In continuance of its annual programme tagged “Giving Back”, a charity event aimed at reaching out to the less privileged in the society, V14 Ventures recently brought hope to pregnant women as well as nursing mothers who have found it difficult to cater for themselves during pregnancies and after having their babies.
Tagged, “Giving Back by V14 (5) for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers”, it was the 5th edition of the annual event and this time, it was targeted at women in the Jakande Housing Estate, Ilasan, Lekki, Lagos who have been regular visitors to St. Kitzto Clinic, a private primary healthcare centre in Jakande, but have found it difficult to pay the bills for their anti-natal and post-natal hospital services as well as cater for their children after births.
The Chief Executive Officer of 14 Ventures, Mrs. Valentina Hynes said the annual “Giving Back” event is a Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) outreach of the company where it reaches out to the needy every year through lectures and reaching out to the needy. “We carry out this exercise every June 16th and we chose a community that we have identified that needs our help”, Hynes noted. She recalled that the last edition was held at the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted while this year she chose to reach out to pregnant and nursing mothers at St. Kitzto Clinic.
Explaining why she had focused on pregnant and nursing mothers, she said, “I’m a new mother and when I was pregnant, I knew that I could pay my hospital bills during my anti-natal and afterwards, but even then, there were some hospitals that were way beyond me but above that, it was a very hard period for me because I was selective of what I ate and there were times I didn’t just feel like doing anything but just sit or sleep and so I had to think about people who didn’t have the same privileges that I had – people who were forced to go out every day, people who had to give birth in their houses and not in hospital without anyone helping them because they lacked the of fund to pay hospital bills.
And when I had my baby, I asked myself how this little one would be protected if something happened to me tomorrow, how do I protect my child? And that is what a lot of women go through too. And so, I decided this year to focus on pregnant and nursing mothers. So we came to St. Kitzto Clinic and told them what we wanted to do. They were glad to have us and even went further to tell us that sometimes they have people who come to the hospital but cannot afford to pay their bills”, she said.
During the reach out event, V14 Venture paid for the baby delivery of two women and also for the Typhoid Fever immunisation of a couple of kids.
Also, items like diapers, clothes for babies and adults, creams, powder, food items, baby crib, swing, walker amongst other items, were also given to the women and children. There were also talks on investment strategies and options from Commercial Partners, PiggyBank.ng and Post-Natal Depression by one of St. Kizito’s midwives.
Tania Tahouf of Commercial Partners Limited, a financial services company, gave talk on the need for the women to develop saving culture so that when their children grow up, they won’t have to struggling to pay school fees and house rents but will have something to fall back to. The talk also extended to how mothers should not just stop at learning to save themselves but should also teach their children how to save and invest their money. “From the little money they get from aunties and uncles, they can set a little aside and when it’s up to #5,000, they can go to any of the stockbrokers or banks to save or invest”, she noted.
Joshua Chibueze of PiggyBank.ng who also advised the nursing and expectant mothers on the benefits of saving for themselves, explained that although it was very difficult to develop a saving culture for many, PiggyBank.ng has structured things in a way that it is now very easy to save in that one can now start a savings with as little as #50 every day, adding, “We are trying to encourage them to start with what they have, no matter how little it is. You don’t have to wait until you have #5,000 or #10,000 to start saving. With PiggyBank.ng you can save as little as 50 every day.”
The funder, Rising Up from the Ashes (RUFTA) Initiative, Olabisi Usidame, who said her organisation focuses on getting women back on their feet, especially if they have had very difficult experiences in the past or they are trying to come out of a particular situation, said she had decided to be part of V14 Venture’s programme because it represent part of RUFTA’s vision which is to reach out to women who are in need and needs a bit of support to get on their feet.
“We all know how the economy is now, so we cannot continue to just keep having so many children without having a solid means of taking care of them. We want to make these women realise that being a woman is not just about giving birth to children and leaving them all alone but it is about putting value into these children so that they can be of use to the society in future. We want them to realise that life goes beyond having children and sitting at home, you can also even support your husband by making use your hand to do something that will generate money for your family”, Usidame said.