Tuesday, December 19, 2017 10:59 pm
Chief Emeka Okonkwo, Anambra state born businessman and CEO of Great Source Group brightened up the Christmas season for children of the Victorine Home for Children, Gwarimpa, Abuja, last weekend with a charity ball to raise money for their upkeep.
The colourful and well attended event which took place at the Rabby Recreational Park, Life Camp, Abuja, was hosted by Chief Okonkwo as part of his golden age celebrations. The charity ball was graced by many dignitaries, such as the Deputy Governor of Anambra state, Dr. Nkem Okeke, who led the Anambra delegation that included the Secretary to the State government, Professor Solo Chukwudobelu , Chief Chido Obidiegwu (SSA Events to governor Willie Obiano) among others.
Thus, Okonkwo chose his golden birthday celebration not only to carry out a personal philanthropic gestures of donating to the upkeep of children of the Victorine Home and other orphanages, but to organise an elaborate party with the sole purpose of projecting the institute by utilizing his high-end social and business network to pull together over 400 friends and associates to identify with the Home.
The Victorine Home For Children, is a special foster home established by the Catholic Sisters of Jesus the Redeemer Congregation and their associates, to care for the children of imprisoned mothers, children of the insane, abandoned babies, orphans and other such children going through difficulties.
Sister Bridget Obiekwe, one of the administrators of the home, explained: “we call it a foster home for children going through difficulties, such as children of prison inmates, children of insane women on the streets, who obviously cannot take care of their children in such conditions. And other abandoned children and orphans who have nobody to care for them. The idea is to bring these children out of the prison environment and other challenging environments to an environment of a home, where they will be taken care of with love and parental guidance. We take care of them and ensure they go to school. When they get to the secondary school age, we move them to boarding schools and continue to take care of them until they are reunited with their mothers their after their prison terms. And in a case of a life imprisonment, they are reunited with a willing next of kin to their mother. But we only take these children from the prison with the consents of their mother”.
She added that the Victorine Home was delighted when Okonkwo decided to host his birthday with the interest of the indigent children of the institute at heart.
Speaking at the event, Okonkwo, who said that God has been so gracious to him, appealed to all invited guests to convert whatever birthday gifts intended for him to cash and cheque, addressed to the children home.
On why he chose to focus his milestone birthday celebration to the benefit of these needy children, he said: ” Although I have always lived a life of giving, but at this age , more than ever before, I have come to realize that service to humanity is the purpose of life and living. I believe that people should give wholeheartedly to the uplifting of humanity. God has been gracious to me and has given me a lot of opportunities, now it’s time for me to give back.
“The thought to celebrate with these children of Victorine Home came to my mind back in August when I went to Canada to spend some time with my children who are schooling there. As we were having a nice family time together, I felt some kind of emptiness seeing the kind of opportunities that my children enjoyed compared to these indigent children who have nobody apart from Sisters of Jesus the Redeemer congregation who are putting all they have to care for them, so I decided to have a special event where I will bring my influential friends to join hands with me to not only bring smiles to the faces of these children but also invest in their education and better life.
“Asking my friends and associates to channel whatever birthday gift they had intended for me to the benefit of these children doesn’t mean that all my desires are met but I believe the gifts would add more value to the lives of the children than mine. and the prayers of these children for the donors would be more beneficial than the mere “thank you” they would have received from me. This will signpost what the future holds for me – living a life of sacrifice, living a life of giving.”
The deputy governor, Dr. Okeke, commended Okonkwo for this exaplary charity gesture. Describing Okonkwo as a “good friend and a friend.” He noted: ” Emeka’s life is all about giving. He is so generous that sometimes you don’t even know how he does it and how you will ever pay him back for all his generosity. That is why I’m glad to be part of this his day of hitting the golden age.
“We are here to celebrate a man that believes in humanity, a man that likes to touch lives positively. A man that exudes optimism. He gives and gives. And I tell people that the race for heaven is here on earth. It is here you show your passion for humanity, it is here you show love to your fellow man, especially the downtrodden. So, we have to encourage Emeka to continue doing the good work”
While also commending Chief Okonkwo for his kind gesture, The chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Victorine Home, Mr. Okechukwu Onyejiuwa said the celebrant is a man with a golden heart, adding that he is “extremely generous and can go an extra mile to make people around him happy and also go an extra mile to uplift the downtrodden.”
Other speakers, which included his business associates, his Nibo, Anambra community, friends and family members, also affirmed Okonkwo’s generous nature and kind heartedness. For instance, his wife, Mrs. Rose (a Chemical engineer and senior manager at the NNPC), after serenading him with a special rendition at the event, noted: “My husband, Emeka is too kind and generous to a fault. He can give out his last kobo. That is where we are different. But I have come to accept that, especially when I realised that such generosity endears him to many, which evident to the number and also the quality of guest here today and all the kind words spoken about him. I’m proud of him”.
Other dignitaries at the event were Barrister Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Barrister Anele, MD, Pipeline and Storage Company Ltd, Dr. Aliyu Bello, Gusau, Executive Secretary PTDF, Chief S.N Okeke, former chairman of the Police Service Commission, Engineer Onochie Anyaoku, former GED, Rifining and Petrochemical, NNPC among others.
The highpoint of the event was the presentation of special songs and dance by the children of the home who looked radiant and joyous as they danced and enjoyed the warmth, love and recognition of the August guests, who had gathered in their honour and had also donated from their resources to ensure their sustenance.