Running an orphanage or a home for the elderly in a country like Nigeria is not rampant due to the lack of benevolence. Moreso, finding an organized and well built orphanage in a place like Choba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State is one that requires attention and commendation.
In view of this National Point had an interview session with Mrs. Blessing Echendu, a Civil Servant, teacher with the State government who ventured in owning an orphanage home of such magnitude. I’m into the business of orphanage because I love children, I like reaching out to children, I like reaching out to those who are in need not because I am a rich person, the truth is that when you are that kind of person who will not want to see people suffer you will be ready to give out your last kobo and doing so it gives me joy and makes me a fulfilled woman. “Remember, everything about life is making an impact, the impact you make is what life entails, is not all about building houses, owning cars because they are all vanities.”
I have eighteen children in the orphanage home but we have 32 children some are not in the orphanage home but, are staying with family members, we call those children home base care, we reach out to them and help them every day. “In the Blessing Orphanage we have 6 males and 12 females, the reason females are more is because I am a woman and also want to reach out to women.”
On the method of enrollment Mrs. Echendu, said she enroll by going to the rural communities, we don’t do enrollment in the urban areas because the urban children can get help from people around. There are rural areas where these children are more in number. Recently, I went to a community to enroll three children, on reaching there I saw the need to take up several children to help but I started my orphanage with a promise to do quality and quantity.
“I do quality and not quantity all the children in the orphanage are in private school and I do tell them that they will all school abroad jut as my only biological daughter is studying in the United Kingdom and one fantastic promise she has made is that, she has promised to take up three children from the orphanage to train them abroad. The housing facility is a tow storey building and 3 bedroom flats which can comfortably accommodate 50 children if not more.”
On why she did not enroll the children at the orphanage in public school is due to the mess in the public schools and a positive change of perspective about their lives. “Though, I’m a teacher in public school but I don’t want the children in the orphanage to attend public school due to the mess happening in public school and always want the best for them including their perspective about life.”
When ask if she gives out the children for adoption Blessing was very emphatic “No” I don’t give out these children for adoption” adoption is done by government through the ministry of social welfare and rehabilitation as an orphanage home owner you don’t have the right to give any child for adoption, that is why when you enter my orphanage home you will see don’t ask for adoption sign” because seeing them around me makes me a fulfilled woman but, the challenge has been finance and sponsorship to keep the standard of the orphanage.”
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