PGECI launches campaign to distribute 500 staple supplies to senior citizens in slum communities
As part of efforts aimed at putting smiles on the faces of the elderly,Project Grey Elderly Care Initiative (PGECI), an elder care and support organisation helping the poorest and potentially vulnerable elderly people in Nigeria with food supply, housing, medical care, empowerment and a voice, is currently sending food support to underprivileged seniors across the country.
In her “Project Grant a Wish” campaign launched in December 2021, the organisation has sent out over 100 staple food boxes to the elderly residents of the Isakaba slum community in Ikota, Agbede Eleja Aro and Eyita in Ikorodu Council, Lagos.
In a chat with The Guardian, PGECI founder, Vera David-Emesiobum, said items provided were rice, yams, unripe plantains, sweet potatoes, beans, gari, tomato paste, peppers, salt, onions, powdered milk, bottles of groundnuts, wheat flour, oatmeal, seasonings, groundnut oil and fruits, among others.
She added that they also put into consideration the diabetic and none diabetic elderly, and the boxes were packed according to the health condition of the receiving elders.
Speaking on how she ventured into caring for the elderly, she said, “my relationship with my grandma Isu as a child inspired my work. I lost my grandparents early in life, but I was privileged to spend a little time with grandma. She was sick and had bowel incontinence. If mummy was not around, it behoves on four-year-old me to attend to her. My love and compassion for grandma had no bounds. When she died I was heartbroken.
Growing up, I identified a social gap: senior citizens go through a lot of hardship, due to non-inclusive social policies. I knew the right thing to do was to step in and lend a helping hand, although I didn’t know how deep I should go until I realised helping and working closely with seniors was my purpose; as I grew in the knowledge of God, it dawned on me that I must begin the work I do at PGECI.”
David-Emesiobum said their next project would be Ijebu Itele in Ogun State and another community in Cross River State.
The organisation also visited the palace of the Eleyita of Eyita land, Ikorodu, Oba Memood Olatunji Oyebajo, before meeting with the community dwellers.
Expressing his appreciation, the traditional ruler commended the initiative and encouraged them not to rest on their oars.