By Dennis Agbo, Abakaliki
ALL that is not given is lostâ€ is the guiding principle that seems to propel Sunshine For The Less- Privileged Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, NGO, that has taken it upon itself to cater, as much as it can, for the needy in Nigeria.
The organisation said it has in the past two years donated essential materials like clothing, food and other items that it identifies as priority for any particular community of the less-privileged it takes upon. In Enugu, for instance, the Foundation last year distributed clothes worth thousands of Naira to over two thousand less- privileged children living at Umuezebi, a cluster suburb in New Haven, Enugu. It did the same in Isukwato, Abia State and also at Amowu-Odofin in Lagos State.
Chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Sunshine Onyekwere said his driving force originated from his poor background, growing up in the artisan quarters of the Coal City when he was denied the essentials of life, but that by the grace of God, his condition improved tremendously.
Onyekwere therefore reasons that since he has been blessed by God, his Foundation is to alleviate poverty among the less-privileged by identifying with them, giving them what they lack in other to add values to their lives. He said the Foundation is open to everybody as members who pool resources together to touch the heart of the needy by giving them what they donâ€™t have so that they donâ€™t feel left alone.
He said that the Foundation has concluded plans to enroll a less- privileged eight-year-old deaf and dumb boy into a special school just like arrangement is in top gear with Nigeria musicians like Tu face Idibia, J-Martins, among others, to hold shows in Enugu, Lagos and Abuja for the purposes of raising money to execute further projects for the less-privileged.
Onyekwere, who informed that the organisation is two years old, has participated in many capacity building conferences and workshops and was recently invited by the European Union based on its high impression of the NGO. He said that the organisation uses questionaires to ascertain the needs of a particular people before giving them charity.
â€œWe are looking at a situation where in some years to come the country will have people who can speak out for themselves and are empowered. We actually believe that there are things you can do which we cannot do or the other way round but together we can achieve these things. Our passion is to add value to peopleâ€™s lives. We have come to score goals in the lives of the less-privileged. Not that we have so much money but we want to show care to the people we are better off,â€ said Onyekwere.
The organisation said it is most concerned about bridging the wide gap between the rich and the poor, adding that it wants to create psychological impression on children which will sustain their hopes for the future.
â€œThe clothes are valuable possession and for now we are focusing on crisis points like the children of the ghettoes where we conduct needs assessment to ascertain what a particular community wants. We have tall dreams but we have just started. We are telling the less-privileged that they are not left alone because from the feasibility study we carried out, most of them believe that they have been left alone.â€
The organisation has commenced aggressive membership drive, whereby anybody who identifies with the less-privileged by donating a minimum amount of N50 stands a chance of either travelling with the Foundation to Dubai for a seminar or win air conditioners or refrigerators in a raffle draw.Â Onyekwere said the idea is to induce people to show love and care to the less-privileged.
He said that when he was first taken to the remote part of Amowu-Odofin, he shed tears and decided to revisit the area where the Foundation shared food stuff and gave free education to one person. He laments that the less- privileged in those ghettoes do not feel the pulse of the country and desire help. At Amaba in Isukwuato Local Government Area of Abia State, the Foundation gave a lot of similar materials to a Methodist Church in the area.
Onyekwere said membership of the club comes with passion, and open to people who have the fire and believe that the needy desire help. â€œWe donâ€™t need people just because they are people or because they have money.
The less-privileged people are crying, they need help and telling them that you belong to them is enough to console them,â€ he said.