The O.B. Lulu Briggs Foundation on Monday began to distribute 5,000 bags of rice and 5,000 bottles of 500ml hand sanitizers to communities in Rivers State. This is the first phase of its intervention to help mitigate the challenges being experienced by vulnerable families as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chiefs and elders of Abonnema, Obonoma and Buguma on Monday received the food and personal hygiene items for their communities.
In her statement, Mrs Ineba Tongkam, the Foundation’s Program Coordinator, explained that the items are to be distributed to the elderly and vulnerable. She said, “On behalf of Dr Mrs Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs, the Chairman and the board of the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation, I want to express our gratitude to the leadership shown by the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency Nyesom Wike, in leading our State in the global fight against coronavirus and ensuring that the health and well-being of our people are protected.”
“It’s not an easy time for families, especially those whose livelihoods and food security were already at risk before various policies were put in place to stem the transmission of COVID-19 both in Nigeria and Rivers State. In addition to distributing 5,000 bags of rice, we are also donating 5,000 bottles of 500ml hand sanitizers to stop the spread of the virus.”
Mrs. Tongkam explained that this initial donation would, in the coming days, be extended to the Police, the Army, Port Harcourt and Degema Prisons, as well as essential sanitation staff who keep public areas clean. According to her, the benefitting communities in this first phase are: Abonnema, Buguma, Obonoma, Krakrama, Okpo, Ilelema, Bakana, Harry’s Town and Degema. She said later in the week, the next phase in partnership with UNICEF which will touch 5 communities in each of the State’s 23 local government areas would be announced.
Dr. Guy Marie Yogo, UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office, Rivers State, said that UNICEF was aware that many people were going through a lot of pain on account of COVID19 due to pervading poverty and that it was the reason UNICEF was partnering the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation. Stating that the aim is to foster a transformative partnership that would change people’s lives. “We are fortunate that the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation is one of the credible partners of UNICEF. The initiative being taken by the O. B. Lulu-Briggs Foundation is a very welcome initiative that UNICEF supports with its value and credibility to make a difference in communities and in the lives of people,” he said.
In Buguma, Chief C.P.D Amachree, flanked by other Chiefs and elders thanked the Foundation for the love and care it has always demonstrated towards the Kalabari people and the entire people of Rivers State. In Abonnema, Most Senior Apostle General Iwowari Black Duke, said, “We are very glad that our mother Seinye O. B. Lulu-Briggs has made the community to rejoice. We are very happy.”
Established 18 years ago to honor and institutionalize the prolific giving of the late revered statesman and philanthropist, High Chief (Dr) O.B. Lulu-Briggs, the Foundation carries out interventions that have an immediate positive impact in the quality of the lives and livelihoods of those in absolute need through five programmes, Care for Life; Free Medical Missions; Access to Clean Water and Sanitation; Education and Scholarships, and Microcredit and Entrepreneurship.
Dr. Mrs. Seinye Lulu-Briggs, the Foundation’s Chairman, gave the assurance that as a responsible corporate citizen, the Foundation will continue to promote public good. She thanked UNICEF for its partnership at this time of extreme global adversity and hailed health workers and caregivers at the frontlines of the pandemic for their sacrifices and dedication. Dr. Mrs. Lulu-Briggs also called for greater understanding from the general public in upholding health and safety advisories that are in place to promote their wellbeing.