Young and daring at heart, the glamorous founder of the Olori Aderonke Omolola Erinle Foundation, Mrs. Aderonke Erinle, is bent on giving a new lease of life to the elderly in Nigeria, Rebecca Ejifoma reports
Indisputably, the elderly in the society are often neglected and abandoned by many relatives, loved ones, friends as well as the government. They are the least considered in any welfare schemes.
Consequently, many of them – male and female – have suffered emotional and psychological trauma in their world of seemingly solitude. And having exhausted their agility in their youthful days, these senior citizens are left to live miserably rather than being celebrated. Some have been sent to their graveyards as a result of loneliness.
Today, however, there appears a ray of hope for many of them. The story is about to change for the better, especially for the downtrodden and other vulnerable as the Olori Aderonke Omolola Erinle (OAOE) Foundation has perfected plans to change these ugly narratives.
A young and vibrant entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mrs. Aderonke Erinle, is the one steering this wheel worthy of emulation. Reminiscing about her experience she said: “Having watched my late mother, whom I took over from, being there for my grandparents, tending and attending to their daily needs, that became part of me”.
She added that after the death of her grandfather particularly, she adopted the idea of caring for the elderly in her church. “Then I took it into the larger society”.
The not-for-profit organisation, which rides smoothly on the platform to positively affect lives, aims to dispense total care by providing financial assistance and emotional support to the vulnerable and an old people’s home in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
While the world awaits a record setting fundraising ball of her foundation, OAOE, on September 14 at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, she has rolled up her sleeves to make it happen.
“The home will provide a decent and wholesome environment for the vulnerable aged, who need the uttermost care at this stage in their lives,” she enthused.
The OAOE promotes and propagates the need to help, invigorate, and rehabilitate the aged in the country, thus, with a bold vision to touch lives, create change, redefine and dispense hope, this fashion goddess crossed her heart that the foundation would help and grant all forms of support to these vulnerable persons.
In order to have some checks and balances, the UIBEN graduate has set some background checks and conditions to be met before admission can take place.
“Anybody coming into the home will have to pass through the state government. Because we are individuals, we have laws guiding us; hence, we have to respect it,” Erinle said.
For her organisation, they will have enough personnel for the aged, because at that age, between 70 and above, the vulnerable needs to be looked after properly, and under proper supervision.
Noting the vulnerability of the target, Erinle assured Nigerians that OAOE would put measures in place to ensure the aged get the adequate care they deserve.
Since sustainability is key, Erinle, who is a big wig in business management and runs a handful of her businesses, swiftly mentioned that the foundation has opened an old people’s fashion line.
She said: “Our work so far has been self sponsored, with support from few companies and passionate individuals who shares in the vision of the foundation. We are putting measures in place to build a sustainable home that offers value and pulls in the resources to effectively carry out our mission.”
Interestingly, the September event promises to encompass a number of novel programmes around the aged especially the official unveiling of the Adult Care Centre, an old people’s home and a fashion line for the aged which has been created to sustain the foundation.
Call for Partnership
Calling on organisations to partner them she said, “We call prestigious organisations to come and sponsor the foundation at our charity and fund raising ball scheduled to hold on September 14 in Lagos”.
Indeed, the Ogun State indigene noted that the foundation would be working in partnership with the Lagos State Government in ensuring smooth admittance of the aged into the home. The foundation not only caters to the aged but also to vulnerable persons like widows, physically challenged and orphans across the country.
Although not many know the countless balms this philanthropist has dished out, she presses on. Her life is and has always been, most inspiring to the younger generation of Nigerian ladies. Truly, her call remains to cheer humanity, restored dashed hopes and beam a ray of light for others to follow.