By Chukwudi Ejimofor, PH.
Friday, June 22nd, 2018 was the third workshop in five years for the training of the Strategic Committee Members for the Lobby and Advocacy of the Stakeholders in the Eradication of Chronically Ill Persons in the Nigeria society.
The workshop was organized by the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul of Catholic Diocese of Port Harcourt in conjunction with Rivers State Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, National Orientation Agency, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Personson (NAPTIP) and host of other, at the Corpus Christi Catidural, Kaduna Street Port Harcourt.
The workshop is focused on the development and sustenance of partnerships, ensuring that the project, which is the Eradication of the Chronically Ill Persons on streets , are removed and treated respectfully in every sense.
The theme of the workshop was DEVELOPMENT/SUSTENANCE OF PARTNERSHIP IN RESPECT OF FUND RAISING AND ITS MANAGEMENT, was to empower a strategic team. The facilitator of the workshop was David Obinna Anyaele, an amputee of two limbs, the Executive Director, Center for Citizens with Disabilities.
He admonished the committee to believe in the project, be honest and straightforward with the fund of donors agencies which is provided for project, emphasising that understanding the vision of the project will create accountability and sustainability of the project.
“The committee has the mandate to believe in the project, be honesty, straightforward and accountability for the sustainability of the project. The management of funds realized measures up the organization’s ability to fulfil its mission. Any expenditure that is about N5,000.00. must be recited, to built some level of confidence to the donor agencies”
Iminabo Robinson Fubara, Director Rivers State Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation, and the chairman of the project told Làkis News that the project was conceived by Catholic Church for the past four years now, under private partnership programme been financed by Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria, and stakeholders has been undergoing training to make sure that funds and the processes are adequately managed.
“Basically this project has been the brain child of Daughters of Charity, the Catholic Church and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in 18th February 2015, we had stakeholders meeting, different government agencies were incorporated into the project its then I was made the chairman of this project, because its basically a social welfare project. For now every member in this project is a volunteer. The project is been financed for now mostly by the Netherland’s Embassy in Nigeria.
The volunteers have been training and other basis things. The volunteers also contributes their transportation and other things because there no donations now in the project. And we cannot fall bact to donors funds because they are specifics for specific assignments in the project”
Reverend Sister Gloria Aniebonam the Provincial Superior, Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul the conceiver of the project, in interaction with Lakis News stressed thus; “At this moment of the project we are at the stage of action, first of all we have identified possible collaborators who can work with Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, then we had stakeholders meeting, we created strategic team, who meets consistently from various ministries of the government to form a database to identify those people in our streets, where they are coming from. Now they have selected them and registered those who are critically bad, this point is the action to take care of those selected” she stated.
Mr Oliver Wolugbom, Rivers state Director National Orientation Agency (NOA), one of the major partners of the project in a chat with Làkis News said that National Orientation Agency is charged with enlightenment, mobilization and attitudinal change of the masses, designed the platform of the project, stressing that they are happy that the project is moving more than their expectations.
“Partnering with this committee has been a wonderful experience, we are also happy because is something we didn’t foreseen to blossom to this extent. The very first day they met us, we said okey, we will provide the platform by involving Non Govermental Organisations (NGOs) and government into the project, which we heve done. After the first meeting we had at the ministry of Justice, each time we refeared back we are happy, because what we are doing is touching on lives people.
Othe Strategic Committee present were Rivers state Ministries of Justice, information and Health, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Moslems Association in Rivers State, Social Welfare Committee of Rivers State House of Assembly, Women Medical Association of Nigeria (WMAN), Federation of Female Lawers Association (FIDA), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), and Nigerian Union of Journalist Rivers State, who all spoke in consensus that chronically ill persons will not just be taken out of our Roads, but must be cared for and rehabilitated.