Caring Hearts Gives Hope to Indigent Children  

Mary Nnah

Caring Hearts Heritage Initiative (CHHI), a non-governmental organisation, which aims to give hope to the less privileged in society by providing free education thereby reducing extensively the number of children that are out of school, recently brought its beneficiaries to gather to give them hope and joy.  

Held at the Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) Headquarters premises at Anthony, Lagos State, the  annual end-of-year party/educational counselling for the indigent and out-of-school children, tagged, Project Hope and Joy, is CHHI’s was of rendering caring hearts to the less privileged children and also giving them joy and hope for a better future.

Speaking during the event, the Executive Director, CHHI, Henrietta Otoabasi-Akpan, said, “We are the  organisation responsible for quality education and that is what we drive in the United Nations  Sustainable  Development Goal.  Out of the 17 goals, we are driving majorly goal 4 which is quality education and we are focusing on children from the tender age  to the tertiary level from the financial disadvantage background.

Reiterating why the organisation is focusing more on children, Otoabasi-Akpan said, “We find out that when there are problems in the society – financial difficulties, economic hardship, or any form of problem – children are more vulnerable.  That is why our focus is primarily on children and their education, mental and social well-being, after which we look at empowerment for their parents.

“We found out that parents of these children would not allow them to go to school because they are using these children for economic value. These children are vulnerable and can’t help themselves, so we endeavour to  make these children go to school”, she noted.

 Otoabasi-Akpan said further that Project Hope and Joy was to ensure that the indigent children had a feeling of belonging and also had fun during the Yuletides. “We decided that, although we do other programmes, for  this end of the year, we would bring the children together to have fun and also get gifts because we discovered that during this time of the year, children from financially and socially disadvantaged families feel inferior because their parents cannot afford to buy then new clothes and shoes during this period.

So, with Project Hope and Joy, at the end of the year, the children get to have something good for themselves aside from the education we provide for them. So with the little we have, we are here to  render caring hearts, share what we have with them and give them fun.”

At the event, the organisation gave out over 140 children’s school shoes, and brand new clothes to some children, and then the parents, who are the organisation’s secondary concern, got buckets of rice and some other foodstuff.

Speaking on how the project is being financed, she said, “It’s not been easy but passion will move men beyond themselves…; we are just a team of five and we put in our personal funds and also get support from very close friends and families but right now we are launching out for support because the needs are much.

While soliciting more support, she noted, “We need well-meaning Nigerians to come to our aid because these impoverished children we are seeing today might turn out to be a pain in our necks in the future if they are not taken good care of.  

“We would be breeding children for crime when they don’t go to school. That is why we need to push these sustainable development goals. All hands must be on deck and that is why we are calling for support from all well-meaning Nigerians, organisations as well as the government.  So, to build a sustainable Nigeria for the future, we all must not only push education but also provide food for these children”, the CHHI Executive Director noted.

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