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Journalists’ widows, children get scholarship from foundation


The Founder of Richard Akinola Foundation middle flanked by the Chairman of NUJ, Deji Elumoye and one of the beneficiaries during the programme

The Founder of Richard Akinola Foundation middle flanked by the Chairman of NUJ, Deji Elumoye and one of the beneficiaries during the programme

Six families of former journalists smiled home last week after they got some cash support from the Richard Akinola Foundation and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). Each beneficiary got one hundred and twenty thousand naira.

The Lagos State NUJ chairman, Mr Deji Elumoye, said the initiative was to empower journalists’ widows and their children. He commended Akinola and his foundation for being passionate about journalism profession. “The foundation has been doing a lot of things, helping Nigerians, most especially those in journalism. The foundation has also trained journalists not only in Lagos but across the six geo-political zones of the country,” he added.

Shedding light on the foundation, Akinola said the initiative started in 2012. “Experience has shown that beyond the momentary outpouring after the demise of journalists, the widows and children are soon left to face the arduous challenges of life, and this is what led to the setting up of this foundation,” he said.

“This year, we decided to go a notch higher by giving out annual scholarships to the children, though just a child per family, but we trust God that as we get more resources, we will extend the number of children per family”.

Akinola admonished journalists to be conscious of their health as the profession was quite tasking, with many journalists sometimes forgetting about their health. “It should be mandatory for media establishments to regularly check the blood pressure of their workers,” he said.

He disclosed that the empowerment would be done in batches, as there were other beneficiaries in other states. The beneficiaries in batch one were Mrs Okonkwo Cynthia Ezinne; Mrs Ogundeji Adeyemi Ezekiel; Miss Aladelokun Jemimah; Mrs Amadi Samuel Onyedikachi; Master Samuel Olumide Paul and Miss Omolara Stella Sanni.

Miss Sanni expressed gratitude to Akinola and NUJ, saying it came as a surprise to her, “I pray that this continues because it brings joy to families, I pray that they don’t stop.” Ezinne, who has been a beneficiary since 2014, said the Foundation and NUJ have helped her in numerous ways. “I pray that the good Lord will continue to bless Mr Richard so that he will do more for widows and those in dear need of assistance,” she added.

Mrs. Omolola Samuel said life had been very difficult since her husband’s demise, “my children miss their father and I also miss my husband, we find it difficult to feed, paying their fees is not easy because I don’t have a job, I was a full-time housewife when my husband was alive. This money will go a long way in helping me pay my rent,” she added.

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