The INTERNATIONAL CHANGE AGENTS CONFERENCE took place on Saturday, the 5th of September 2015 in Ikeja, Lagos. The meeting which was tagged “NETWORKING AND SYNERGY AMONG CHANGE AGENTS, THE KEY TO GREATER EFFECTIVENESS IN VISION ACTUALIZATION” was put together to enhance effectiveness of the various groups and individuals that are committed to making life easier and better for humanity.
The three hour conference which had Mr. Mark Idiahi as the MC drew people from all over the country, as the conference venue was packed out, and a lot of people were seen standing outside the hall. The event started with a brief prayer by The Director of Programmes, Mr. Princewill Inegbenose, after which the Vice President of Voice of Change Network, Mr. Austin Edoho took the stage and articulated the projects and achievements of the organization. Thereafter, The President and International Coordinator of Voice of Change Network Int’l gave a very moving speech about the purpose of our being here on earth. He called on men and women all over the world to be their brother’s keeper, and to use whatever God has blessed them with to be a blessing. While the talk was ongoing, some people could be seen weeping in the audience. Yes, that was the strength and impact of the message he passed across. Mr. Azemobor also spoke about the media arm of the organization, and why it was imperative for the organization to establish an in-house media platform to enable them and other change agents reach out to the world. In his words, “we know that there are a lot of individuals and organizations who don’t just bear the name of an NGO, but are actually adding meaning to people’s lives, but sadly enough, a lot of these change agents are not known nor heard of. Since these people are not using their platform as a money-making venture, they may not be able to afford media publicity owing to the high cost such venture might entail. And we are convinced that you are among such group of people, hence our resolve to provide you with an effective/efficient medium (VOC Newspaper/VOC Radio, VOC TV) through which your message will reach out to the world, and your works will be known to the public, thereby glorifying God. (Mathew 5:16).”
Speaking further, he said emphatically,” It’s very obvious that the conventional media (Radio, TV, Magazines and Newspapers) have failed us. They have refused to help well-meaning citizens of this country reach out to the world. But we cannot fail ourselves. We can succeed without them, and we will succeed without them”.
Mr Awodeyin Olasunkanmi briefly shared how VOC news helped save his son’s life by writing a story about the predicament he was going through. Through the publication, financial assistance came to Mr Awodeyin, and the baby is very fine now. He came with his wife and little Daniel (the son) to honour that event.
Then was the award presentation to Rev Mrs. Sophy Mbanisi, the President of Healing Hearts Foundation, an organization committed to making life easier for widows, the less privileged, and the aged. Mr Edoho read the citation, after which the award plaque was officially presented to Mrs. Mbanisi by the President of Voice of Change Network, Mr. Gregory Azemobor.
Reacting to the award, Mrs Mbanisi expressed gratitude to God for the honour accorded her. She also thanked the leadership of Voice of Change for the honour and privilege. She stated that it was a double honour, as she was the first person ever to be presented with such award from Voice of Change. She promised to go the extra mile in doing all she can to put smiles on the faces of the less-privileged. According to her, “this award has really boosted my morale, and re-energized me. For reposing such faith and confidence in me, I assure you that I and Healing Hearts Foundation will continue to do everything in our power to continue affecting lives positively”.
The icing on the cake was the birthday celebration of Mr Edoho. Standing behind the birthday cake, he made the audience understand that he was not celebrating the addition of another year to his age, but rather, he was celebrating the discovery of purpose. According to him, he has finally discovered what he was born to do, which was to add value to lives, and pour out himself to be a blessing to the world, and that is exactly what he would do with all his heart and might. He used the opportunity to solicit for help for one Mrs. Eze whose daughter has been in the hospital for nine months. The one year old girl was admitted when she was just three months, and she needed some money for settlement of her medical bills. Led by Mr. Azemobor, the whole house moved in one accord and donated some money to the woman. Thereafter, he cut the cake, and took his seat. The closing remarks was made by the president of the organization, mr Azemobor. He thanked everyone who came out to grace the occasion, promising them that the organization will continue to search for, and fish out those individuals and organizations that are truly offering selfless service to humanity. Come the third of October, another change agent would receive this coveted award! We are searching for him/her/them!