In January 2006, I attended the World Social Forum in Bamako, Mali. The theme of the social gathering was ‘Another World is Possible’. We all came back charged believing that a new world indeed was afoot. Fourteen years after, the world has become even more dangerous and precarious. Elder statesman, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, stirred the hornet’s nest with his declaration that the world is fast tilting to a failed state. Those who so believe have enough elements to paint the picture of gloom, despair, despondency and distraught. The many things that happen to us every day are more than enough to feed the feeling of a failed world. All you need is scan the headlines every day. It is scary. They are even more bizarre acts that go unreported.
But for anyone who has the leverage to see the vision and mission of the Ethanrose foundation in the Niger Delta Area, you will know we can experience a rebirth. A new world is possible. A foundation is standing stoutly for the benefit and progress of the elderly and had hit the public stage with a bang. The devotion of the Ethanrose foundation is Pentecostal and has become the avant- garde of the course of the old people in the Niger Delta region.
In a bid to contribute their quota towards the fight against Corona virus, Ethanrose foundation on last Sunday took their sensitization programme to Kaiama in Kolokuma Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. The NGO which named the sensitization programme “Corona Virus Awareness Campaign” taught the people of the community the essence of regular washing of hands, practicing social distancing, using hand sanitizers, keeping the environment clean, among other things. According to the team led by the Secretary Annette David West, the foundation takes care of the elderly and had nothing to do with any political interest or affiliation. It’s strictly on a humanitarian mission aimed at bringing peace, unity and love to the people of the Niger Delta.
Drugs, sanitization materials, food stuffs were shared to both the elderly and the young and a lecture on how to stay safe in this era of Covid-19 was delivered through a medical team led by Appah Williams. Williams asked the people to practice respiratory hygiene, adhere to basic protective measures and maintain at least one-meter distance between themselves and anyone coughing or sneezing. The medical team taught the people how to use hot water daily for preventive measures and also told them that washing their hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on the hand. The foundation advised that marriages and burial ceremonies should be avoided adding that if there is any death, few persons should bury the dead.
In response, the Royal Majesty of Kolokuma Opokuma kingdom, King Onyia Mozi Agara thanked the foundation for remembering the people of his kingdom and prayed for divine protection. The king affirmed that the Covid-19 committee had not been able to do anything since it was inaugurated adding that was the first activity he was seeing concerning the pandemic.
The Ethanrose foundation team also called on the paramount ruler of Kaiama community, His Royal Highness Sir J. O. Burutolu and equally delivered the goodwill message of peace, unity and love. The King admitted that ignorance itself is a disease in our clime.
The train moved to Sampou community, the home of the Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri where it also shared some drugs and food items and taught them how to stay safe from Corona virus.
At the palace of the paramount ruler of the community His Royal Highness F. C. Usuioromogha, the team enlightened the people on the dangers of Corona virus and equally shared drugs and food items to the elderly and young people. One of the beneficiaries of the programme in the Sampou community, Robert Kimo, thanked the foundation for remembering them at a time like this and encouraged the foundation to continue to spread the message of peace, hope, unity and love across the region.
Yes, there are bad guys all over us: in the offices, in the cabinets, in the schools, in the private sectors, in the churches and mosques, just everywhere. Yet, the sky shall be our starting point if we all emulate the Ethanrose foundation. We can begin to experience the song of transformation which the Ethanrose sings ever so often. And then we will know that a new world is possible.
––Allison Abanum, Yenagoa