Staff and children of the Ondo State Children’s Home, Oba-Ile, could not hide their joy on Thursday when a Non-Governmental Organisation, Farm for Charity Initiative, donated over 2,000 bulbs of locally grown onion to the Home as part of its contribution towards the provision of nutritious food for children living in the Home.
Donating the items, Convener of Farm for Charity, Olaide Abioye said that Farm for Charity Initiative was working tirelessly to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children across Ondo State.
He said healthy food, economic opportunities and environmental protection were key to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 2 which focuses on achieving zero hunger by 2030.
According to Abioye, the project which started in January 2023 with technical support from Agricultural Development Project (ADP), Ondo State Agricultural Commodities Association (OSACA) and Crest FM for the sole purpose of donating its harvest for charity had broken the myth that some crops could not be cultivated successfully in the southwest.
The convener also disclosed that the charity organisation would soon set up a pumpkin farm with a target of planting about 1,000 stands for a weekly supply of pumpkin leaves, adding that such an initiative would provide iron and protein for selected orphanages in Ondo State.
In his interview with newsmen, Abioye noted that he was once a vulnerable child, having lost his father at a tender age, saying that since then he had made up his mind to always help the less privileged.
Senior Special Assistant to Ondo State Government on Special Duties, Dr Doyin Odebowale, while addressing newsmen said that the initiative showed nobody had any excuse to glamourise poverty, saying that “if you till the ground, it will expand for you.”
Chairman of OSACA, Mr Gbenga Obaweya, described the event as a seed sown in the lives of the beneficiaries. While promising to support subsequent engagements of the charity organisation, he advised that children in the Home should also be trained in agriculture.
He equally admonished his audience to have a small garden at home, saying, “even if your floor is made of cement, you can make use of bags to cultivate various vegetables that will bail you out in an emergency.”
Mrs. Folashade Aduloju, a staff of Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Supervisor Ondo State Children’s Home, Oba-Ile, thanked the organisers of the programme for deeming it fit to support the feeding of children in the Home, describing it as a laudable initiative which the Home would not take for granted.
Also at the event, Crest FM’s Akure head of station, Godday ighoteguono lauded the initiative, describing Olaide Abioye as a selfless human
One of the children, Mary Oluwademilade, who spoke on behalf of the children equally thanked Farm for Charity Initiative for supporting them. Speaking with the press, she admonished her fellow children to also learn to give back to the society, saying that a lot of children after leaving the Home do not remember where they came from.
The occasion was graced by representatives of Ondo State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), FIDA, Federal College of Agriculture Akure (FECA) and the media.