Since the launch of its 12 Baskets initiative in November 2015, Beyond Usual Care Foundation has raised the bar in its drive to positively impact lives, Ugo Aliogo reports
Since November 2015, when Beyond Usual Care Foundation, a faith-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) launched the ‘12 Baskets’ initiative, a need-based donations collection platform, many less-privileged children, orphans and missionaries now have good reason to smile every month.
The initiative is aimed at inspiring a culture of altruism and benevolence, with a focus on alleviating the suffering of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs), Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), widows and missionaries. To fool-proof the impact of its activities, the foundation built into its operations an accountability framework for both donors and recipients, as it disburses monthly donations to the less-privileged spread across rural Nigeria.
On August 20, the hard work of Beyond Usual Care Foundation was not only acknowledged, but earned it even more work. A group of young professionals, known as the Diplomats, donated relief materials to support the NGO’s novel approach to philanthropy and social development. Those that benefitted from the gesture include Home of God’s Grace Orphanage, Ikorodu, Lagos State; Arrows of God Orphanage, Ajah, Lagos State; Sought After Women and Children Foundation, Ajah, Lagos State; RACO Rural Child Orphanage, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos State; Springs of Life Global Missions, Ogun State; God’s Own Evangelistic Discipleship Ministry, Taraba State: Our Daily Needs Ministry, Plateau State, and Go International, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, among others.
However, according to Beyond Usual Care Foundation, there is still much to be done, as there is a need for sponsorships/scholarships for the orphans, especially those in higher institutions, medical aid for the homes, as well as opportunities for mentorship and volunteering. The foundation appealed for the donation of food items, educational materials, clothing, footwear, toys, bags, bedding materials, cooking utensils, toiletries and others in order to bring succour to the less-privileged.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of the foundation, Miss. Majiri Oniko, explained that the foundation, through the donation collection platform, provides year-long support for underprivileged groups such as orphans, widows, missionaries and IDPs in remote areas of the country. She said that the groups needed adequate attention and support to rekindle their hope for a better future.
“The platform is expected to provide consistent support for the underprivileged on a monthly basis. We have observed that after these persons receive support during festive periods, in a matter of weeks, the supplies run dry. We set up this platform to ensure that they get something every month. Every third Saturday in a month, we gather at the Astro Turf to receive gifts and donations from the public,” she noted.
The foundation currently works with 17 needy groups to receive food, clothes, shoes, toiletries and others to redistribute to persons on its network, with the motivation that its efforts would provide support to these destitute.
Oniko said: “We have gotten success stories as feedback from the groups on our network. The recipients are happy with the donations and the gifts they have received under the 12 Basket initiative. We are clearly achieving the objectives of the platform and we also know that our partners will keep increasing. We hope we attract more donor support from corporate organisations and individuals.”
Noting that the platform was working to improve awareness of its efforts and the impact it has had on society, she said, “We want people to know that such a platform exist. So we hope that they look around their houses to give out things they think would be of benefit to the less privileged because there will be someone somewhere in need of what they will be giving.”
She expressed readiness to partner with the federal government to provide special aids and support for the poor in the country, urging the government to provide a special purpose vehicle that would help NGOs reach out to the less-privileged.
“The government cannot be everywhere at the same time. It is organisations like ours with that supported with grants from the government that can fill the gap. They can also create a platform to make us accountable for whatever is entrusted into our care and I am sure that most groups like us will be interested in keying into this,” she added.
The spokesperson of the donor organisation, The Diplomats, Mr. Idris Mustapha, said the group partnered with the foundation to leave an indelible mark on society, especially by helping the down-trodden.
“The 12 Baskets initiative is structured to use 12 orphanages to give donations to the underprivileged. We have contributed our quota to the initiative,” he said.
He explained that there is a need for people to show love to another one, noting that it was unfortunate that people are more concerned about themselves than others.
He added, “We are trying to show and encourage people. Nigerians should know that they do not have to wait till they have so much before they can give, especially during this trying times.”
A volunteer partner with one of the orphanages, God’s Own Evangelistic Discipleship Ministry, Mr. Stephen Onyenehido, expressed delight at the gesture, stating that the donations would go a long way to support people who may have lost hope in life.
“I am most delighted that things like this still happen in this part of the world. Today has been worth it because 12 Baskets initiative has given us the opportunity to interface with other orphanages on the way forward,” he said.