2.5 million Nigerian children suffer malnutrition, says Adebutu
In a bid to reduce poverty among vulnerable children in selected communities, the Oladiran Olusegun Adebutu Foundation recently put smiles on the faces of many vulnerable women and children in the town of Abeokuta, Ogun State.
With a mission to eradicate poverty, build prosperous communities, and support orphans, vulnerable children and women with increased access to quality education, primary healthcare, nutrition, social welfare and economic stability through sustainable developmental activities, the foundation has added even more children to the total number of children they see through school.
Speaking with The Guardian, the founder, Oladiran Adebutu said they intended to do even more in the future. Acknowledging he couldn’t solve all the worlds’ problems in a day, he said he decided to start with the little he could in his own way.
According to him about 30 to 40 children are abandoned monthly and this spurred him to take action. “In any conflict situation, children suffer the most, I intend to do what I can. Six out of 10 Nigerian kids have been violently abused while 2.5 million kids suffer malnutrition and about 42% of young girls are married off before the age of 18. These are worrisome statistics and, in my capacity, I am working to change this.”
According to him, with this year’s theme of “Leave No Child Behind”, the children were given back-to -school kits, which included school uniforms, books, writing materials, food items, school bags and so on. The over 300 children were selected from the three senatorial zones in the state. This is in addition to the fact that the children are all currently undergoing full scholarships and feeding under the programme.
The event, which was chaired by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, had no shortage of sons and daughters of Ogun State. Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the life patron of the foundation, was there as well with Sir Dr. Kessington Adebukunola Adebutu who also marked his birthday. Other dignified guests present include the Alaperu of Iperu, the Olaperu of Ibefun, the Alaye of Odogbolu, the Obiri of Aiyepe, Senator Grace Folasade Bent, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, Chief Imam of Egbaland, Alhaji Liadi Orunsolu, Professor Temitope Alonge the CMD, UCH Ibadan, while the chief host, State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, was ably represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Tayo Adeniran.
In her welcome speech, the Chief Executive Officer, OOA Foundation, Kemi Sokenu-Morris stated that their shared mission was all about development, support and care and to transform people from poverty into economic potentials and they would continue to do that no matter the odds.
One of the beneficiaries, John Adeleke who spoke with The Guardian, couldn’t hold back tears of joy. He said he is an orphan and had been living with some relatives with no hope of an education or good quality of life before the Foundation came to his help and he was enrolled into the programme.