It is a thing of joy and gratitude to God that Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ) turned seven on Sunday, August 1, 2021. CAFÉ is a pet project of the wife of the governor of Anambra state, Chief Dr. Ebelechukwu Obiano, Osodieme. CAFÉ is a Non-Governmental Organization founded on the wings of passion for helping the needy on August 1, 2014.
It is heartening that the organization has, within the short span, etched its name in gold in the pantheon of charitable organizations. As an umbrella NGO, non-partisan and non-profit organization for promoting the wellbeing of the family, CAFE has, through its numerous interventions, provided succour and impacted positively on the lives of disables and the less privileged.
Already, many attest that CAFÉ has indeed become a high impact humanitarian organization and a global champion of charitable causes. This is because CAFÉ set out with modest objective to become a beacon of sustainable empowerment for indigent women, widows, the physically challenged and the less privileged persons in Anambra state and beyond.
Driven by an unusual compassion and belief in the remarkable thoughts of John Bunyan’s in The Pilgrim’s Progress: “You have not lived today, until you have done something for someone who can never repay you,” Dr Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano has effectively used the CAFÉ platform to expand the frontiers of charitable giving like never seen before in these paths.
For instance, CAFE is promoting hygiene and the dignity of women with campaign to stop Open Defecation and has constructed 22 modern public toilets in rural markets across the State. Also, to assist women in hard-to-reach communities, the NGO has completed 50 water borehole projects to complement government efforts in water supply.
In fact, the positive impact of the water projects have attracted global recognitions and partnerships with reputable organizations to CAFE and appreciations of Mrs. Obiano’s charitable initiatives with conferment of awards as EU/UNICEF Water Health and Sanitation (WASH) Ambassador, as well as United Nations Peace Ambassador.
In the same vein, working in collaboration with Smile Train Incorporated, an international organization empowering local medical professionals to provide free cleft lip and/or palate surgery, CAFÉ has facilitated free corrective surgeries for over 100 children and persons with congenital mouth disorders of Cleft lip and Cleft palate at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi. Again, in recognition of her selfless services through CAFÉ to cleft care, Mrs. Obiano was made Smile Train Ambassador.
CAFÉ has also provided over 2,000 physically challenged persons with prosthetic limbs and mobility aides. But perhaps the most impactful and enduring programme of the NGO is in the promotion of human capital development with over 5,000 beneficiary women, widows and physically challenged trained and empowered in various skills under its Skills Training and Empowerment programme.
Also, in collaboration with the state Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, CAFÉ has successfully treated and repatriated back home over 120 cases of mentally challenged persons at its 77-bed facility at Nteje, thus ridding Anambra streets of stray mentally challenged persons.
Last year, amidst the uncertainties of the Coronavirus pandemic, Osodieme took up the gauntlet to handover keys to two new 2-bedroom bungalows to two widows at Igboukwu and Akwaihedi in Aguata and Nnewi South Local Government Areas respectively. Osodieme handed the keys to new place of abode to the new set of excited beneficiaries, bringing the count to twenty-seven houses built and lavishly equipped, free, for indigent widows across Anambra State by CAFÉ.
Beyond CAFÉ’s celebrated achievements in the last seven years, the hope in the NGO’s future is hinged upon its proven capacity and promises to increasingly improve and sustain its constructive engagements towards adding values to the lives of the less privileged and improving living standard in otherwise despondent homes.
WRITTEN BY BARR. CHUKS EZEWUZIE