Bimbo Akosile

The Lagos State Children’s Centre, an obscure orphanage home located in the heart of Idi-Araba area of Lagos State, was recently aroused from its slumber on February 13, Valentine’s eve.

Indeed, the purpose-built orphanage housing over 300 children wore a radiant and festive look as the employees of Oando Marketing Plc, a subsidiary of Oando Plc, Africa’s largest indigenous energy solutions providers, came visiting on a corporate philanthropy mission.

Although, the children of the orphanage were no strangers to corporate visitations, the visit by the over 50 employees of Oando, was remarkable. Unlike others before it, the team led by the amiable Chief Operating Officer of the oil marketing giant, Mrs. Olaposi Williams prepared to felicitate with the children in the spirit of the Valentine season.

Although the august visitors came a day ahead of St. Valentine day, they nonetheless made the children at the orphanage happy, with their collective gesture and expression of humanity.

The children, who perhaps may not often receive such display of affection, were all gaily attired, radiating joy in the specially-made Ankara uniform that added colour and grandeur to the day’s celebration.

Not only that, the care givers of the home were also beautifully attired as they worn smiles on their faces to show how grateful they were for the Oando gesture. The festive mood was infectious as the school premises took on the characteristic Oando brand colours of white, red and blue. Protective canopies were erected to shield the children from the scorching heat as the event took different swings.

It was glamour and fun as the children were engaged in dancing competitions, quiz and several other games. The children were entertained and thrilled with rib-cracking jokes and riddles. It was indeed a day to remember as the children actively participated in general dancing session with all members of Oando Marketing team for over one hour.

Speaking at the occasion shortly after a rigorous jig on the dance floor, the Chief Operating Officer said her company was motivated to embark on the celebration with the Home as part of corporate philanthropy.

“It is in the spirit of corporate giving, which is just a slice of a bigger corporate social responsibility initiative, that we are leveraging during this season of giving brought on by Valentine – the season of Love,” she remarked.

Commenting on the choice of the orphanage, Williams said the Children’s Centre was less well-known than other popular ones around in the state, but observed that yet it was in need of support.

Before this initiative, O-Gas has embarked on other CSR projects like the Our O-Gas Switch Campaign and the NYSC cooking competition. Williams said: “Our O-Gas Switch campaign is a corporate social responsibility initiative which enables us to provide burners and cylinders to those who currently used naked flames powered by dirty fuels to cook.”

Noting that O-Gas will continue to initiate corporate social responsibility on every Valentine Day, the Chief Operating Officer said the exercise would in future be spread to other parts of the country.
While the care-givers of the home were presented with gas burners and giant O-Gas Cylinders, the children were given gift items and other mementoes.

The company has also pledged to continue to follow up on the programme and progress of the home so that the home will not be alienated from the general public.