NGO holds Valentine luncheon for under-privileged youths in Lagos

By Omotunde Alawode

To put smiles on the faces of indigent people, a non-governmental organization, Fair Life Africa Foundation, in collaboration with SunTrust Oil Limited, has empowered underprivileged children with a Valentine luncheon at Lekki, Lagos.

The luncheon was a gathering of students in secondary schools and youths that graduated from tertiary institutions, others who have gained admission into tertiary institutions and secondary schools, and some who graduated from vocational schools.

Other sponsors of the educational programme include Samuel Mariere, chairman, Delta State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Prince Austin Enajemo-Isire and Mr. Oluwagbenga Bamimore.

In her welcome address, Ufuoma Emerhor, chief executive officer and co-founder of Fair Life Africa Foundation, said: “I thank God for coming through every year for me. Sometimes, when it is like it’s not going to be possible and I want to give up, God would just show up.

“It has been 13 years of untiring passion to provide succour for less-privileged youths in our society.

“Fair Life Africa has shown resilience in its several charitable initiatives seeking to reposition and give a bright future to the underprivileged and has supported them to complete their education. Some of the youths who preferred vocational training were allowed to learn a vocation of their choice.”

Emerhor recalled that, during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, “I saw the situation as an opportunity to say, ‘I am tired’, but during that period our sponsors who were committed to my cause told me that they would sponsor more children. With that, I was inspired by the passion of others.

“With the support I received, it has been unbelievable and our sponsors have told some of their friends what we are doing and they also have contributed to the success of the project.

“These children who have received sponsorship are doing well in their schools and that has motivated me to be proud of them for their successes.”

On his part, chairman, Fair Life Africa Foundation, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor, said: “It was Ufuoma’s passion to set up this foundation, because she believes it is a calling for her to be able to assist the less privileged in society. It has not been easy, but she has been persistent.”

In the same vein, Mrs. Yemisi Wada, founder, Haven for the Nigerian Child, said: “I’m happy that Fair Life Africa is doing this great work for the underprivileged.

“Ufuoma actually started with street children when she first came from Britain some years ago and she taught people who were already on the job how to use social media to garner attention to the plight of the children. A lot of people see the underprivileged as area boys, rather than abused children or from homes where they are neglected and they have come to the street to look for a way of living.”

Wada added a note of warning: “We have to be careful. I urge well-meaning Nigerians to do something, because we can’t turn our back on these children. If we help these underprivileged children in society, we are not only doing it for them but to secure the future of our children also.”

Proprietress, Pinefield Schools, Lekki, Mrs. Barbara Morayosola Fadipe, said: “I met Ufuoma 10 years ago when she came and told me what she was doing. I was impressed because she was quite young, and I saw quite an amazing thing for a lady to take sponsoring children from underprivileged homes.

“And I looked at myself and said, what can I do? So, in working with them for this long 10 years, it has been an amazing transformation to see the children that we have sponsored over these years.”

One of the beneficiaries, Chioma, who is on sponsorship by Shiv Lila Polymers Limited, through the help of Fair Life Africa Foundation, said: “I came to Fair Life Africa when I was in Junior Secondary School. Along the line, my family had difficulties to carry out their responsibilities because they lost their jobs. Luckily for me, the Fair Life Africa Foundation came to my school, Master Molders International School, looking for underprivileged children to help. They found me and chose to assist me in 2014. Since then, Fair Life Africa has not left me. Now I am in my second year as an undergraduate at Lagos State University.”

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