INSTITUTE for National Transformation (INT) on Friday distributed food items to over 120 indigents in Monkey village, an inner-city slum in Opebi area of Ikeja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that each of the beneficiaries received a bag containing 2kg gari, 5kg rice and 5kg beans.
The team leader for the institute’s food bank project, Mrs Olubukola Femi-Ajala, said the gesture was aimed at bringing succor to vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Femi-Ajala said that the institute would also embark on intervention programmes in various slum communities in Lagos State.
According to her, the intervention programmes include welfare, housing, medicals, education, entrepreneurial and leadership training.
“In order to develop a nation, we need to first develop the people and change their mindset by re-orientating them.
“From the communities we visited in Ayobo and Monkey village, we tried to identify their basic needs apart from food.
“Having identified their needs, we intend to attack it by first changing their mindset and training them based on what they want in terms of skills.
“For monkey village, we are teaming up with stakeholders around the area to find out ways to make something good out of the place,’’ she said.
Femi-Ajala added that the institute would begin to change their mindset on proper waste disposal and recycling so they could begin to see money from waste.
She noted that community engagement through community leaders was an effective approach to data collection and key to the success of intervention programmes.
“One of the strategies that have been working for us is collaboration with the community leaders, to know the exact state of affairs,” she said
She also urged Nigerians not to rely solely on the government to live improved lives.
“We cannot wait for the government for everything. Whatever we can do in our community, let us do it,” she added.
Also speaking on the deplorable state of Monkey Village, Mr Tunde Akindele, INT board member, said the community was faced with hardships such as access to clean water.
“There are over 1,000 people living in the area including children, the elderly, youths. They have no water and as a result, they have to walk about 2km to get clean water.
“So, as a matter of urgency, we are going to rally with other people to see how we can construct borehole so they can have easy access to clean water. At least if they have food and clean water, they can be alive.
“Our next step is to look for those who are literate among them who we can train on various skills.
“We will ensure they are empowered gradually until they are able to stand on their own and eventually leave the environment to make something good out of them,” he said.
Receiving the food Items, Mr. Volume Kupa, a community leader in Monkey village, expressed gratitude for the food package saying “it will go a long way.”
Kupa said the community was facing a prolonged lack of electricity, exposure to wildlife, lack of clean water, among others.
He also pleaded with the institute to provide other relief materials such as mosquito nets and repellents as they were very susceptible to malaria. (NAN)
– May 15, 2020 @ 16:59 GMT |