By Mercy Hill / Isdore Ndubuisi
The Catholic Diocese of Awka, through the Justice Development and Peace Caritas, JDPC, Thursday, 7 April 2022, used over two million Naira to empower 35 indigent people at the Diocesan Catholic Secretariat, Awka, Anambra State.
Out of the 35 beneficiaries who were selected from various parishes in the Diocese. Eleven people received brand new sewing machines each, while others received cash gifts of fifty thousand Naira and above, depending on the nature of their business.
Handing over the sewing machines and cash gifts to the beneficiaries, the Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, represented by the Chancellor of the Diocese, Very Rev. Fr Charles Ndubuisi, called on them to make good use of the opportunity given to them to improve their individual lives and impact positively on their communities. He noted that the Bishop made a little move from being with and being for, explaining that there was a difference between being with and for someone.
‘You could be with someone, but your presence could be more or less insignificant, but when you are totally committed to the cause of humanity and making sure that your subjects prosper, that is what being for, entails,’ he said.
Bishop Ezeokafor further commended the efforts of the JDPC, Awka Diocese, for their commitment towards improving the standard of living of the less privileged persons in society.
For his part, the Director, JDPC, Awka Diocese, Rev. Fr Levi Ukor, who appreciated the Bishop for his support, urged the beneficiaries to utilize the opportunity to cater for their daily needs.
He further urged every parish in the Diocese to create JDPC offices to enable others to benefit in subsequent empowerment programmes.
In her vote of thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mrs Rita Nwabueze from St Joseph’s Parish, Ebenebe, while expressing their joy, said it was a dream come true for most of them, as they could not on their own afford such equipment and cash. She thanked Bishop Ezeokafor and JDPC for their support.
Speaking to Fides in an interview, one of the beneficiaries, Ifunanya Okonkwo, who was visibly excited, expressed joy, noting that she never thought to be enlisted in the empowerment programme. ‘I am so very happy; in fact, I was happy when they called me to inform me that I was part of those to receive a sewing machine. ‘My prayer for the Bishop is that God will continue to protect him from every danger and I promise to replicate this gesture,’ Okonkwo stated.