The Christmas season is not just for making merry but also a time of sharing and giving, especially to the less privileged. Aligning with this, Airtel Nigeria, a telecommunications services provider, recently kept faith with over five thousand persons in five Internally Displaced Persons camps in the country. Chiemelie Ezeobi reports that the program, which is in its sixth year, was themed ‘Five Days of Love’
Although the year has been ravaged by COVID-19 pandemic, the Christmas season evokes excitement whether for children or adults. Often characterised by abundance of food, snacks, drinks and, of course, gifts the Yuletide is indeed a season to make merry and also a time of sharing.
Aligning with this ethos of giving, Airtel Nigeria, a telecommunications services provider, recently kept faith with over five thousand persons across five Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the country.
This year, the telecommunication company took an unprecedented approach in a bid to empower the vulnerable, who have been disproportionately hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Five Days of Love’ Yuletide Initiative
At the launch, when Airtel Nigeria, announced the commencement of the 2020 edition of its annual ‘5 Days of Love’ Yuletide initiative, with a focus on providing palliative packs to 5,000 persons across five IDP camps in the country, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, said despite the pandemic and a difficult year, Airtel will continue its long standing tradition of celebrating and empowering the vulnerable and underprivileged during Yuletide.
He said: “Our resolve to Nigeria and Nigerians is unshakeable. Despite a difficult year, we are committed to making lives better for many Nigerians and we will not rest on our laurels as we will continue to create opportunities for underprivileged Nigerians.
“We believe little things can make a difference and as we continue to support the vulnerable and the underprivileged in our society, events will take a positive turn. At Airtel, we believe that to be great, we must first be good. It is in this spirit that we have chosen to celebrate this Yuletide with underprivileged and underserved persons across the country.”
Airtel says it will be distributing food palliative packs to 5,000 vulnerable families in IDP camps across the country. 1,000 palliative packs will be distributed to select IDP camps in 5 cities across the country over a period of 5 days.
Currently in its sixth year, the 2020 edition of the ‘5 Days of Love’ initiative kicked off in Benue state on Friday, December 18, 2020 at the Daudu IDP camp and moved to Edo State on Tuesday, December 22, at the International Christian Centre, Benin City as well as in Borno State at the Teacher’s village same day.
On Wednesday, December 23, the distribution was concluded at the Abbari YBC Camp in Yobe State, and likewise in Kaduna State at the Sabin Tasha Camp, just in time for Christmas.
Campaign against COVID-19
Ogunsanya also assured that Airtel will continue to collaborate and partner the government in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, noting that the fight against the dreaded virus is not over yet. He also highlighted some definitive steps Airtel had taken to curtail the spread of the virus.
He said: “Although I do not like throwing figures, we expended over N1.97billion providing relief for Nigerians during the lockdown and at the height of the pandemic. My colleagues, from their pockets, donated N20million to provide relief materials for indigent persons during the lockdown.
“We also donated N50million each to the Lagos State government and the Ogun State government in their fight against COVID-19. We are currently renovating an Infectious Disease Centre at the Lagos State University and we have committed N200m to the project.
“Airtel further committed various sums and support in kind covering donations to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the Federal Ministry of Health and Port Health Authority, State Governments, the Federal Governments just as we also reached out to our dear customers by offering free Short Message Service (SMS) worth over N1.2billion.”