By Jude Atupulazi
The wife of the Governor of Anambra State, Dr Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano (Osodieme), has expressed appreciation to Anambrarians, friends and well-wishers, on the occasion of the Fifth Anniversary of her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ).
In a statement in Awka to mark the anniversary of the NGO, signed on her behalf by the Chief Media Officer, Emeka Ozumba, Osodieme said that CAFÉ was incorporated on August 1, 2014, as a non-governmental, non-partisan organization with a mandate to provide humanitarian and charitable services, but commenced full activities by the second week of the month. The wife of the governor explained that CAFE was set up in furtherance of her passion to help the needy with a vision to be the beacon of sustainable empowerment for indigent women, widows, youths, the physically challenged and the less privileged.
Said Osodieme, ‘CAFÉ is a product of lifelong habit, hence, five years of its founding as a formal organization almost went unnoticed, but for the plaudits we received about the programmes. I want to use this opportunity to thank ndi Anambra and our good friends who have contributed in support of our various programmes. As part of our fifth anniversary, we have intensified campaign to stop the incidence of Sickle Cell Anaemia through Genotype Education and will initiate further intervention on sickle cell soon. Today, I just want to say thanks, but God Almighty who knows the lives many of you helped through us will continue to bless and prosper you.’
As an NGO, CAFE has within the five-year span since its establishment, lived up to its mandate to touch lives positively by promoting the welfare of the whole family through the propagation of the wellbeing and safety of citizens based on the principles of equity, justice and fairness and fostering of socio-political and economic development of individuals.
Within the period, CAFÉ has facilitated free corrective surgeries for over 100 children and persons with congenital mouth disorders or cleft lip, and cleft palate, in collaboration with the Smile Train International and University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi. It has so far built 22 houses and donated freely to indigent widows. To promote hygiene, it has constructed 17 public toilets in rural markets in communities across Anambra, and 46 water borehole projects to assist women in hard-to-reach communities.
To promote quality human capital development, CAFÉ has trained and empowered over 4,600 women, widows and youths under its Skills Training and Acquisition programme and gave each trainee start-up money to take off on graduation. Also to rid Anambra streets of stray mentally challenged persons, CAFÉ in collaboration with the Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Affairs, rescues and treats mentally challenged persons at its 77-bed facility in Nteje with a record of over 100 cases successfully managed.
Every year, the NGO sponsors free prosthetic limbs gift to the physically challenged persons with over 1,400 persons benefitting, while 1800 others got free wheel chairs and other mobility aides. To check the high rate of mother and child mortality, CAFE trained 80 women as Community Health Assistants and gave them delivery motor-bike with baby cots and mobile phones to reach and assist women in the rural communities.
Osodieme further stated that as a socio-philanthropic organization, CAFÉ did not request any form of gratification or payment from beneficiaries or potential beneficiaries, but rather executed all projects, trained, equipped and empowered the needy freely through self-funding and the support of philanthropists. She therefore urged public spirited sons and daughters of Anambra State and friends, as well as well-wishers, to sustain their support for the organization.