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There is no doubt that Nigeria is fast becoming a nation with a compassionate heart that seeks the genuine welfare of her citizenry even amidst the backbreaking and aching hardship that has seen needy Nigerians cry for help.
Although, few have embraced hardship as a way of life and have just a little glimpse of hope, while some again, every day, looking up to heaven like the biblical David for where their help will come from.
Luxury has thus become a far cry for these special people, a thick line between that man residing in a sky scrapper and that lowly who sleeps and wakes in the slum.
Joseph and Eunice Oladaiye Memorial, a heart-warming foundation in the city of Lagos, Lekki since 2008 has been around to give these sets of people hope and succour.
JEOF is passionately dedicated to the provision of support services to the less privileged and underserved children, youths, women and the aged people in the society.
It is in the light of this, the foundation’s core values which are social responsibility, empowerment, resourcefulness ,value addition,integrity,compassion and enterprise are being woven into three which are educational development programmes ,healthcare improvement initiatives,community,youth and women empowerment programme to transform the society through its innovative community involvement, strategize to bridge the gap between the needies and the affluent in the society.
According to JEOF, education remains one of the most powerful weapons in fighting poverty, as no nation can grow beyond the knowledge base of its citizenry. At JEOF education is not viewed as a means to an end but a productive investment in the life of every disadvantaged and vulnerable child and youth to help them break the circle of poverty in their families, communities and the nation as a whole. Their educational programmes which indeed are still transforming lives include:
*Stay In School Programme; this includes full scholarship awards to orphans and vulnerable children and youths
*School Infrastructure Development And Teachers Training: Provision of a conducive environment for learning. The foundation also offers training to teachers to better equip them in handling the challenging academic needs of students especially in the areas of ICT.
*Read To Lead Library Project; Reading habit has drastically declined amongst students hence the availability of standard libraries where students would be inspired and challenged to learn.
Ordinarily, It is believed that health is wealth. A Truly healthy man will sure create a vibrant touch that will be a force to be reckoned with in his area of specialty this has also made JEOF undertake various health improvement initiatives ranging from primary and environmental health care services, provisions of first Aid equipment, running community and people-centered awareness health campaigns, malaria prevention, and treatment and some more. Meanwhile, in the areas in which the healthcare improvement initiative has been introduced, it has been recorded that the living conditions of residents as regards health has significantly improved.
The foundation further noted that the last of the three core values which are vocational and skill acquisition programmes cum youth engagement through sports and recreation development have seen both youths and women alike coming alive to this amazing life-changing initiative through the monetary benefits given to them through its microfinance scheme. Not forgetting the active engagement of youths to national development to promoting the culture of peace and enabling social cohesion.
Mr. Oladaiye concluded by giving kudos and acknowledging the power of unity of Sports, stating that sports all over Is widely known to capture the attention of youths and this advertently will help propel them to be greater productive,
Mr. Oladaiye did not fail to mention the very special projects which include visits to old people’s homes and community centers to provide support to the most vulnerable in the society and provision of support to the disables. The foundation has visited several orphanages most recent is the Heart of Gold Hospice, a home for children with disabilities in Lagos. Some of their impacts and achievements include: donation of essential educational materials to over 2500pupils of students of Ayebode schools in Ekiti State, donation of nutritional support to orphanages, Lekki, Lagos State, donation of wheelchair and other medical support for the disabled, promotion of sports and recreational activities to youths through the JEOF annual community football tournament with over 3000youths positively engaged and mentored, provision of potable water in the school environment across public schools in Ekiti State, Construction of a secured bus stop for transit passengers in the community, sponsorship of annual prize-giving ceremonies for students, teachers and non academic staff in secondary schools
In the bid to realize progressive results from NGOs across the country, Mr. Oladaiye gave reasons NGOs should not be completely independent of the government stating that NGOs are major contributors to the development processes and many of which are determined by the relationship which should be cordial between the NGO sector and the state also stating further, he said that whatever organization exists in a society operates within the stipulated rules of the government . As such the government regulates the operations of every organization for accountability and transparency.
He further noted that a healthy relationship is conceivable when both parties share common objectives, giving an instance that if the government’s commitment to poverty reduction is weak then NGOs will find dialogue and collaboration frustrating or even counter-productive .He, therefore, urged the government to be proactive to the needs of her people
With the philosophy Service To Humanity, indeed JEOF has made and still making its footprints on the sand of time and it is no small wonder that over 5000 lives have been touched and positively impacted.
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