By Amechi Obiakpu
The President of Sunshine Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Barrister Rose Odiete, has attributed the smiles that liven the faces of senior citizens each time they are happy, to the reason behind the annual Easter party for senior citizens.
Barr. Odiete said this on Monday, at this year’s Easter party for senior citizens held at the Assembly Hall, Grailland, Iju Hills, Ajuwon, Lagos.
She said, the event which is in collaboration with Committee of Concern Women, Festac circle, is simply set aside to host the elderly and generally try to cater for them.
“Sunshine foundation has been hosting this party for over 22 years but in about 4 years ago, we started collaborating with Committee of Concern Women, Festac to organise this party.
She observed that the joy and happiness a person feels for about 30 minutes can not be quantified in terms of cash, hence the reason why despite the lack of support from corporate organisations her foundation has continued to host the party for more than two decades. She however added that, Household of God Church, has been consistent in supporting the effort of the foundation in hosting the senior citizens.
“Some years ago, I felt that, there was no need for the party to continue and I remember visiting some of the old peoples’ homes and they said my daughter, you didn’t invite us again and it rekindle something in me that even though its very little, it was something they looked forward to every year. Some of the people will tell you nobody remembers to invite them for party,” she said, adding that, in addition, we equally provide transport for them to and fro. All over Lagos, we identify the people that are coming and send transport to them feast them and take them back to their location”.
This year’s event attracted about 100 senior citizens drawn from different parts of Lagos.
Mr. Jola Ogunlusi, a former National Secretary, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), one of the senior citizens and guest to the party, appreciated the foundation for its gesture. He stated that in civilized society, the elderly are taken care of by the government, but in Nigeria the story is different.
“Here, we abandon our own, the federal government, states and local government should take care of its own and for an NGO to be doing this, speaks volumn,” he said, adding that it shouldn’t be only Easter since there are other holidays we enjoy in this country.