To say that Chief Dr. Mrs. Ebelechukwu Obiano, Osodieme, wife of the Governor of Anambra state, Chief Willie Obiano, is an embodiment of love and care is not an overstatement. For when you love someone, you automatically care for them; you cannot love without caring and from caring comes courage. Hence, to Osodieme, caring about the happiness of others, she finds her own happiness.
Dr Mrs Obiano, like Barbara Taylor and Mother Theresa, is a woman who ascended to mountaintops, found the loftiest peaks, most wrapped in clouds and snow; she then found the surpassed and subdued mankind and looked down on the hate of those below.
Suffice it to say that it is a sweet story that would be retold for a lifetime as, few days ago, twelve persons who were picked up on Anambra streets as mentally deranged and brought to the Anambra State Home for the Mentally Challenged, Nteje finally found their way home after undergoing full recovery processes at the centre, courtesy of Dr. Mrs. Obiano. The rehabilitated persons were also given household materials, foods, cash and equipment by Osodieme to start off any of the vocations they had learnt at the centre.
No doubt, having learnt different skills while at the centre, the rehabilitated persons would be able to cater for themselves and contribute to their family’s and society’s development. The centre where the twelve persons, four women and eight men, all from states outside Anambra State were treated and trained, had been wandering on popular streets around the state until they were brought to the place.
What stands out in the governor’s wife’s charity attitude is her disregard for class, religion and ethnicity. The fact that none of the rehabilitated persons are from Anambra State says something unique about the character of Osodieme, indicating that that Dr (Mrs) Obiano’s infectious kindness stands tall among all charity stories.
The rehabilitation centre is a social work arm under the Anambra State Ministry of Social Welfare, Children and Women Affairs, but enjoys major support and partnership with the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative CAFE, a charity organization run by wife of the governor, Osodieme. Since its formal establishment in January, 2015, the centre has rehabilitated over one hundred and forty-two persons, of which eighty percent of them are not indigenes of Anambra State.
It is rather heartening that love and care for those who cannot fend for themselves have become an indispensable part of the wife of the governor, who touches people’s lives at all times. The governor’s wife has reminded people the importance of taking the menace of mental health very seriously.
There is no doubt that the current society is in dire need of a lot of advocates like Dr Mrs Obiano to fight the cause of mental health and fend for the hoi-poloi in the society. It would be recalled that by her NGO, Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), Dr Mrs Obiano, as at the last count, has built about 30 brand new bungalows and handed over, free of charge, to indigent widows across Anambra State.
CAFE has equally constructed 32 modern public toilets in rural markets across the State. Also, to assist women in hard-to-reach communities, Osodieme has completed about 57 water borehole projects to complement government efforts in water supply.
In the same vein, Osodieme has facilitated free corrective surgeries for over 200 children and persons with congenital mouth disorders of Cleft lip and Cleft palate. CAFÉ has also provided over 3,000 physically challenged persons with prosthetic limbs and mobility aides. Perhaps, the most impactful and enduring programme of the NGO is in the promotion of human capital development with over 6,000 beneficiary women, widows and physically challenged trained and empowered in various skills under its Skills Training and Empowerment programme.
What the governor’s wife’s humanitarian motives represent reflect boldly in the book of Psalms; “blessed is he that considers the poor, the Lord shall deliver him in times of trouble”.
WRITTEN BY BARR. CHUKS EZEWUZIE