It was fun and excitement for the children at the SOS orphanage village in Isolo, Lagos when members of Rotary club of Ikeja visited to celebrate Christmas party for them.
The venue decorated with colours for the season, DJ to play the songs of their favorite artists to their delight had in attendance President of the club, the assistants and several members of the club.
Speaking at the event, the President of the club, Rotn Olumuyiwa Fagbola said the club is at the village to fellowship with the children, organise Christmas party for them and present gifts in the spirit of the season.
Adding that the event is part of the club’s “WE CARE” programme, the president said the motive was to put smiles on the faces of the children and share love with them.
“As part of our celebrations, we will also be visiting the patients at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and donate medical equipment to the hospital management on Christmas day, 25th December 2019. This is a legacy programme that has been on for over forty years,” he disclosed.
He explained further that the club has got the needs assessment from them to know what they need from them as a club “and by the grace of God we have purchased those items and we will be there. We will sing Christmas songs, with Father Christmas and put a smile on the faces of the patients and the nurses and of course donate medical equipment.”
Advising Nigerians to be their brother’s keeper, Fagbola said government cannot do everything and that is why clubs like Rotary are there to intervene. “We are interventionist and we will continue to do that to ensure that we complement what the government is doing. “
The Assistant President of the Club, Rotn Dotun Lampejo said Rotary itself is all about doing good to people, “assisting the indigent in places where we can help the society one way or the other.
“Our visit to SOS village has been a tradition and we are not going to depart from it because you have children who are resident and there are children who are identify as indigent outside, there are some that come on a daily basis, so we do our own part the little way we can to assist the children, assist their families, assist the society at large to provide ambassadors for Nigeria.
Speaking on why Nigerians should share love, Rotarian Lampejo said though it’s difficult because of the very tough economy situation at the moment and a person who has not taken care of himself finds it difficult to take care of other people but it is important we have to do what we can in our own little way to help others.
“Nobody has enough, everybody needs a little more but whatever you can to make sure you spread all over. You don’t have to be related to a person to make sure the person has a happy Christmas. You touch the person’s life and make sure you sow into it and that person grows up and see what he got through you and he will because of that give to the society and also give to the less privilege in the society.
“It’s a chain, those people who are beneficiary of this will grow up knowing that they themselves should give to the society and help other people who are less privileged,” he explained.
Past President of the Club, Rotn Tosin Kadiri said Rotary club of Ikeja visitation to SOS village has begun almost 40 years; “so it’s one of our signature project, it’s a project that we are so passionate about in the club because this is a season whereby we need to show love to the needy, we need to show love to the less privileged ones, we need to show love to the ones that does not have father and mother, we need to let them know that in the society some people somewhere care about them.
“That’s why every year as much as possible we try to come here, create time, leave our tight schedule to share love with them, give them gifts, dance with them, at the same time it serves as motivating factors that irrespective of what the society might have done to them there is hope, they can still be somebody in the society.
Also Rotn Ade Oyenekan, a past Assistant Governor and Past President of the club in a chat with BV said: “as you are aware they are under privilege and it is good for us to show love to them during this festive period. It’s one of the two legs of what we normally do this season. The other one will come up on Christmas day, where we shall visit LASUTH to celebrate Christmas with the patients.
On how the society can emulate what the club is doing, he said the country may be going through economic crisis but they should also rejoice for life “and as we are rejoicing for life we must remember those that are less fortunate and share the joy and the hope of life with them.
“So, I encourage everyone that as they celebrate they should remember those that one reason or the other they are not with their family, one way or the other they are not even capable of having resources that make them to actually enjoy the festivity of the season. We should be our brother’s keeper and spread love of the season,” he added.
Another Past Assistant Governor and Past President of the club, Rotn Tunji Ola said it was actually a privilege for him to be of positive influence and hope for the fatherless and motherless children. “It’s the least we can do especially this season, in and out of season is what we should do to the under privileged and that is what Rotary Club is all about.”
“We have legacy projects as it were concerning Rotary Club of Ikeja, during this period SOS is one of our legacy projects, partying with them, giving them gift and giving them hope.
“Aside from this we also have a visit to LASUTH, those who are sick and you will be amazed what we will see there. Even those that have not moved for some time when they hear the Christmas song, the band, Father Christmas their spirit are lifted and as for me that is an impact.”
Advising Nigerians on the need to help others who are less privileged, Rotn Ola said the country is not in any peculiar situation and that the society should not use that as an excuse not to be a giver.
“Life itself is rotary, there is a way that economy self-adjusts, there is nothing that is happening in Nigeria, we are only self-adjusting to our over spending life, life where we are living beyond our means, we are self-adjusting to the price of stock market, housing became very expensive.
“We are only in reality; there is nothing wrong with us. It doesn’t matter the economy we have, some hands will always be on top while some will be below, you can always find a way to give out of the little or out of so much, there are billionaires who will not give and there are those that have less that will give regardless of the situation we have extras which we can always give but if you don’t have a given heart, you will always have reason not to give.”
In his speech, the Director of programme, Lagos, SOS village, Mr. Adedeji Adeloko disclosed that Rotary Club of Ikeja has been their long time partner and friends, “they usually visit, to spend time with the children. Aside from that they support some of the children by way of sponsorship and this they have been doing consistently over the years.
“It’s very important because the consistency of support means we can plan with their contribution and support, to say the least their visit lifts the spirit of the children, it sends a good message because not only do they give them gifts, they come to spend time and when children see people in the society who have achieved a level of success coming to encourage them and spend some time with them and speak with them, it gives them sense of belonging.
“So it’s something we appreciate about Rotary club of Ikeja and we also want to challenge other corporate organisations and association as well to borrow a leaf from the Rotary club of Ikeja.
“One thing we have come to realize with Rotary club of Ikeja is the consistency and the commitment regardless of the change in leadership. You know as part of tradition they have changes in leadership frequently but to our surprise that has in no way affected the commitment of the association as a whole and which I think speaks well of the brand of Rotary club of Ikeja. We want to commend them and challenge others to borrow a leaf and support because children who do not have a family of their own need the support of every one of us to ensure they do not lack in care and that is what SOS children villages of Nigeria is all about.
“We are for care and protection of those children and we can only do this by the continuous commitment and support of partners like Rotary club of Ikeja.
“This activity is what the children look up to every year because of the fact that there is a criterion for those that will be part of it. Children are challenged to do well in the course of the year because we cannot accommodate everyone.
“Children look forward to it, it stimulates better performance among the children and generally this is the season you want to merry, you want to rejoice so it’s a fit event for the season and I think it adds colours for the children and this season will begin to make more meaning when they have this kind of event this period,” he stated.