence of adequate funding to meet up with the ever increasing number of communities in need of love and care, her pure devotion to adding value to life, has seen her sustain her dreams.

“My growing up was rough; very rough and it makes me uncomfortable seeing someone going through challenges. I would readily sacrifice anything to put a smile on the face of the man next door.

“The inability to have food on the table is not the only need in life. There are other needs such as medicals, housing, skills acquisition and moral, and at CMEF, we are primed to meeting these needs where possible anywhere in Nigeria and in the African continent,” princess Oluwagbemiga said.

However, she bemoaned the nonchalant disposition of privileged individuals to the sufferings of the less privileged, hence stressing the need for the need for the gaps to be bridged.

As she stated; “We live in a world where wealth is hugely concentrated in the hands of a few privileged individuals, who more often than not cocoon themselves, while many suffer untold poverty and deprivation.

“We must begin to see the need for the rich and governments at all levels to close the gap between the rich and the poor in the world today, especially in Africa.”

Beyond free medical services, Oluwagbemiga revealed that CMEF has also trained auxiliary nurses, members of the police, bankrolled several surgeries for the needy, as well as given out mobility aids for the physically challenged in the society adding also that there is a plan to run a mobile clinic in order to avail everyone CMEF services.

Recently the dwellers of Igbaga village, Adamo, a backstreet community located on the outskirt of Ikorodu Local Government Council, benefitted in getting free eye screening and eye glasses, of which some testified to at a seminar organized by CMEF.

Lauding the efforts and the relevance of nongovernmental organizations, Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, Online Editor of The Nation Newspaper, at the seminar also encouraged the wealthy in the society not to turn their backs on the poor.

“It is high time the wealthy and by extension, government understood that the happy life does not consist of how much an individual or government has, but how well the people live. That is the totality of well-doing; this is why groups that aim at making life better for people like CMEF should be encouraged.””

Also speaking at the seminar, Rev. Dr Bukola Oluwagbemiga, the General Overseer of FGPC and husband to Princess, described CMEF as God’s own project. “CMEF has been a road map to liberating the poor and less-privileged in Nigeria and Africa from the shackles of poverty through skills acquisition, counseling and general empowerment.”

He noted that with the increasing number of the poor and less-privileged in the world following incidences of war and famine, duty calls on everyone to stand up and be counted for good works. “CMEF is a product of passion and love for humanity and I urge everyone to play a part, even as I commend those already running with the dream,” Bukola stated.

In an interview, Mrs. Helen Oghuma, a Board member and partner of CMEF, told Daily Independent, that she identified with the group after she was convinced that the Oluwagbemigas desperately wanted to positively touch people’s lives.

“I could not but share in the vision after I saw that those behind it had genuine feelings for the needy,” she said, and urged well-meaning Nigerians to join in the task of adding value to people in need anywhere in Nigeria and Africa,” she uttered.

In addition, Rev. (Dr) Patrick Anidi, CMEF Board Chairman and Chief Consultant, Response and Strategic Marketing Limited, Ikeja, expressed that with the combined efforts of individuals and the government, poverty can be reduced to the barest level.

His words;“I am strongly persuaded that with a purpose-driven programme for the less-privileged and an assertive action by both wealthy individuals and government, we can do well in tackling poverty though not totally, but reasonably.