Project Enable Africa, a renowned Non-Governmental Organisation devoted to the digital empowerment of Persons With Disabilities in Nigeria, has embarked on a door to door food drive initiative which is targeted at providing food for Persons With Disabilities in Lagos during the on-going lockdown aimed at reducing the widespread of the COVID 19 pandemic.
The food drive which is targeted at reaching 1000 families across Lagos has benefitted families of Persons With Disabilities in different Local Government Areas of Lagos Including Ajeromi Ifelodun, Igando-Ikotun, Apapa-Iganmu, Ikorodu, Alimosho and a few others across the Lagos.
According to the founder of the NGO, Mr. Olusola Owonikoko, “We acknowledge that the present situation across the globe is a challenging one and we can’t leave the bulk of the COVID 19 response to government alone.
“We realized a lacuna in many of the intervention programs in the country as many weren’t conscious of the community of Persons With Disabilities, who indeed are one of the most vulnerable at this trying time” Owonikoko reiterated that Persons With Disabilities should be carried along in the provision of palliatives and Project Enable as an organisation has decided to take the lead in that regard.
“Our main focus is the digital and social-economic empowerment of Persons With Disabilities in Nigeria, and their successful integration into the workplace and the society at large. Earlier in March, we completed the first cohort of our 2020 digital training for PWDs just before the lockdown commenced, but with the overwhelming feedback from the community, we couldn’t shy away from the need for food we daily received, hence we had to come up with the COVID 19 Food Drive Initiative.
The food package basically contains sizeable essentials like rice, pasta, beans, garri, vegetable oil and other paraphernalia.
Head of Communications for Project Enable Africa, Lanre Olagunju, explained that “we had to engage a door to door approach so we can get across to the majority of PWDs who are seriously affected by the present lockdown in Lagos.
Olagunju who led the delivery team across the state further explained that the delivery task has been both fulfilling and daunting, considering that the package had to be delivered to different doorsteps in interior parts of the state.
According to him, “We acknowledge the tremendous support from the leadership of the Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities, Lagos Chapter, and also that of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) who provided adequate security which aided the successful distribution of the food materials to different neighbourhoods in the State.
“In order to reach out to more people, in the face of this unexpected emergency, we have put forward a call for support in form of donation which could be in cash or food items so as to put decent food on the tables of more Persons With Disabilities and their families at this trying period, we have received support here and there, but if we must reach our goal of catering to 1000 families, we will require more support.
According to one of the beneficiaries, Mr. Olugbenga a visually impaired businessman who resides in Ikorodu, “We have been hearing about several intervention programs by the State and Federal Government and the several donations by top philanthropists and owners of big co-operations, but we haven’t seen any form of support or food in this part of Ikorodu, we are grateful to Project Enable Africa for the food support we got last week.
“But how long can that go, because my fear is that if things continue at this rate, today, for instance, I heard that about 51 people have been infected in the last 24 hours, which implies that the lockdown might be extended at the expiry of the present one. Please more organisations need to employ the door to door approach by this NGO”.