The event which had top dignitaries in attendance held at the Park Inn by Radisson, Presidential Boulevard, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
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Prominent Nigerians from all walks of life had assembled at the Boulevard to give respite to not less than 300 orphans and vulnerable children, through the Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu (OOA) Foundation initiated phased intervention programmes which aims at supporting them with access to quality education, primary healthcare, nutrition as well as social and economic welfare.
Speaking during the launch, Chairman of the Foundation, Mr. Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu, revealed that the initiative is committed to giving orphans and vulnerable children a level playing field in life. “Society is often caught up in the cycle of trying to make ends meet and tend to forget the vulnerable in the process. We have decided to step in to make a difference because we believe every child deserves a sense of belonging and a fighting chance to succeed in life despite any initial setback.”
In her opening remarks, Ms. Kemi Sokenu-Morris, Chief Executive Officer, OOA, explained that the 300 orphans and vulnerable children were carefully selected from six local government areas in the state and will benefit from the pilot project which will run from June to December, this year.
The six selected local government areas include Odogbolu, Ikenne, Imeko, Yewa South, Abeokuta South and Abeokuta North; while plans are underway to extend the intervention to other geographical zones of the country.
Also speaking at the occasion, one of the patrons of the Foundation, Sir (Dr.) Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu who lamented the plight of orphans and vulnerable children across the country, applauded the conception and creation of OOA Foundation. Pledging his continued support for the Foundation, he also adopted 30 children from the selected 300.
In his own speech, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, indicated the preparedness of the State Government to partner with OOA Foundation in its efforts towards the empowerment of the less privileged in the state.
Emphasizing the need for active participation of the Private Sector and kind-hearted individuals in the provision of adequate care and protection for special children across board, Governor Amosun, who could not hide his joy at the launch of the Foundation, described the Foundation as an exemplary gesture that was targeted at giving a new lease of life to the less fortunate in the society.
Patrons of the Foundation many of who graced the occasion and pledged their support for the Foundation include, His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (Former President of Nigeria); Dr. Sen. Grace Folashade Bent; former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justice Salihu Modibo Alfa Balgore; Former Minister of Youth and Culture, Alabo Tonye Graham Douglas; Obi of Onitsha, HRM, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Achebe (Agbogidi); Emir of Zaria, HRH, Sarkin Shehu Idris and Barrister (Mrs.) Margaret Nkem Onyema- Orakwusi.
The presence of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi also added colour to the launch, as he also all well-meaning Nigerians to make concerted efforts towards the empowerment of the youth and women in society.Others include Mrs. Abolanle Matel-Okoh, Dr. (Mrs.) Abiola Olorode, Senator (Mrs.) Grace Folasade Bent who are also members of the Board of Trustees; and Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital (UCH), Prof Temitope Alonge, among others.