World Day of the Poor: Caregivers want more govt. support to the poor




Caregivers on Monday urged government at all levels and individuals to give more support to the poor and less privileged in society to enable them to live a good life.

Rev. Sr. Elizabeth Erhunmwunsee of Sister of Our Lady of Apostle Convent, Asaba, made the call in the Delta capital on Monday.

She spoke when Caritas Nigeria, a Catholic faith-based Non-Government Organisation (NGO), visited to make cash and material donations to the Old Peoples’ Home, Asaba.

Items donated the old peoples’ home to commemorate the day of the poor, included food, toiletries, clothes and others worth hundreds of thousands of naira.

Erhunmwunsee, who oversees the old peoples’ home, was represented by Rev. Sr. Antoinette Adene also of the convent.

She noted that managing the aged people required a lot of support from the public, particularly government, adding that many people also visited the home to render support.

Erhunmwunsee said only three old women were currently living in the home, but others who were not resident, came from their homes to access food items and other materials from the convent.

“As you can see, the old people here need care and support, and the only means of sustaining them is from charity and donations from well-meaning Nigerians.

“We have not really seen much of government support. If government can come in to support us, then things will become easier and many more old and poor people can benefit from the gesture.

“Currently, we have only three women in the home and if we have more people here, it will be difficult to manage them without government support.

So, I call on the governments to try and take up this responsibility.

“On behalf of the women in the old peoples’ home, I will like to say a very big thank you to Caritas for remembering us today and may God bless you for your donations.

Also, Rev. Sr. Stellamaris Edet of the Mother of Divine Grace Orphanage, Okpanam, near Asaba, thanked Caritas for the donation.

“I thank you so much for this love. I know that Caritas means love and it is that love that you have allowed yourself to be used by God to show.

“If you have no love, this money spent to buy these items could have been diverted to other use. But you allowed God to use you in order to visit the ones being rejected by society,” she said.

Edet disclosed that the orphanage had 86 children including babies and those in the university, all kept in different apartments.

“We have another apartment for children aged four years and above including those who are currently in secondary schools.

“We started the orphanage in 2009, and since then, individuals are coming to support us and even the governor’s wife has been here severally to make donations,” Edet said.

Dr. Eugene Onu, Team Leader, Caritas Nigeria, said that the main reason for setting up Caritas was to help the poor and the needy in society.

He said that identifying with the orphanage and the old peoples’ home to make the donations to commemorate the World Day of the Poor, was in line with its mandate.

According to him, the organisation held a mass on Sunday to kick-start the day of the poor and then the donations were to complement and commemorate the day proper.

In an interview, 13-year-old Melvin Nwanze, a Senior Secondary School 1 (SSI) student of the orphanage, who expressed optimism to become a medical doctor, appreciated Caritas and all donors for their support.

“I thank the donors for their care and support for without them, the sisters cannot do the work alone. May God continue to bless the donors for supporting to make our lives better,” he prayed. (NAN)

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