Experts have stressed the need for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Nigeria to be focused, visible and consistent in their humanitarian activities in the society.
Delivering his key note address at the first Encouragement Initiative Academy Alumni conference held in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, Tuesday, Reverend Fr. Patrick Ngoyi of Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) stressed the need for people running NGOs to always examine the impact of their humanitarian activities on the economy, environment and society, for such initiatives to achieve their objectives.
He urged NGOs never to compete, but look for allies to work with, for the achievement of desired goals.
Co-founder of Encouragement Initiative Academy, Dr. Rotimi Akinlesi and an alumnus of the Academy, Mr. Okolo Ikechuckwu stated in their separate presentations that there was is a need for NGOs to be focused, visible and consistent in their humanitarian activities in the society, so as to enable them access grants and fellowships opportunities to boost their work in communities.
Akinlesi who is also the Executive Director of Encouragement Initiative (EI), a Non-Governmental Organization, stressed the importance of integrity and the need for managers of NGOs to always focus on meaningful projects and be visible on social media with such humanitarian activities for people to see and give the needed support.
Speaking with newsmen from the sideline of the conference, Akinlesi explained that the event brought together trained social workers and volunteers who had been trained at the Encouragement Initiative Academy within the past six years to brainstorm on how to collaborate and to further make meaningful impact across their various states of operation.
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According to him, “the Alumni of the Academy are doing well in their various NGOs, assisting people across the country; some of them taking care of health needs of people living with sickle cell, or alleviating poverty of girls in rural communities through distribution of sanitary pads, encouraging girls to go to school, some supporting widows, elderly, or people living with disabilities, while others are assisting teenage boys who are drug addicts to be decent and reintegrating them into the society, amongst other notable humanitarian activities.
On impact made so far by Encouragement Initiative in Nigeria, he revealed that new pairs of sandals had been distributed to over 30,000 pupils in public primary schools while 54 brilliant students from indigent homes are currently benefiting from the scholarship programme initiated by the NGO.
The outgoing president of the Encouragement Initiative Academy Alumni, Dr. Oluwakemi Olurinola revealed that the association in 2019 provided cash support for the surgery of a primary school amputee, Sakiru Mubarak.
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According to her, Sakiru is now walking with an artificial limb, courtesy of the complimentary support by the founder of Irede Foundation who was ignited by the gesture of EI Academy Alumni.
She added that the Alumni in 2021 supported Sodiq Rilwan, a visually impaired student to further his education while in 2022, Racheal Olatubosun who is deaf, dumb and blind in one eye was supported with cash to assist with the management of her second eye and personal care.
The Alumni later conducted an election which brought into office a new executive council consisting of Pst. Michael Okedele (President), Mr. Ikechuckwu Okolo (Vice-President), Patience Etim (Gen. Secretary), Aishat Amuludun (Treasurer) and Mrs. Modupe Olatunde (Public Relations Officer).
While showing appreciation for the confidence bestowed on him by the Alumni, Okedele craved for the support of all members to take the alumni association to an enviable level during his tenure.