Sunday Ehigiator writes on the recent move by Sigma Pensions in giving back to the needy at Hikanos Orphanage Home
Sigma Pensions is one of the leading Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) in Nigeria. For over a decade, they have been dedicated to providing exceptional value to stakeholders through the delivery of pension administrative services, and bettering the lives of the people in the community they operate. Hence, the surprise visit to Hikanos Orphanage Home, Ikorodu-Lagos; one of the top 10 most nominated orphanage home by members of the public during a poll, as conducted by Sigma Pensions.
While addressing THISDAY during the visit, Head of Strategy, Sigma Pensions, Adaora Ude, said during the festivities; in commitment to their cooperate social responsibilities, they decided to show love to the motherless, and in doing this, threw the doors open to members of the public to nominate their preferred home to benefit from these visits.
According to Ude, “What we do at Sigma pensions is to try to engage not only our customers but the general public. In giving back to the society, we figured that we should have a campaign and let the public decide on whom they wanted us to show appreciation to in the spirit of Christmas. Therefore, we ran a campaign poll during the Christmas season and surprisingly we got a lot of responses.
“Initially we were anticipating about 100 or 200 responses, but we got 482 nominations. And since we can’t do all of that, we decided just to visit at least two or three orphanages in different geo-political regions i.e. the North, the East etc. So we are going to about 10 orphanages simultaneously this year. We have other of our colleague’s across the country, going to selected orphanages, and restoring hopes to the children because they are the future.
“We weren’t involved in the selection processes at all, we had the general public and our customers nominate the orphanages they thought deserved some kind gestures in this Christmas season and that is all this is all about. So it’s really not about the business as well, we have to show some responsibilities to our environment which we conduct businesses.
“Although, this is our first time of visiting orphanages, but this is not the first time of we giving back to the society. We have other things we do such as visiting the prisons to show love, and hospitals. Like the last time we did this it was a visit to hospitals in the North, to donate some eye equipment to them. Also, did we visit the Nigerian prisons in Maiduguri, by showing love to some of these ex-service men’s widows; we empowered their widows in several measures so they can become independent with a livelihood and be able to provide for their children.
“The essence of this is that, you need to show some responsibility to the environment where you have been doing business, because if not for them, we won’t be here. We didn’t just limit out hand of love to our customers only, but other residents within the community as well.
“Significantly, it is really not about what you give to these children at the orphanage; because, even if you give a dozen bag of rice now, it will still finish someday, hence it is about the thoughts, kind gesture and love we have come to show to them, so they realise that they are not alone, and that there are kind humans out there who would show them love come what may.
“Hence due to this, when they get to position of power, they go with that mindset as well, and extend hands of love to another person. If we don’t show them this kind of kindness, there is no way they can grow up having those kind of mindsets of giving in future, hence this is very important. And we are hoping to continue doing this annually, though it might come in different measure. We might in the next phase decide to show love to the retirees, what matters most is the kind gestures or intentions and love. Hence, we will keep doing this, though on different bases.
“If we would still be visiting orphanages in subsequent years, be rest assured that our target would always be the poorest of the poor orphanages and people who are managing them”.
Speaking on the yardstick of selection, she said aside the number of people that voted in favour of the home, they were also moved by the testimonies and appeal the organisation got from the members of the public, about the home.
According to Ude, “the testimonies we heard of this home which we didn’t knew from Adam’s before coming here; we heard that the people managing this home are so wonderful, despite having so little and in the worst situations, they still try their best to give these children comfort, take care of the children so well and even put them all in school and some other in vocation.
“One of the solicitors told us that the home is in a very far area, it is in an obscure environment, and don’t think anybody gets to them as often as they should, so they actually need our help. Hence, those comments were one of the bases of our selection of this home and all other homes nine homes we enlisted for this visit”.
Speaking with THISDAY, the Manager, Hikanos Orphanage Home, Afolabi Oloyede who could not curtail his excitement, expressed his joy and gratitude for their visit.
According to Oloyede, “I was highly surprised by their visit, I didn’t see it coming. Although, as soon as I realised it was Sigma Pensions, I remembered seeing a post from them during the Christmas season asking people to nominate Orphanage homes they would like them to visit. And I copied the link and sent to some couple of people to help solicit for our home. I didn’t pay too much attention to it anymore as Christmas passed and it seemed we weren’t among the selected. But seeing them now, I am so amazed and grateful to Sigma Pensions and everybody out there who nominated us.
“The home has been in existence for over five years, and we have about 16 children under our care, with 13 of them still in school, and the remaining three on vocational training. The journey has not been easy, but we bless God for his faithfulness.
“And we so believe that by the advent of Sigma Pension’s visit today with its pedigree, I believe this is going to open doors for the home for more volunteers and well-meaning Nigerian to come to our aid, especially with the advantage of social media and the conventional media. I will like to say a very big thank you to Sigma Pensions, May God continually bless and uphold them in their daily endeavours in Jesus Name”, he said.
Also speaking with THISDAY, a social worker at the home, Akinbode Adedayo, equally expressed her surprise, before going on to shower prayers on the pension giant.
According to Adebayo, “it is a big surprise. We never knew we could win. But we are grateful to have Sigma Pensions in our home, for the gifts, and recognition. We thought we were small, and unnoticeable, and didn’t know that so many people knew us. We are grateful to everyone that nominated us. May God bless you all, thank you so much”.