The Islamic Orphanage Foundation on Sunday in Ilorin distributed sewing machines and a welding machine to 7 benefiting orphans of its 2019 empowerment programme.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that another orphan also benefited from equipment for sale of lubricant oil following successful training.
In his speech, the chairman of the foundation, Alhaji Sefiullahi Alege, said that no fewer than 276 orphans were under the care of the foundation undergoing their studies at various schools and vocational centres.
According to him, about 13 orphans have completed their tertiary education since 2002 that the foundation was established with 84 students currently in tertiary institutions across the country while 179 are in primary and post-primary school as well as vocational training centres.
“As we all know a day is usually set aside to showcase the activities of the Foundation in the last 12 months.
“It is a way of thanking God and rejoicing together with stakeholders and guardians of our children and other stakeholders.
“Annual Orphanage Day is a forum meant for rendering our stewardship about orphans in our care, financial situation of the foundation and to intimate you with challenges and how to forge ahead.
“We want to thank the Federal Government of Nigeria under the watch of President Muhammdau Buhari for allowing the Nigeria Customs Service to make donation of food items and clothes to the foundation and other like organisations,” he said.
Alege, however, identified funding as a major challenge facing the operation of the foundation.
“Finances has always been the bane of all Associations like ours but we thank all our stakeholders for making it possible for us to go this far,” he said, urging the well meaning individuals and corporate bodies to donate to toward the betterment of the orphans.
The foundation chairman commended various donors, who had contributed to support the programme.
He appealed to the Federal Government, states and the traditional leaders to address the issue of insecurity to reduce the number of orphans resulting from death of parents due to insecurity.
One of the beneficiaries, Hamdalat Omotosho, commended the foundation for its activities toward making life meaningful for the orphans.
She said that the care by the foundation had really ameliorated their suffering due to loss of parents.
She pledged that the beneficiaries would make judicious use of the working implement.
Edited by Donald Ugwu
Foundation empowers 100 infertility women in Nigeria
Dr Rasha Kelej, Chief Executive Officer of Merck said in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, that the foundation had supported the women, in collaboration with the First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs Aisha Buhari.
According to her, the foundation has been partnering with Buhari, who is also the Ambassador of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’.
“Over 100 infertile women were supported to establish small business so that they can rebuild themselves and lead independent and happier lives.’’
Kelej said Merck foundation had provided training for embryologists in Nigeria to create a platform of local experts in the fertility care.
“We are fully committed to continuing providing specialised training in the fields of cancer, fertility and diabetes care to more doctors across Nigeria after the official launch,’’ she said.
“They are leading the initiative to empower infertile women and break the stigma around infertility.
“This speaks volume about the work we are doing.
“Also, we have supported the establishment of the first-ever Public IVF centres in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Uganda by training their staff to be able to support the infertile couples.’’
The official said she was proud of the success stories, saying “I always feel that they are my children and I am super proud of their success.
“It is very important to empower infertile women by providing treatment so they can bear children as part of their human rights.
“But, for those who cannot be treated anymore, Merck More Than a Mother’s initiative ‘Empowering Berna’ helps to train them to establish their own small business so that they can be independent and re-build their own lives’’.
Kelej also said that the foundation also worked with local singers, film-makers, media partners and fashion designers to raise awareness to break the stigma of infertility.
“These initiatives are very important for Nigeria since it is the hub of art and fashion, I cannot wait to explore these beautiful talents and work closely with them.
“The aim is to sensitise our communities that women are more than just mothers and men are more than just fathers.
“It takes both a man and a woman to have a child,’’ she said.
Foundation seeks declaration of state of emergency on sexual, gender-based violence
The Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation (GLOHWOC) has called for the declaration of a state of emergency on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the country.
The foundation also called for effective enforcement of penal laws in the country to punish rapists.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the call came on the heels of the increasing number of rape cases across the country.
The foundation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mrs Christy Abayomi-Oluwole, in a statement made available to NAN on Friday at Omu-Aran, decried the recent upsurge in rape cases, especially against minors.
She also urged the police to facilitate effective and prompt investigation of rape and rape-related cases.
Abayomi-Oluwole also advocated for an urgent domestication and enforcement of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child Rights Act.
Quoting Sections 282 and 283 of the Penal Code, she said that the penalty for rape was life imprisonment.
“The penalty, under the criminal code, is life imprisonment for rape and 14 years imprisonment for attempted rape (Sections 357, 358 and 359 of the Criminal Code).
“Unfortunately, this felonious offence has become one of the major prevailing offences in Nigeria today.
“Recently reported cases include the rape and murder of a 22-year-old Uwaila Omozuwa of the University of Benin and 18-year-old Barakat Bello of the Federal College of Animal and Production Technology, Ibadan, who was stabbed to death for her refusal to be raped.
“There was also the disheartening case of a four-year-old girl in Cross River State,” she said.
According to her, the need for declaration of a state of emergency on SGBV in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised.
“We call on government to ensure an urgent domestication and enforcement of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and the Child Rights Act.
“Government should also ensure the establishment of functional sexual assault referral centers (SARC) at the state level.
“The Nigerian Police Force should facilitate effective and prompt investigation of all reported rape/SGBV cases, while government should ensure criminalisation and prompt prosecution of those cases and domesticate sex offenders’ registers,’’ she said.
China’s Mammoth Foundation donates COVID-19 testing equipment to Latvia
China’s Mammoth Foundation in Shenzhen donated key laboratory equipment to a biomedical research center in Latvia on Friday.
Professor Janis Klovins, director of the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center, who received the BGI Fire Eye lab equipment on behalf of the center, described the donation as a very important addition to the center’s capabilities in COVID-19 research, specifically viral sequencing.
According to Klovins, with the new equipment, the center’s capacity could be raised to over 200 samples per week from the current 32.
Klovins believed that the Chinese equipment will be highly useful in other COVID-19 research projects as well. It is expected to help with automation of nucleic acids extraction and improvement of work efficiency of Latvia’s virus detection.
Among the 115,461 COVID-19 tests performed in Latvia so far, 1,085 tests have come back positive, according to the latest data released on Friday by the Latvian Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The donation was coordinated by the Chinese Embassy in Latvia and the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Nelson Mandela Foundation calls for end to “structural violence” against black people in United States
“More than 1,000 Black people die at the hands of police in the U.S. every year,” the foundation said, adding “mass incarceration, predictive policing, targeted surveillance and a host of other tools render Black lives more vulnerable than all others.”
The protests across the United States have forced dozens of cities to impose curfews.
“Black lives matter enough to warrant getting out in the streets and demanding an end to a system which creates the conditions for (and legitimizes) violence against Black bodies,” it said.
Gates Foundation pledges $2 Bln to Gavi for vaccines
The funding, secured for Gavi’s next strategic period is to help the alliance reach an additional 300 million children in the world’s most vulnerable communities.
It will also save up to eight million lives, bringing the total number of children immunized with Gavi’s support to more than one billion since its inception in 2000.
It is expected to leverage its two decades experience in vaccine delivery to deploy potential COVID-19 vaccines to low income countries when they become available.
In a statement, Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: “not many people outside the global health sector have heard about Gavi.
“If the current pandemic has reminded us of anything, it’s the importance of vaccinating against deadly diseases.
“The pledges that leaders are making today will help Gavi save even more lives,” she said.
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Gavi Board, said that with the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting vaccine programmes across the globe and causing huge economic damage, the pledge would play a vital role in supporting countries’ efforts to prevent the resurgence of other deadly, vaccine-preventable diseases.
Also, Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: “to beat the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs more than breakthrough science. It needs breakthrough generosity.
“And that’s what we’re seeing today as leaders across the public and private sectors are stepping up to support Gavi – especially Prime Minister Johnson.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the foundation has supported Gavi since its founding more than two decades ago.
Since it was founded, Gavi has immunised more than three-quarters of a billion children, saved 13 million lives and cut child mortality in half in supported countries.
This includes $50 million of new funding as well as the foundation’s $50 million pledge that was made at the Coronavirus Global Response International Pledging Event in May.
The latest pledge also includes $75 million to the Gavi Matching Fund that was announced in January this year.
COVID-19: BUA Foundation donates N200m, 5 ambulances to Lagos govt
Mr O’tega Ogra, Group Head, Corporate Communications, BUA Group, said in a statement that the Group Chief Operating Officer of the group, Chimaobi Madukwe, presented the ambulances and cheque to the First Lady of Lagos state, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.
Madukwe commended the effort of the state in curbing the effects of the virus, noting that BUA would continue to support various efforts across Nigeria to stop the virus.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, we felt a responsibility to support the state government and the people during these times.
“We are keen in contributing our quota where needed to end the pandemic and these ambulances are to ensure the people of Lagos state get the best medical attention.
“We are working tirelessly with various stakeholders to further identify places where help is needed, and had since set aside a grant in addition to this cash donation and five ambulances from which some projects are being carried out,” Madukwe said.
Receiving the donations on behalf of the Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the First Lady of Lagos state, Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said the donation was critical to the COVID-19 fight.
Buratai lays foundation for construction of Nigeria army reference hospital in Maiduguri
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS),Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Monday laid the foundation for construction of 200-bed-capacity Nigerian Army Reference Hospital in Maiduguri.
Buratai said while commissioning the project that the establishment of the hospital would be of immense benefit, not only to the military, but also to the people of the Northeast.
He said that Nigerian army was committed to ensuring welfare of its personnel and their families, including families of deceased colleagues.
“We are gathered here today to give boost to our effort by providing effective and efficient healthcare services to personnel, their families, as well as the public within the northeast,”he said.
He explained that the evacuation of personnel to military reference hospital in Kaduna had often resulted in loss of valuable time, especially in emergency cases, in addition to the stress the patients went through during movement to access medical care.
“It is on this premise that the Nigerian Army decided to construct the 200 bed capacity hospital to provide tertiary level care to our troops ,as well as their families and the good people of the Northeast,” he said.
The COAS said that the hospital, when completed, would be adequately staffed and equipped to meet international standards..
“Let me use the medium to commend the officers and men of the Nigerian army for their gallantry in their various operations across the country.
“I must say that they have made remarkable progress in fight against ‘Boko Haram,’ISWAP, and other criminal elements in the country.
“I urged our gallant troops to keep it up and remain professional in performing our constitutional responsibilities,” he said.
The COAS urged relevant stakeholders to support the initiative to enable speedy completion of the projects.
In his remarks, Zulum said that establishment of the hospital would boost the health care requirements and welfare of troops and their families.
“It will also serve as a morale booster,as well as strengthen the civil-military relationship and add value to the development of the northeast,” he said.
Foundation reiterates commitment to educational support to orphans, vulnerable children
Dr Ejiro Osiobe, the Chief Financial Officer of the Foundation, made the commitment in a statement on Monday in Abuja, to mark the organisation’s five years of service.
According to him, the Foundation is committed to positive change, through educational support, care for the poor and vulnerable groups in the society for economic development of the country.
“I will start with a quote I play all the time in my head, no one is asking you to be Mandela, Malala or Obama; we’re are asking you to be the best version of yourself.
“What is the best version of one’s self? It is the state of mind that desires and strives to be better every day, not comparing one’s progress with others.’’
The officer also said that the organisation’s aim was to see how it could help children achieve their dreams “so that those who want to become great will achieve their desired goals.’’
“Once again, we at the Ane Osiobe International Foundation will like to thank all the schools that welcomed us during the past five years.
“We promise to keep the Foundation’s founding fathers principle and by the grace of God will be allies of positive change to the Nigerian economy.
“Our philosophy is what keeps us moving at Ane Osiobe International Foundation; The Ane Osiobe Trendsetters Department, has concluded that ‘poverty isn’t a money problem but an opportunity problem,” he said.
He also urged Nigerians to make deliberate efforts in showing love through educational support and care to widows and their children to ensure their moral, social, physical and academic well-being.
No Tobacco Day: Foundation begins anti smoking campaign in Northern states
A Kaduna based NGO, The Eye Opener Youth and Women Foundation, says it has began house-to-house campaign and using social media platforms to sensitise the youth against the use of tobacco across the states in the North.
Mrs Margaret Julius, the founder, told journalists on Saturday in Kaduna that in spite of the COVID-19 lockdown, the foundation would try to reach as many households as possible during the campaign which would run throughout June.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the campaign is ahead of the World No Tobacco Day, marked on May 31, every year.
She said that the aim was to raise more awareness on the dangers of tobacco to human health, in order to reduce the number of deaths among youth and teenagers across the country.
Julius said millions of people die annually as a result of diseases associated with tobacco smoking across the world.
According to her, the World Health Organization 2020 report has indicated that tobacco kills more than eight million people each year and more are affected with various cancer problems.
She stressed that smoking not only caused cancer, but also damaged nearly every organ in the body, including the lungs, heart, blood vessels, reproductive organs, mouth, skin, eyes, and bones.
Julius noted that teenage cigarette smokers were more likely to get into fights, carry weapons, attempt suicide, suffer mental health problems such as depression, and engage in high-risk sexual behaviors.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean that tobacco use caused these behaviors, but they’re more common in teens who use tobacco now a days.
“The teenagers and youths of now a days used the new method of smoking using decorated Pot Called Shisha which enabled them ton mixed cigaratte and othe traditional leaves to make them feel okey.”
She also said that the campaign was also to draw the attention of second hand smokers on the dangers they expose themselves to living with people who smoke.
“Smoking tobacco affects human health in many ways which include, increased risk of gum disease and tooth loss, wounds taking longer to heal, decreased immune system function.
“Increased risk of type 2 diabetes, decreased sense of smell and taste, premature aging of the skin, bad breath and stained teeth.
“Increased risk for cataracts, higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, increased risk for age-related macular degeneration, which can cause blindness.
“Smoking damages the airways and small air sacs in smokers lungs. This damage starts early in smokers, and lung function continues to worsen as long as the person smokes.
“Still, it may take years for the problem to become noticeable enough for lung disease to be diagnosed.”
Meanwhile, the Director, African Climate Reporters, Nurudden Bello, has called for total ban on smoking in playgrounds, park, markets, stadium and other public places in the country “to reduce the chances of children growing up thinking that using cigarettes is normal.”
He said that the ban would protect people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
According to him, researchers have indicated that teen tobacco users are more likely to use alcohol and illegal drugs than non-users, as such parents must monitor and advice their children properly.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
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