â€¢ Marks 20th anniversary of Rochas Foundation
By Amby Uneze in Owerri
Imo State Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has declared that he remains a wealthy man as long as he continues to give to the poor.
He made this revelation at the weekend when he marked the 20th anniversary of Rochas Foundation in Owerri, Imo State capital.
Okorocha stated that giving, especially to the less-privileged, has made him rich instead of making him poor, adding that the more he gives, the more he gets.
â€œLet me make a confession. Giving has not made me poor. Giving has rather made me rich. So I stand bold to say today that I am a wealthy man. And let no one envy me because you may be envying the God that created me. The more I give, the more I get and no one can stop me from giving. And I have transferred the spirit of giving to my children. First, to my wife who has never stopped building houses for indigent widows and has built over 270 houses to that effect,â€ he said.
According to the governor, â€œ20 years ago, no one would believe that these thousands of children would have been the beneficiaries of this foundation. Most of you do not know what propelled me into doing this. It is a contractual agreement which I signed with my creator out of the hardship and difficulties of life that I went through. In the course of prayers, I told God Almighty that in any way He blessed me, I will bless others and in any way you give me, I will share with those who do not have. That was my submission to God Almighty.â€
Okorocha who expressed excitement, chorused: â€œToday, crazy as I am, in my ideas and thoughts, I have extended Rochas Foundation to Africa. Iâ€™m in a hurry because I will not live in this world forever. I could be in pain when I must have passed through this world and still having a lot of children of Africa not educated because opportunity is not provided for them. I will not sleep well neither will I depart this world until every child in Africa finds a classroom to go into.
â€œAs I do this, I have only managed to take about 17,000 children. We enroll about 1,000 children yearly, but that is not enough, itâ€™s like a drop of water in the ocean. So, this day is not just a celebration, it is a wakeup call on all government officials and all those in any form of power or authority and those who have been given privilege of life of wealth to help those who do not have.
â€œI donâ€™t know the economic problem we suffer today or the HIV or the cancer we go through today or the Ebola of yesterday; I donâ€™t know who will find the solution. It might be that rejected and dejected child in the village whose parents are no longer alive. Let every child be given a chance to go to school. Today is a clarion call for volunteerism, and I want to request all the ambassadors to please sign up as volunteers. Identify a child anywhere in Africa and create opportunity for Rochas Foundation to meet with the child. We might not put him in our schools, but we may plead with others schools to accept them. We want to become the bridge between the haves and the havenâ€™ts. If only education will be made free, Africa would be a better society.â€
The governor, while appreciating his contributions to the society, stated: â€œThe biggest problem of Africa is not hunger, it is illiteracy. So, join me today as I launch Rochas Foundation vision 2050 to take one million African children especially those who have no food to eat and give them education. If it could be done in 2030, we could have made an attempt in solving Africaâ€™s biggest problem.â€
Six ambassadors of United Nations who attended the event were Australian High Commissioner, Ambassador Paul Lehmann; Pakistan High Commissioner, Asim Ali Khan; South-Sudan High Commissioner, Paul .M. Akaro; Gambia High Commissioner, Amadron Sherkh Oumar; Guinea High Commissioner, Gaousson Toure, and Liberia High Commissioner, Prof. Alhassan Conte.