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SOP Initiative Celebrates World Humanitarian Day in Nigeria: It Takes A Village


This year, we celebrated the volunteers, professionals, and crisis-affected individuals who provided immediate health care, shelter, food, protection, water, and other essential services.

When people are in need, others are there to assist them. They come together to alleviate suffering and bring hope, from the affected people themselves, who are always the first to respond when disaster strikes, to the global community that supports them as they recover.

Because, as the saying goes: It takes a village to support people in crisis.

Every hour for ten hours on August 19, we shared the COVID-19 period’s life-saving efforts of some of our community’s heroes on our social media platforms in an effort to inspire more people to take action and change the world for the better.

Have fun reading the summaries below:

01. Yemisi Filade; the Emergency Responder

Baked bread and distributed it to underprivileged families from five different neighborhoods

I was at home and realized that people could be hungry, especially those living on daily wages, and that there would be no way for them to feed, so I went ahead and made bread from our small bakery to feed those around me. I was able to cover and provide for residents from approximately five different neighborhoods.
I was moved to make my small contribution because I realized that many people would have lost their means of livelihood if they had stayed at home with no income due to restrictions on movement and work closures. They still need to be fed, so I decided to step in.

Yemisi Filade

02. Olamitoyosi Omope; the Fundraiser

Provided palliative care to approximately 1000 people in Ado-Ekiti over a one-week period.

I became involved in charity work after discovering through the Bible and Rick Warren’s book, Purpose Driven Life, that one of God’s purposes for me was to be a blessing magnet to my generation and a light to my world. I was even more encouraged after reading Bill Clinton’s book ‘Giving,’ which emphasized the importance of using personal goodwill and integrity to mobilize others to help your immediate community. I reasoned that in order to live like Matthew 5.16, I needed to participate in what we call community service or Corporate social responsibility (CSR) when the COVID-19 period presented us with an opportunity to do so through our organization, Touching Life Foundation (TLF).

Deaconess Olamitoyosi Omope

03. Aigbepue Margaret; the Emergency Responder

Coordinated emergency relief efforts that impacted 209 people

When I was on my sick bed in the final weeks of the lockdown, the only thing that made me feel better was thinking about what I could do for others, because the majority of my previous outreaches occurred after a major breakdown. This is how I recover, heal, progress, and find fulfillment. I simply picked up some co-patients’ bills as part of my outreach efforts a few days before I was discharged from the hospital. When people are happy because of you, you feel indescribable joy. It’s beyond words!

Seeing those new mothers sing in their native tongue as they prepare to leave the hospital after months of being unable to pay their bills was pure bliss for me. At the time, I told myself, “Even if I don’t recover from this illness, I will have lived a fulfilled life.”

Aigbepue Margaret

04. Oluwaseun Adesanya; the Fundraiser

Provided palliative care to over 1000 people in the community.

Knowing that God could have used anyone else, but being used by God to touch many lives is a great privilege for me, and I give God the glory for making it possible for me to touch lives, especially during the pandemic period.
Providing palliative care for people in my community during the pandemic required a collaborative effort with wonderful people around me, including the leadership and members of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Hope Centre. This gesture has resulted in the church’s ongoing effort to open a Kitchen Church during the youth service, where we feed over 1,000 people monthly with the help of the church’s leadership and members. We believe that through God’s mercy and grace, we will be able to continue feeding much more than we are currently doing.

Oluwaseun Adesanya

05. Alex Meseko; the Health Worker

Consistently provided healthcare services to approximately 120 people in the community on a daily basis.

Our mission at Alek Pharmacy is to “add value to life through excellent and professional services.” It is not just about the money for us; it is about adding value to the lives of the people we meet on a daily basis as a service to God and humanity.
So, for us at Alek Pharmacy, the COVID-19 pandemic era was another opportunity to serve humanity, by making ourselves and services available throughout the heat and risks of the lockdown, and doing everything we can within ethical guidelines to ensure that people receive the best basic health care services possible. It was a fight for humanity that was on the verge of failure, and we are grateful that our host communities recognized it. Our daily foot traffic to the pharmacy ranged from 105 to 120 people. We were open every day, including Sunday.

Every day, the rising sun reminds us that life is a gift. As a result, it is our goal and commitment at Alek Pharmact to ensure its lived-in wellness.

Pharmacist Alex Meseko

06. Babatunde Adenuga; the Fundraiser

Started an online fundraising campaign to feed 70 families.

The immediate impact of the COVID-19 lockdown in Nigeria on people’s health and livelihoods prompted a fundraising initiative in which I asked like-minded people on social media to support me in order to help people in need, such as the elderly who couldn’t afford drugs, single mothers who couldn’t go to work but are in need, men who couldn’t feed families, and so on.
These are some of the people with whom I communicated via phone calls, private messages, and online. Since there was no way I could meet these responsibilities on my own, I gathered like-minded individuals to contribute financially. Then we did our due diligence on all of the beneficiaries without any discrimination, and we provided relief to approximately 70 of them during the pandemic in April 2020.

Babatunde Adenuga

07. Ajewole Abiola; the Emergency Responder

Ran a food bank and provided relief three to four days a week, feeding over 1400 people.

The pandemic’s devastation was heartbreaking. However, with that came the determination and commitment to assist. This determination ushered in “The Hunger Project.” But I couldn’t do it all by myself. My family provided me with the motivation and support I required.
I began distributing food to 50-60 people twice a week, and the supply lasted for two to three months during the lockdown. We didn’t just hand out food. We also distributed nose masks to children in our community in order to slow the spread of the pandemic, and this effort helped to avert hunger in our community and allowed other residents to live to tell the story of how they overcame the Covid-19 season.

Ajewole Abiola

08. Rachael Idowu Ojo; the Emergency Responder

Distributed over 30,000 free nose masks.

The need to prevent the ongoing spread of the deadly disease among family members, particularly those who may not even be aware that they are infected, inspired me to launch a free nose mask distribution program to families in my immediate and extended community. For over 6 months, we distributed nose masks to between 300 and 600 people three times a week.
The fact that Covid-19 is a highly contagious pandemic is not news. As a result, anyone who comes into contact with those who are infected becomes infected, and the circle of infection spreads. Worse, one could be a carrier of the virus without knowing it, making the spread of the deadly virus all the more likely among the asymptomatic population.

Mrs. Rachael Idowu Ojo

09. Olufunmi Edna Adesokan; the Counsellor

Provided free natural remedy consultations to over 150 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in order to help them recover faster.

The pandemic’s impact was becoming more personal; you’d know someone whose family had been affected, resulting in a death. As a result, I researched the trend as well as the health ministry’s research and announcements.
Then I started giving free consultations to people, about 150 of them, to make them aware that living a healthy lifestyle was one of the best ways to combat it. Fitness became a primary focus for many people at this point, especially those with health issues.
Helping people within my reach to stay healthy became my greatest passion. It was not difficult to persuade people to live a healthy lifestyle because we all wanted to live, and I believe that food is medicine and medicine is food.

Olufunmi Edna Adesokan

10. Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya; the Health Worker

Coordinated COVID 19 recovery and convalescent plasma donation clinic involving over 163 donors, 1266 outpatients and inpatients.

At the beginning of the pandemic, I wanted to save lives as the team lead by providing plasma from previously infected people which contains antibodies, as part of the management for patients for a disease with no known cure based on the research focus of the COVID 19 response.
I also believed that following up with patients during their recovery stages would help to understand the full circle of the infection and help break the existing stigma whilst reducing the incidence of further health complications, particularly mental health.
Over 1266 outpatients and inpatients at the isolation centers were reviewed, and 163 people volunteered to donate plasma for the convalescent plasma trial.
Our interactions with these great survivors resulted in three papers/researches being published in international journals.

Dr. Bodunrin Osikomaiya

Other individuals and organizations nominated by their communities for their assistance with hunger reduction, health and well-being promotion, poverty alleviation, and job creation during the COVID-19 pandemic include Ayodeji Alayande, Hon. Omoniyi Olulade, Compassionate Heart World Mission, Kazeem Nosiru, Omolara Dende, Dr. Emem Udofia, Richard Eze, Engr. Seyi Makinde, David Christian Center, Mama Monie, Adewale Aniyera, Lola Mayo, Pastor Olaoluwa Ojo and Lady Ladoja Otedola.

Omoniyi Olulade Bethel: During the Covid-19 pandemic, he provided water and other relief items to homes.

Ayodeji Alayande: He invested more than half of his profits in a project to feed the less fortunate.

Compassionate Heart World Mission: The NGO distributed bags of rice to over 100 families in the Amuwo-Odofin community as palliatives.

Kazeem Nosiru: He shared palliatives in the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Omolara Egungbohun Dende: He was concerned with hunger relief and community security.

Doctor Emem Udofia: Throughout the pandemic, he treated Covid-19 patients and made himself available for treatment.

Richard Eze: He worked in the community to reduce hunger and poverty.

Eng. Seyi Makinde: He worked on poverty alleviation, health and well-being promotion, education, and job creation.

David Christian Center: During the Covid-19 pandemic, they fed thousands of people.

Mama monie: She provided food assistance in the community.

Adewale Aniyera: He assisted with navigating a new environment.

Mrs. Lola Mayo: She distributed over 2000 12.5kg bags of rice to the Amuwo-Odofin community.

Feel free to share stories of those who live around you and deserve such honor in the comments section below.

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