“There are people in the world, so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread”- Mahatma Gandhi
This quote aptly captures the pathetic and deplorable condition of hundreds of residents in Ijora, a slum in the backyards of Lagos State. A walk through the muddy street of the Ijora brings you in contact with poor people whose level of dejection is in varying degrees. Most of the residents of Ijora sleep on the pavement, sidewalk, broken down houses, uncompleted building, under the bridge, etc. A small-sized room could have as much as 10 people occupying it. This is just an aspect of the plight of the poor in Ijora. The most pathetic part of the story is that, like every slum in Lagos, a lot of residents wake up hungry and go to bed hungry. Even on Eid-el-Kabir, the most important festive day on the Muslim calendar characterized by feasting and merriment, a lot of these poor people are still hungry, with most of them begging by the wayside.
Being aware of the plight of the poor in Ijora, a humanitarian organization called “We Care Initiative” in collaboration with Voice of Change Network International embarked on a project to show love to this poor group of people in Ijora by sharing food among them. The dream of the Organization is to see an Africa where nobody goes to bed hungry. Speaking at the occasion, the president of the group, Mr. Toluwase Olaniyan expressed appreciation to God for the grace given to him and his team. He stated that he would do everything in his power to continue what he has started. Noteworthy is the fact that the group is made up of 100% Christians. Reacting to this observation, Mr. Olaniyan emphatically opined that religion is no barrier to showing love to the less privileged. In his words, “I am a Christian, and they are Muslims. So what? The fact is that they are humans. So I have to do whatever I can to make life easier for them. That is love”.
Speaking in the same vein, the president of Voice of Change Network, Mr Azemobor Gregory expressed optimism that if everyone would look beyond the confines of religion and ethnicity, and accordingly show love to his brother/sister, that the World would indeed be a better place. He called on men & women all over the world to do good & live selflessly in order to reach out to the less privileged in the society. He questioned why people should even go to bed hungry in the first place. According to him, if the systems of the world were truly effective, then there would be no poor or hungry person in the world. This stance is in line with Helder Camara’s quote which says, “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist!” “Tackling hunger from the root is a more effective means of combating the menace of poverty and alleviating the plight of the poor than just merely handing out food to the hungry. But while working on trying to implement some strategies that will ensure equal opportunity for humanity. We need to do what we can to keep them alive, hence our resolve to feed as many people as we can”.
The event was a phenomenal success as a lot of poor people ate to their fill. Watch out for the next celebration as this group embarks on yet another journey to eradicate hunger in the country!
To support this organization to achieve greater goals, contact Mr. Olaniyan on 08030724533