Femi Ogbonnikan in Abeokuta
Poised to touch and improve the lives of the less privileged and indigent students in the society, a non-governmental organisation, Felicia Akanke Foundation, at Olomore, Abeokuta, Ogun state capital, recently, gave scholarships to no fewer than 8 indigent pupils in pursuit of their educational careers at the primary school level.
It also donated food items, ranging from yam tubers, bags of rice, indomie noodles, grinding machines, kegs of groundnut oil, tissue papers, bags of salt, sugar to bag of beans, worth well over N3 million to children homes.
In her welcome address, the Chairperson of the occasion, Mrs. Bola Falore, said the foundation was put together by the children, family friends and relations of the founder, Felicia Akanke Obasa, as part of her belief in philanthropy.
She said the foundation is a continuous one in the sensibility of the founder towards improving the living conditions of the underprivileged and old women in the society.
“Many people are wasting away because of financial challenges. So, the founder appreciated this gesture in giving out in support of the underprivileged children, by giving scholarship to girls in centres and homes.
The scholarships are being given to pupils from primary one to six , depending on their academic and moral behaviour which may be a determinant for benefitting more for their educational pursuit into higher institution of learning.
It is together, that we would succeed by relieving the burden of the underprivileged”, Falore.said.
In his remarks, the son of the founder, Mr. Idowu Obasa, underscored the importance of the foundation which he traced to the belief of his mother in putting smiles on people that come her way.
“We want to celebrate mama before she dies. She is 88 years old now. Mama told us, when she clocked 80, that she wanted to build a structure at Olomore, in Abeokuta. I told her, I didn’t know the place, but she asked me to go and meet the Baale of the community.
Mama told us, her children, to use the building to set up a foundation, rather than her funeral, to care for the needy. While building the foundation, she reached out to orphanages and underprivileged women.
The foundation is not about mama, but something that will be internationally recognised.
“My mother is living a full-filled life. She loves giving out. She likes putting smiles on people’s face”, said Obasa.
Professor Ropo Sekoni in his keynote address, called on other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the philanthropic initiative of the founder to reach out to the underprivileged in the society.
According to him, “a philanthropist uses his sweat and money to uplift the underprivileged. That is the spirit of a free giver, giving free without conditions.
The foundation is a formalisation of what the founder has done all her life.
This is the second edition of the programme of the foundation in a bid to lift people out of poverty. Many people have benefitted immensely from the founder’s generosity from different parts of the country.
“A philanthropist goes out of social conditions of inequalities. People with conscience, real nostalgia, the founder will not be happy if children can’t smile. So, the foundation is mama’s sacrifice. The challenge before us is doing the right thing; make every child smile in his or her community.”