*As 100 homes in Imo benefit from club’s COVID 19 Reachout and touch lives outreach*
As some Imo indigenes continue to scuffle the hardship faced by the stay at home and lockdown order of the state government aimed at preventing the Corona Virus disease from finding its way into Imo state, about 115 families have benefitted from the Rotary Club of Owerri district 9142’s COVID 19-Reachout and touch lives outreach project, aimed at providing food items to over a 100 families in Imo state south east Nigeria.
Members of this humanitarian club in their numbers took to the nooks and crannies of Owerri, especially low-cost areas within the State to extend helping hands and give succor to the downtrodden and indigent families who do not have means of feeding in the period of total lockdown in the state.
The Club members have voluntarily put together large sum of money to purchase bags of rice, bags of beans, food condiments (tinned tomatoes, onions, groundnut oil, palm oil, packs of maggi), loaves of bread, bags of sachet water and bottled water, beverages (milk, sugar, tea), garri etc.
The food items which were carefully packed in a big Ghana-must-go bags move from one house to house, one community to another and giving families who do not have what to feed on at this time.
According to the Connect President of Rotary club of Owerri district 9142 Rotarian Dr. Nneka Ewelike, as Rotarians whose watch word is about service to humanity, it is duty band on the members to extend hands of succor to the less privileged at this time when the Government has directed people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the corona virus in the state.
She added that many families who live from hand to mouth will not be able feed this period since their means of livelihood has been cut short and since the club cannot bring the people together under one roof because of the ban on social gatherings, the club thought it wise to drop the food by the door steps of these families.
“We decided to reach out to indigent families at this critical and trying times when the government have asked people to stay at home because of the COVID 19, knowing fully well that all hands are not equal, some people live from hand to mouth, so the board of our club approved that we put some funds together and by food items to be distributed to over a hundred families this period and today we have been able to reach about 115 families within the state capital” Dr. Ewelike said.
She advised the people to continue to adhere strictly to the directives of the government and appropriate medical authorities on all the precautionary measures to be taken in order not to contract the virus, such as social distancing, stay at home order, washing hands regularly, using of hand sanitizers and staying away from people who are coughing or sneezing.
The director of service project of the Rotary club of owerri district 9142 Rotarian Dr. Uche Ogwuike the outreach programme is a gesture that is aimed at complementing the efforts of the government to cushion the effects of the lockdown during this period. According to Dr.Ogwuike “In the spirit of Rotary which we all know is selfless service to humanity, the idea behind this outreach is to reach out to the less privileged in our society, and we believe this is a critical time for some indigent families in the state,we do not have a preselected family or group, we just move into a neighbourhood and identify people in need and hopefully this gesture will address some issues in their families” Ogwuike said.
In addition, the President Elect of Rotary club of owerri district 9142 Rotarian Dr. Sebastian Okwu who is also a W.H.O representative in Imo state the programme is part of the contribution of Rotary to ease the hardship on the less privileged this period, adding that a high percentage of Nigerians live from hand to mouth and due to the government’s directives of stay at home, livelihood may be a bit difficult for them. In his words “as Rotarians, this is part of our contribution to help the less privileged at this time, as we all know that all fingers are not equal and the living standards of some Nigerians is in a pitiable condition, and this period when the government has issued a stay at home directive in a bid to contain the spread of the corona virus disease, things will be more difficult for them. So we are contributing our own little quota” Dr. Okwu said. He also advised the people to wash their hands regularly under running water with soap for about 20 seconds and maintain proper hygiene as directed by medical authorities this period.
Jude Ewurum from Amakohia Uratta who is one of the beneficiaries thanked the Rotary club of owerri for their gesture towards alleviating the sufferings of people of his area, he said “We can’t thank Rotary people enough for what they have come to do in our neighborhood today, God will continue to bless them immensely, is only God that will repay them, some of us here don’t even know what to eat this evening talk less of Tomorrow but with the amount of food items they just gave us it can carry us for the next one week” Ewurum said
Another beneficiary Nze Martins said he believes the outreach is a divine arrangement from God, he commended the Rotary club for remembering to come to their area while also appealing to them not to make this the last time. “I know this is a divine arrangement by God, I can’t just say how I feel because honestly since this stay at home order by the government getting 3 square meal for my family has been difficult, I really thank them, I pray they can come again and again” Martins disclosed.