By Olasunkanmi Akoni
As residents joined the rest of the world to celebrate Christmas, the Divine birth of Jesus Christ, and in the spirit of the celebration, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative (HOFOWEM), a pet project of the wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode in commemoration of the Christmas Day, last Monday, distributed various gift items to more than 500 children at Massey Children’s Hospital, Lagos and Sought After Children’s Orphanage Home, Langbasa Ajah, in a project tagged: ‘Love at Christmas’.
The children aged between one month and 15 years, got various gift items, that left them feeling happy and included in the yuletide celebration.
Commenting on the gesture, the founder of HOFOWEM, Mrs. Ambode said that it was intended to put smiles on the faces of those children and integrate them into the celebration of Christmas.
She said Christmas was a period to spread love and generate happiness for persons, especially children and less-privileged people, who need assistance to meet some of their needs.
According to her, “What Christmas requires of all of us, is to show love and spread happiness among everyone including children. They are young persons, they need our care and special expression of love to partake in the celebrations.
“Christmas celebrations are not complete when we have not touched these children tenderly. As it were, this is just a token of love for the children from the foundation.”
Speaking further, the Governor’s wife noted that the cardinal philosophy of her foundation was to affect the lives of less-privileged persons, through interventions that bring radical improvement for them.
She said, “What is uppermost on our minds in HOFOWEM, is to uplift the lives of children, women, widows, aged women and challenged youths among others, to ensure happiness and quality life for them”.
She recalled that HOFOWEM had organized various programmes in the past, with the sole objective of putting smiles on the faces of that category of persons, promising that the Foundation would unfold more children and women-friendly programmes in the coming year.
Also speaking, Commissioner for health, Dr. Jide Idris, represented by Dr. Funmilayo Shokunbi, expressed appreciation to the governor’s wife and the foundation, stressing that, the gesture would go a long way in putting smiles on the faces of the children.
According to him, “This noble gesture goes a long way in putting not just smiles on the faces of the children, but also demonstrates your genuine love and care for them”.
He added further, “That you have left the comfort of your home at this period to spend time with these children goes a long way in showing your heart of meekness, kindness and love and there is no better way to express love and integrate the children into the celebration of the yuletide, than this visit”.
Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation, Ms. Oyefunke Adeleke, thanked the founder for graciously approving the project, aimed at providing succor for the children, stressing that HOFOWEM’s agenda was about happiness for the weak and vulnerable.
She hinted that many programmes had been lined up for children and women in the New Year and would be unveiled one after the other.
On behalf of the parents of the children, Mr. Emmanuel Stephen, expressed deep gratitude to the Governor’s wife and the foundation, for what they described as the great act of kindness, praying that God would reward her generously.
He said: “We are full of appreciation to Her Excellency, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode and her foundation, HOFOWEM. She was wonderful on this occasion as she has always been. HOFOWEM is another name for kindness and generosity, Mrs. Ambode has been doing it through this foundation and she has not stopped. We pray that God will continue to bless her and direct her husband, the Governor of the State”.