Tears Of Joy In Ibadan As Sola Olagunju Foundation Gives Out Wheelchair, Crutches To PLWD, Empowers 100 Widow With Cash


Tears Of Joy In Ibadan As Sola Olagunju Foundation Gives Out Wheelchair, Crutches To PLWD, Empowers 100 Widow With Cash


Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWD) in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo state, could not contain their joy yesterday as foremost Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Sola Olagunju Foundation (SOF) brought smiles on their faces by distributing wheelchairs, crutches, and walking sticks to them.

A cross section of participants at the event yesterday.

The Foundation also dolled out cash gift as as a form of financial empowerment to no fewer than one hundred widows selected from different parts of Ibadan with no religious or ethnic bias as Muslims, Christians, Yoruba, House, Igbo, and others benefited at the event which held at Molete Baptist Church, Ibadan.

The total number of standard wheelchairs distributed are 8, while the total number of walking sticks are 6 and one crutch. One hundred widows however, got the sum of five thousand naira each to augment their household finances.

Amb. Olagunju being assisted by Hon. Josiah during presentation of walking sticks to a visually impaired beneficiaries at the event.

The event which marked the 17th anniversary of the Sola Olagunju Foundation also coincided with the birthday celebration of the Founder/Chairperson, Ambassador Olusola Olagunju.

Some of the beneficiaries of the SOF who were moved to tears of joy as they became overwhelmed by the act of kindness and charity by the NGO showered prayers on Amb. Olagunju for bringing hope to the hopeless bringing smiles to their faces in the society.

Some of the beneficiaries

In her brief welcome address, Amb. Olagunju expressed gratitude to God for the gift of another year as she celebrated her birthday in style as she was joined by other dignitaries and members of the Community Chest Council (CCC), being the president of the state Oyo state chapter.

She explained that her passion for helping the less privileged especially persons living with disabilities propelled her to go the extra mile to outsource for funds to procure the items distributed as well as the the financial empowerment from personal sources stressing that there is ability in disabilities.

“What we are doing today is a twin celebration which are the celebration of the 17th anniversary of Sola Olagunju Foundation and my birthday and as such we have decided to stretch ourselves more by using the occasion to impact more lives especially the less privileged persons living with disabilities.” Amb. Olagunju said.

Speaking with journalists, Amb. Olagunju expressed her gratitude to the state government for coming out to identify with the less privileged stressing that such act is always a great source of motivation particularly for widows, orphans, and persons living with disabilities.

Lamenting challenges faced by genuine charity organizations in the state and lack of support from wealthy and privileged members of the society to charity works, Amb. Olagunju said some people even perceived her in wrong manner for approaching them to solicit for supports towards charity noting that she had to secure a loan facility when help and support was not forthcoming from the sources she had approached.

“At a point I had to stop calling people for assistance and support because they took me for a beggar. So, I had to go extra miles to look for loan to do it because I can not afford to fail these people with special needs.” She added.

While appealing to government and other privileged members of the society to support charity works, she said, “I want to appeal that government and privileged members of our society especially in Oyo state, should support our work so that we can have less vulnerable Nigerians.

Some of the beneficiaries including Mrs. Lawal Margret who got wheelchair on behalf of her husband who is still at the hospital and Abubakar sodiq, a paralympian who spoke to journalists expressed their heartfelt appreciations to Sola Olagunju Foundation stressing that they never expected that anybody could remember them for such special act of kindness as they continued to battle rejection and isolation from the society on daily basis.

Representative of the Oyo state government at the event, Honourable Olufemi Josiah; the Special Assistant on Community Relations to Governor Seyi Makinde in his brief remarks described the Foundation as performing real missionary works.

Josiah, who struggled to hold back tears as the persons living with disabilities filed out to receive their gifts said the state would be a more better place if there are more large hearted and compassionate Nigerians as Amb. Olagunju even as he commended the Foundation for complementing efforts of the Seyi Makinde led government.

He noted that part of the Governor’s love and compassion for persons living with disabilities in Oyo state was their inclusion in governance at all levels from state to local government in terms of political appointments and employment opportunities stressing that destitute were not also left out.

He assured that Governor Makinde is so passionate about the wellbeing of these category of people in the society such that he does not allow anyone to shortchange them in the scheme of things as to whatever is earmarked to go to them stressing that the state government will not waver in continually identifying with them until the society becomes more inclusive for everyone regardless of their physical abilities.

He urged the people to not shy away from engaging government at all levels on ways to improve on the community development and wellbeing of the people saying it is a civic obligation that keeps government directly in line with its mandate even if it was attempting to derail appealing to them not allow any politician exploit their physical conditions for selfish political gains even as 2023 general elections approaches.

Highlights of the event include free medical checks and medications, cutting of anniversary and birthday cakes and cultural dance presentation by the young children from the Hausa community.

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