Episode 5 of popular reality TV programme, Airtel Touching Lives, was recently showcased on national and cable TV. The episode showed the story of Godspower, an eight-year-old HIV positive boy from Rivers State, who had lost his parents to the devastating illness and left to the care of his struggling grandmother, Mary Pinwa.
Godspower was only six months old when his mother died from HIV/AIDS and his father died shortly after, leaving him orphaned at a really young age. His grandmother who does menial jobs could barely provide for his nutritional and medical needs, causing the boy to be malnourished and visibly emaciated.
His educational needs also suffered as financial support for his school fees was not forthcoming, causing him to miss school on several occasions.
The story of Godspower caught the attention of Airtel after a public health worker, Evelyn Tabu, discovered him and took interest in his heart-rending story.
Evelyn found out Godspower’s family was in desperate need of assistance as his anti-retroviral drugs were in short supply owing to financial constraints, leaving the boy’s health in decline as his immune system gradually deteriorated. She soon nominated his family for Airtel Touching Lives after hearing about the programme, giving them a glimmer of hope.
The episode documented the family’s embittering story and how Airtel aims to intervene and support them to give Godspower a chance at a new healthy life.
Episode 4 of the award-winning programme, which aired last week focused on the story of Methodist Central Primary School in Akwa-Ibom State, which had been in dilapidating conditions for several decades, with little to no furniture for its over 900 pupils.
The school also had no modern toilets and students had to make use of a single pit latrine in highly unhygienic conditions, putting them at constant risk of diseases. Potable water, adequate learning materials and furniture were among the amenities the school lacked, which directly affected the quality of teaching.
Airtel intervened after a former pupil of the school nominated it for the CSR initiative, and the company provided support by refurbishing 6 existing classroom blocks, the staff room, as well as furniture for each room and modernized toilets.