How GCUOBA Class of ’82 Generosity Gave the Vulnerable Many Reasons to Smile.

On Tuesday, 9th January 2024, the GCUOBA Class of 82, led by Mr. Steve Ese Orah and represented by Captain Newman Akpore brought an enduring moment of compassion to selected vulnerable individuals in Ogor, Agbarha-Otor, Orogun, and Ughelli. Despite a backdrop of misappropriation of funds meant for the vulnerable in Nigeria. The GCUOBA CLASS OF 82, a beacon of generosity, graciously distributed mattresses, bedsheets, pillows, pillowcases, rice, groundnut oil, salt, and stock cubes to twelve individuals and an orphanage home, leaving an indelible mark of kindness in these communities.

The truck loaded with benefits ready to hit the road

The GCUOBA Class of 82 represented by Newman Akpore, with an Associate in Social Work (A.S.W.), applied his knowledge to ensure that the humanitarian assistance reached those who are truly vulnerable. Some of the beneficiaries reside in conditions akin to a pigsty, while others face physical challenges, and most are elderly women in the community. Carefully chosen individuals with stories of resilience and hope included Sylva Iruero, Victoria Kada, Onakighoke Victoria, Onovwietoheo Osirim, Patience Onoku, Mary Ekeke, Onyabevwe Abafe, Oghenekohwo Owemiwe, Comfort Origbo, Agnes Akaba, Unukagogo Isaac, and Grace Onovughakpo. These individuals lack political godfathers, National Identification Numbers (NIN), and Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) to qualify for the one given by the government. Much like the man by the pool who told Jesus that he had no one to take him to the pool, these are the truly vulnerable in our society.

The oldest woman in Saniko-Agbarha-Otor (M). Newman Akpore (R), Engr. Vote Iboyi, P.G of Saniko-Agbarha-Otor

As the team moved from one community to another, Newman Akpore’s notable presence became apparent. Certified in First Aid/CPR by the American Heart Association and American Red Cross Society, Akpore, formerly a Care Team Leader at St. Mary’s Square Living Center in Galesburg, where he assisted developmentally challenged individuals, audibly sighed, recognizing the elevated vulnerability of the people they met. He even identified some who were physically challenged, heaving a sigh of satisfaction in their selection.

Another beneficiary from Agbarha-Otor

In the warmth of the GCU Class of 82 generosity, these individuals discovered solace and comfort, their faces adorned with smiles that silently conveyed tales of gratitude. Beyond material provisions, these gifts represented a reaffirmation of humanity, serving as a reminder that amid life’s challenges, compassionate souls like the GCU Class of 82, always ready to lend a helping hand even if it will take going the extra mile. A case in point was when after giving to a woman, other women told Newman Akpore of a vulnerable woman who was not captured by his team, “Let’s go” he told his team and fortune smiled on the woman, who shared tears of joy for the gracious generosity.

“Mama, these are all yours”, Newman Akpore seems to be telling the woman in Obodeti-Orogun

At the Orem Faith Orphanage home in Ughelli, where laughter dances were on free display, and love knows no boundaries, the gifts symbolized tokens of compassion. The rice, beans and other provisions guaranteed hearty meals, providing a crucial sense of security and care for those residing in the orphanage.

The children of Orem Faith Orphanage home in Ughelli also had many reasons to smile

According to Akpore, who is a decorated U.S. Army Veteran and Certified caregiver in the State of Illinois, USA, where he also worked as a social worker, helping out in a home for developmentally challenged persons, who range from as young as twenty to as old as seventy-five years. The primary challenge these orphans face revolves around their basic physiological needs, with food and nutrition being at the forefront. Our initial focus is on making substantial efforts to eradicate hunger among the vulnerable in our community.”

This Ogor woman’s reaction elicited laughter from Newman Akpore and an onlooker

The GCU Class of 82 act of kindness transcended mere charity; it echoed the sentiment of communal support and highlighted the power of individual initiative in transforming lives. As the sun set on this remarkable day, the impact of the generosity lingered in the hearts of those touched, painting a picture of hope in hues of gratitude and joy.

A ‘bed’ where one of the elderly women was staying in Igbuku-Orogun

In these selfless acts, the GCUOBA CLASS OF 82 became the architect of smiles, weaving together stories of resilience, kindness, and shared humanity. For the vulnerable, this gesture wasn’t just a day of receiving gifts—it was a day that reassured them that they are seen, cared for, and valued in a world that sometimes forgets their struggles.

These recent acts of kindness convey meaningful lessons. Particularly commendable is the intentional focus on women, who are often marginalized in our patriarchal society. Prioritizing essentials like mattresses and food, the GCU Class of 82 underscores the importance of addressing fundamental needs for well-being. Their commitment serves as a powerful example, inspiring proactive engagement in societal challenges. By selecting beneficiaries based on genuine need, without political affiliations.

Another ‘bed’ where a beneficiary sleeps in Obodeti-Orogun

The GCUOBA Class of 82 advocates for inclusive and compassionate philanthropy, emphasizing the significance of recognizing and addressing the specific needs of marginalized groups.

Another beneficiary had many reasons to smile

These recent acts of kindness extend beyond material provisions, as the smiles and gratitude displayed by recipients emphasize the emotional impact of caring gestures, reinforcing the essence of humanity. His dedication to addressing ongoing challenges underscores the significance of sustainable support and persistent efforts in tackling long-term issues faced by vulnerable communities.

Another beneficiary in Orogun Town

These actions serve as an inspiration for collective giving, instilling hope through the transformative power of kindness and highlighting the enduring importance of compassionate initiatives.

Engr. Vote Iboyi, who doubles as PG of Saniko-Agbarha-Otor community and CDC Spokesman who was our tour guide in Agbarha-Otor had this to say: “I appreciate the effort of our brother, Captain Newman Akpore and his friends for his effort and kind gesture towards the community of Agbarha-Otor and all the gifts that he has given to the needy people. May God bless and protect him and his friends. May God provide for him and his friends in whatever they do in Jesus’ name.”

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