Africa has the highest proportion of people living in extreme poverty. African children are more likely than children in the rest of the world to grow up malnourished, without an education and affected by conflict and diseases; hence, the high death toll among children with millions of them living socially maladjusted lives as they tend to become a burden to society.
According to 2006 census, 45% of Nigeria’s population of about 150 million consisted of children less than 18 years old. This estimate remains undiminished with the passage of years and associated increase in Nigeria’s population. UNICEF estimate shows that about 4.7 million children of primary school age are still not in school and about 15 million, under the age of 14 are involved in child labour. These figures are not as disturbing as the reality of the debilitating situation which dawns on one at the sight of so many indigent children milling around.
In Nigeria, children of school age patrol the streets begging for alms, hawking goods on the streets, molested and some who simply live in absolute deprivation lacking basic human needs of clean water, nutrition, healthcare, education, clothing and shelter. The “Almajiris” on the streets in northern Nigeria, and the children who grow to become militants and “Area boys” dominating the slums in the South are symptomatic of this dire situation.
Without timely intervention, these children grow up engaging in several vices as a means for survival, become vulnerable to childhood pregnancy, drug abuse, child labour and trafficking, etc.
As older generations pass on, the future of the country and the continent would someday lie in the hands of our children who will then take responsibility to govern the society. It is pertinent, therefore, that the society today invests in these children so that they become responsible citizens tomorrow. This is the task for all concerned.
Profile of Caregivers Humanitarian Foundation
Caregivers Humanitarian Foundation is a body set-up to respond to the plight of the indigent African child. It is focused on the restitution of dignity to our children. Caregivers Humanitarian Foundation seeks a wholesome society where our rich human capital is nurtured and mentally refreshed. It is a subsidiary of Ogochukwu Promise Humanitarian Foundation.
We have started our work in Lagos, taking our care giving initiative to the slums of Lagos State. We hope to establish zones and have our presence felt in the thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.
Our vision is to provide the indigent child with an equal opportunity to live a fulfilling life.
Our mission is to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, house the orphaned, educate the poor, treat the sick and restore hope to indigent children. We are working to provide care to the young and impoverished children, taking them off the streets and grooming them to become better citizens.
We hope to significantly take children off the streets, reduce crime and deviant behaviour among the young generation, and reduce cases of childhood pregnancy, drug abuse and social vices. If we achieve this successfully, we would then have raised a new generation of citizens who have integrity, are sound in character and learning and will valuably contribute to the society we live in.
HOW WE WORK
Recognising that gaining the attention of the street kid is a daunting challenge, Caregivers Humanitarian Foundation has adopted a tripod strategy driven by “carrot-and-stick” approach; we deliberately go out to feed these children and we provide clothing for most. Having gained their attention, we seek to “feed” their minds. This we do by sharing African folklore – often delivered by notable literary persons, we give easy-to-read books to the children and even try to obtain feedback on their social knowledge.
Some pilot work in this regard has been conducted in select areas of Lagos. The plan is, drawing from the modest successes achieved, to expand our work to other areas of Nigeria.
OUR DRIVING PHILOSOPHY
The principles of COMPASSION, CARE, COURAGE AND COMMUNITY guide our work at Caregivers Humanitarian Foundation.
We are compassionate over the plight of these little ones and know that we can contribute meaningfully towards their growth and development in mind and body.
We give care which we can afford, and allow them to hone their talents, intellect, skills, experiences and innate love for our fellow human beings. We offer free mentoring services. We have volunteers from different professions who are also members of Caregivers team. They offer their services at different levels.
Courage is not just a formidable word for us. It drives our dream from the point of conception to satisfactory delivery. One has to have courage to undertake an assignment of this magnitude. Courage enables us to march ahead despite obstacles.
We are committed to growing the community. We believe that developmental indices must include a better quality of life for these indigent children who need training and healthy living in order to become responsible members of society.
In return, we inculcate in our children the value of care-giving such that as they grow, they give back selflessly to other less privileged ones in their community.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO FAR
We have reached out to many indigent children in Ijora, Mushin, Aja, Ajegunle and Yaba, Lagos State with food, clothing and books. Some corporate members donate beverages and related food items which we also distribute to assuage their hunger and make them better able to receive knowledge.
We clothe them using brand new and fairly-used clothes donated to us by celebrities and other individuals. We cut and sew them into tidy jumpers and straight dresses for the children.
We house some of the abandoned children, having nearly completed a house (two-store building) dedicated to them. The building has an extra-large size bed room, two standard rooms and living room at the topmost floor for the children. On the first floor is the Secretariat, the children’s library, classroom and kitchen. The ground floor has three big rooms, a class room, a library, a big playroom, a living room and a mini Hall of Geniuses where the children participate in various performance arts. There is also an outdoor playground.
At the moment, seven children have been admitted and are living in our children’s home. They are to be loved and respected, and raised in love and dignity, character and learning. They have the opportunity of attending the best institutions of learning – as far as their minds can stretch.
Due to the quality of care we pledge to these children, we intend to admit only the number of children we can truly and effectively care for, giving them affection, devotion and a deep sense of family bonding and values.
We will admit these children in stages, ten to start with. We intend to see them through their university education and then adopt the next set and so on.
Each set would exit after they have obtained their university education and are gainfully employed. We are working towards getting excellent institutions of learning, like Harvard, to offer scholarships to our children.
We appreciate the following who have given us immense support so far:
Lt. Gen. T. Y. Danjuma
Martin and Sally Trachsel
The Lumina Foundation
The mission is faced with huge challenges such as: Logistics, Providing the food and clothing, Authoring and distributing the books, Personnel to engage with the children, etc.
To adequately address these issues, there is now the urgent need to achieve greater capacity for the organisation and enhance our revenue mobilisation efforts. Ultimately, sustainability is our desire.
Therefore, we now seek an expanded membership base, a committed Board of Directors and an assured revenue stream to support our projects.
As our project expands, we are looking to increase our board membership with credible and selfless people of character to enable us achieve effectiveness and sustainability. We hope to have a board membership that cuts across Nigeria’s geographical spread to drive the affairs of the Foundation.
The members of the Board will be charged with the following responsibilities, to:
- Set mission and strategies for Caregivers Humanitarian Foundation in line with its organizational objectives and goals.
- Perform fiduciary roles for the Foundation, approve annual budget, set financial policies and ensure that funds are managed prudently.
- Ensure that adequate resources are provided for the Foundation to serve its mission and purpose. In this capacity, the Board shall work with the Caregivers’ Coordinator and Executive Secretary and ensure that adequate funds are provided for the Foundation.
- Set monitoring framework and performance evaluation measures that will determine the progress the Foundation has made in line with its objectives and goals
- Represent and advocate for Caregivers Humanitarian Foundation in the outside community.
- Assist with resource mobilisation for the Foundation
- Attend at least one Board Meeting of the two scheduled for each year.
- Attend functions of the Foundation.
- Carry out any other assignment as may arise.
We are looking to raising the sum of N32,000,000.00 (Thirty-two Million Naira only) to complete the finishing, décor of children’s living rooms, bed rooms, playground, burglary, railings, furnishing, fence, horticulture before our proposed date for the dedication of the children’s home.
We dedicated the children’s home on the 27th of May, 2012 which happened to be the birthday of (the twins, PDI and Gemma) two of the children in the home.
In addition, we need the sum of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira only) to purchase two 14-seater buses for the Foundation, run the children’s home and reach out to more children with food, clothing and books.
Members of the Foundation and any other facilitator who help us to raise funds are entitled to a 10% commission of the sum they raise. This is however, not applicable to board members.
HOW WE SUSTAIN OUR MISSION
- MEMBERSHIP: We have five categories of membership:
- Legacy Membership: This category makes yearly donations of One Million Naira (N1,000,000) and above to the Foundation.
- Gold Membership: This category makes yearly donations of Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N500,000) and above.
- Silver Membership: makes yearly donations of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250,000)and above.
- Honorary Membership: These are people that lend us support in ways that may not necessarily be financially quantifiable, but their support is invaluable especially in the long term. Only the Board will confer such memberships.
- Supporter: Donates an amount not below Five Thousand naira (N5,000) monthly to the Foundation.
Through the memberships, we intend to have a network of well-meaning individuals from all walks of life and various social standing who have one thing in common: passion for helping the needy, especially indigent young ones that need parental care, good healthcare, education, clothing, a home, guidance, counseling, protection and love.
These committees are already functional. For instance, the Wealth Creation Committee initiated the auctioning of our paintings, donated celebrity shoes and clothing in aid of helpless children.
- VOLUNTARY SUPPORT FROM OUR TEAM: We have to put to great use the various talents of our team to save and raise funds for the upkeep of our children. Our team is an assemblage of talents. Some have great administrative skills, some great voice, some astute eye for details, some are good with accounting, some teach, some are medical directors, some lawyers, some good stewards, some are well connected, some are wealthy, some are excellent with children etc. Each contributes significantly and with great delight. This is how we have been able to get the two storey building for the children’s home to its finishing stage. The success we have achieved so far we have drawn from selfless service and love from everyone.
- EXHIBITION OF OUR ARTWORK: Our paintings and artworks are exhibited daily in our lobby. People who love abstract paintings, photographs capturing the sheer beauty of nature and other related art pieces, pick up our paintings, photographs and artworks for their homes, offices, friends and loved ones at a price they deem fit. Our paintings and artworks do not come with price tags for who are we to determine the cost of any talent! People give what comes from their hearts for any of our artworks. This has helped us a great deal.
- ADVERTISEMENT IN OUR MAGAZINE: Our magazine, The Promise, encourages and celebrates integrity with which people live their lives, corporations conduct sustainable business practices, acting ethically even in areas that are not highly regulated. It encourages individuals, organisations, small businesses and communities to perform optimally well in areas such as human capital, business principles and ethics, human rights, environmental policies, workplace issues, corporate governance and community development. It promotes care-giving and integrity as effective tools in moving the entire social system upward.
Irrespective of the name we give it – Corporate Social Responsibility, Commitment to Social Responsibility, Creating shared value, Community-based development strategies, private initiatives towards ensuring public interest in our daily activities, corporate self-regulation integrated into business models – integrity and adherence to ethical standard which embody care-giving are the core values that grow both individuals and society, especially if they flow from honesty of purpose and love of neighbour. This is the source and soul of happiness we all crave.
We encourage corporate bodies to place adverts in our 100-page monthly journal with a 20-page pull-out for children.
The Promise prides itself in the quality of its content and packaging.
- SUBSCRIPTION TO OUR MAGAZINE: It is our hope that high net-worth individuals, business owners, decision makers, Heads of establishments, corporate organisations, families, managers, and so on will continue to subscribe to our magazine, The Promise. Our magazine is distributed solely by subscription. It encourages people to inculcate the integrity and ethics and promotes sustainable responsible people, business and admirable lifestyle. Monthly subscription which includes either postage or hand delivery is N1,000 per copy.
- SALES AT OUR CHARITY SHOP: A lot of good-natured and well-meaning individuals bring us such items as clothes (suits, wrappers, quilts, traditional wears, etc) both new and used ones, antiques, bags, caps, hats, belts, etc, which we intend to put on display in our charity shop. People come and buy them as it is done in charity shops abroad and the proceeds go to our charity home.
In future, we hope to bring in celebrities to man the shop once in a while and raise awareness about the shop as friends and fans come in and purchase items from the shop in honour of the celebrity.
- DONATIONS: We receive donations from kind-hearted individuals and socially responsible corporate institutions that are committed to this humanitarian cause. An individual or organisation may provide for a specific need of the Foundation periodically.
- VOLUNTEER WORKERS AND INTERNS: Many people including students and interns have worked with us and more have indicated their interest to come in and assist us. Similarly, we hope that our individual and corporate members will offer us both support by spending quality time with the children and sponsor outings to appreciate how heart-warming it is to be with children, bathe the babies, and go out on picnics. Frolicking on the sand with a bunch of excited kids as everyone lets their hair down, enjoying belly-deep laughter in the company of very innocent little ones can be one of the high points of a child’s existence.
- AFRICAN TALES FOR CHILDREN
We collect African tales for children in our bid to entertain our children while they lean our good old African vales, morals and positive tradition.
TRUSTEES OF CAREGIVERS FOUNDATION
At the moment, our trustees include the pioneer team: Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel (CON, MNI), Dr. Henry Nzekwu (MBBS) , Adaozo (Mrs) Jane Onwudiwe and Ogochukwu Promise (Ph.D).
Prof. Wole Soyinka is an honorary member of the Foundation.
Ogochukwu Promise is a psychologist, novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, motivational speaker, career advisor and visual abstract artist. She travels around the world motivating and encouraging people to be the best they can be, discovering people’s dynamic potential for productivity and fulfillment and developing Youth Training Programmes as well as strategies for Social/Community work. Her latest motivational books entitled Everything You Need is in You, Building Self-Esteem and Self Enhancement is Huge Investment have sold thousands of copies since their publication.
Working closely with Prof. Wole Soyinka, she founded Lumina Foundation which instituted the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, known as the African Nobel which offers USD20,000 in prize money to the best literary work produced by any excellent writer of African descent.
Ogochukwu edits The Promise Magazine which has carved a niche in Corporate Social Responsibility. She also initiated the Get-Africa-Reading Project and runs a mobile library. An author of sixteen novels, six collections of poetry, two short story collections, four plays, two essay collections and 30 children’s books. She has received seven Association of Nigerian Authors awards for her fiction and poetry. She expresses herself also in abstract painting. She is an Azikiwe Fellow, a Fellow of StiftungKulturfunds and Fellow of the Iowa International Writing Program.
She holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan as well as a Master’s Degree in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of St. Michael College, Toronto.
JOIN Caregivers: FUN FRIENDS OF CHARITY
This is a network of well-meaning individuals from all walks of life and various social standing who have one thing in common: passion for helping the needy, especially babies and young ones that need parental care, good health, education, clothing, a home, guidance, counseling, protection and love.
We initiate and undertake lots of charity events.
Sing for charity ( using our orchestra)
Dance for charity Run for charity
Cycle for charity Talk for charity
Laugh for charity Travel for charity
Frolic for charity
Maintain a charity shop: FUN FRIENDS OF CHARITY SHOP – where members, including top executive officers of Blue Chip companies take their turns in manning the shop, attending to customers at their spare time and enjoying every moment of it. Oh yes, we enjoy all the things we do and all the proceeds go to The Ogochuckwu Promise Children’s Home. We work hard and play hard. We’ve got every reason to, for charity makes it all so beautiful.
This is not a religious group. It is made up of people from different religious background and denomination.
This group meets quarterly, on the first Saturday of every quarter at the OP Humanitarian Home.
The members are men and women of character who have excelled in their endeavours and who have joined the group out of their own volition for the purpose of bringing succor to the little ones among us.
Some of them make contributions anonymously out of humility. The contributions include:
Visiting OP Children at our spare time Sharing laughter, gifts and valuable time with them Paying the school fees of one or some of the children Feeding and clothing them And generously ensuring that they are brought up in an atmosphere of love and that they receive the finest education our own children have access to.
When you join: you will receive the following:
Email once a week to keep you abreast of the goings on in the world of these children. Our activities for the month Summary of events of the past month Abridged minutes of our meetings Notice of meetings, schedule of charity events.
If your love runs deep, click here to join
Care-giving is the responsibility of every well-meaning individual and organisation. We will love to hear from you.
To join our membership or support us in any way, you may reach us through:
Caregivers Humanitarian Foundation
BLUE HOUSE, NO 19 UNILAG ROAD, YABA, LAGOS, NIGERIA.
08033218121, 017391678, 07025983384, 07084050339.