IT was a real display of beautiful emotions and heartwarming gratitude on Friday, September 9, 2016, when Sola Olagunju Foundation (SOF), a non-governmental organization hosted people from over four local government areas in Oyo State for an empowerment, sensitization and medical outreach programme, tagged ESMOP 2016.
Drugs as well as sewing and grinding machines were distributed to beneficiaries from Ido, Oluyole, Lagelu, Ona Ara Local Government Areas and environs.
Speaking at the event, President/CEO of the foundation,Chief Olusola Olagunju, established that the foundation’s goal was taking care of the less privileged, the widows and handicapped, stating that the empowerment, sensitization and medical outreach was a huge part of their mission, as well as giving scholarships.
“We think that so many people are impoverished and in such a situation, reaching out will make a lot of lives better. I would advise other well-doing Nigerians to do the same. It will go a long way to mitigate, if not totally eradicate delinquency and several other vices exhibited by certain groups of people.”
Odeleye Aminat from Ajangboju village in the Lagelu Local Government Area, Oyo State was a beneficiary at the event. She said “All I did was to fill the empowerment forms and here I am today, a happy beneficiary. I am a fashion designer and it has been some years since I stopped being an apprentice but I have not been able to gather the money for a sewing machine. Today, through SOF God has answered my prayer. I am the owner of a brand new sewing machine. I appreciate SOF greatly. This body is positively driving the progress of Nigeria and I pray that it will keep attaining greater heights.”
Kolajo Olaniyi, the director, social welfare services, Oyo State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community Development, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation spoke highly of the good works SOF has done so far in Oyo State.
“I feel very excited to be a part of this event. I can see the foundation we launched is progressing because I witnessed its commissioning in 2005. From the report being submitted quarterly to the ministry, it shows that SOF is in this for serious business. The Oyo State government is in full support of this vision. We have been partnering with this foundation and through it, SOF has impacted into the lives of over 3000 people. They come in different categories. There are the people with disabilities, the less privileged whom the foundation sponsors their education and the people living in the orphanage. There is also another set of people, who are the widows. SOF is doing greatly in empowerment and I want to believe that in another 10 years, the foundation would have been more elaborate. It is also becoming an international brand because it is reaching out to people outside the country. The ministry is even recommending the foundation.”
Foluke Ademokun, the executive coordinator of Ajoke Aishat Afolabi Foundation, who was also at the event in solidarity said, “Being here today goes beyond just showing solidarity. It is networking. If you look carefully at the 17 sustainable development goals, the 17th goal is about partnership, collaboration. We cannot do it alone. We must help each other develop capacity and identify gaps, that way we can enhance quality. Also, collectively, we can engage other stakeholders like the government. SOF has been consistent in terms of empowerment and sensitization and if SOF continues like this, SOF will not only have beneficiaries but partners; people that will be ready to work with them and give back.
“If we all continue like this, no one will be left behind. I see government doing its part as well because they will begin to see NGOs as partners.”