No fewer than 3,000 orphans and vulnerable children in slum communities of Iyara, Alaka and Orumaro in the Warri South and Uvwie Local Government Areas of Delta State have received free clothes and educational materials ahead of plans by government to reopen schools in the state.
The materials were donated by a Warri-based Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Clevermind Educational Foundation.
The benefiting communities are some of the slums in the Warri metropolis.
Clevermind Educational Foundation, prior to the donation, had been organizing free extra moral lessons to children of the communities especially during the period of the lockdown caused by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The founder of the NGO, Mr. Zion Oshiobugie, while presenting the materials including boxes of clothes and books on Friday, noted that his organization was move to plan the charity after observing the plight of children living in the area.
Oshiobugie, a broadcaster, who harped on the need to help the vulnerable, saying that among them are hidden future leaders including scientists, politicians, lecturers, professors, musicians and successful businessmen and women.
He said, “During the lockdown in the month of March, the NGO came to the community to organise a lesson for children in Iyara.
“During the process we saw some children coming to classes without cloth. At first we thought that the children are pretending not to have cloths, so we followed them to their houses and we notice that about six (6) of the children are sharing nine (9) cloths together all through in so many years.
“So, we said to ourselves that through the help of other people we know these children can wear good cloths, most of these kids if you look at their skins they look very patch because they are not wearing cloths, some of them are very cold because they are not wearing cloths. The children are really going through a lot here.
“We decided that before we round up our lesson and finished our work here in September we will give out cloths to these children in boxes because if you are not wearing cloths as a child in a way, there is a shame on you. In other to cover that shame on these children here, that’s why we are doing what we are doing here today.
“Since we came to this community to work since March, the Chairman of this community has been very helpful to us.
“Normally, some parts of Delta State have this reputation that if you came to do any development work, the community chairman sometimes stops you from doing that work, asking you to pay development fee.
“But like to appreciate the chairman of this community, he provided the free space that we have been using since March, and he has been helping us to see that every child is better in this community”.
The Chairman of Warri South Council, Dr Michael Tidi, represented by his vice Hon, Chief. Mrs Divine Iniovosa, while handing out the clothes to the children, said “there is hope for children; we commend the good work of Clevermind Educational foundation (CEF) which is in line with the smart agenda of the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the council is very happy today to see this happening in the area.
On his part, the Chairman, Iyara community Mr. Odili said, “we thank God in Iyara community, if everyone in the society is doing what Clevermind Educational foundation is doing, Delta State will be a better place.
The NGO said it decided to act after observing that the children are willing to learn but they don’t have the financial ability to education.