By Kingsley Okoye
The Strategy and Innovation For Development Initiative (SI4Dev), an NGO, on Wednesday distributed palliatives to 35 vulnerable households in Kobi, a rural agrarian community in Kuruduma village of the FCT.
The NGO also sensitised residents of the community to the preventive measures that they should take to guard against the coronavirus pandamic.
The distribution was done at the Palace of the Chief to the community Sarki Audu Dakachi.
Managing Trustee of SI4Dev, Mrs Nkem Akinsotu, who was represented at the event by Patricia Okolo, the Operations Manager of the NGO, said that the gesture was to support the federal and states governments’ efforts at containing the spread of the virus.
Akinsoto added that the measure was also meant to mitigate the effect of the lockdown especially on vulnerable groups in the society.
According to her, the government cannot cover every where alone, and that is why as an NGO, the organisation is supporting efforts at curbing the spread of the pandemic.
“In this community we are giving out food palliatives to 35 families and we have core food items like packs of indomie noodles, bags of rice, beans, and spaghetti, among other items,” she said.
Akinsoto added that SI4Dev was also providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits for health workers.
She said that the organisation also distributed hand sanitisers and masks to some communities in the FCT and across some states.
“We empower local community volunteers to become change makers due to the pandemic in the country.
`We believe that providing palliatives for low income families will be one way to help reduce the societal effect of COVID-19.
“So far, we have deployed over 50 volunteers in 20 locations in Nigeria.
“In Abuja, we have provided palliatives, done sensitisation on preventive measures of COVID-19 in Kuje, Gawagalada, Orozo, and Kobi, a village in Kuruduma.
“FCT is our fifth location. We are distributing palliatives to the vulnerable.
“We have done other locations in Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Kwara, and Plateau states.
“We’ve also give out mini grants to 15 non-profit organisations in Nigeria.
“One of them is the Green Future Leaders that are here to support the project.
“We have over N5 million for the project on palliative and this is the 25 locations we are donating palliatives to in Nigeria.”
According to her, SI4Dev is an affiliated NGO with Spring Development Initiative in the U.S and it supports most of SI4Dev projects.
She said the organisation had been ranked among the top in global freewill donations for projects designed to affect the vulnerable.
Representative of the Chief of Kobi, Mr David Audu in his remark said: “We want to appreciate SI4Dev for coming to support us by sensitising our people to COVID-19 and providing us with some food palliatives in this period of lockdown.
“Because if they leave it alone for the government, it cannot do it alone. So the government needs the support of the NGO.
“For now we have not received any support from government since they promised to help us and had directed that the community members write down their names for palliatives distribution.
“This lockdown has affected us a lot because many of the people that are dependent on daily income to care for their families can not go out to make money.
“So it is affecting us seriously.
“I thank the NGO for coming to help us in this period and I pray that government finds solution to the COVID-19 pandemic and support the community with palliatives.” (NAN)