The Opeyemi David Falegan Foundation (ODF) has presented materials and cash gifts to no fewer than 2,000 widows, people with disabilities, and the elderly across the 16 local government areas of Ekiti State.
The beneficiaries, who were mostly women, received the gifts during the seventh edition of the empowerment programme at the weekend in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, from the founder, Opeyemi Falegan.
Also, the foundation paid the medical bills of patients, provided fuel for commercial motorcyclists, and donated boreholes to communities.
Falegan, who regretted the hardship being faced by the people, especially widows and the elderly, in the country due to the economic realities, promised to sustain the gesture towards giving people new life.
He recalled that he was moved to assist the widows in society following the death of his father a few years ago, which opened his eyes to the challenges faced by women who lost their husbands.
The philanthropist declared that society, especially privileged individuals and organisations, should initiate programmes that cater to the needs of widows.
He said, “When I lost my father (Chief Ojo Falegan) a few years ago, my mother became a widow and very lonely, to the point that she calls me virtually all the time that she needs something. I thought within myself that there would be other widows who don’t have children like myself to look out for them, and I decided I should extend my love to other widows. That is the reason I started the ODF Foundation.
“Looking at the state, there are no allocations for the aged women, especially if they haven’t worked in any corporate organisations before. I noticed this gap seven years ago, and I thought I should fill the obvious gap. To the bottom of my heart, this gesture will never end. I was born to do this.”
He called on the government at all levels, especially the state government, to live up to its responsibility to the people by setting aside allocations every month towards the widows and the elderly in society.
” The federal government has not done well to address the issues confronting our elderly and the rest but like I said, they can’t do everything I wish they could do more because there is a huge gap to fill
“Look at the state; there is so much poverty in the land; the economic value of the state is almost zero; this state is only a civil service state; and how do you intend to build the economic value this way?
“The elderly, widows, and the rest should be placed on monthly stipends; it doesn’t need to be huge; it is what the state can do, like we are doing at the moment. I am not as rich as the state, but I am doing more than the state; the people are watching, and I am not doing this for political reasons. I have not run for any positions, but I was born to help and assist the less privileged, he said.
Speaking, a former deputy governor of the state, Professor Kolapo Olusola-Eleka, commended the young entrepreneur for his sustained support of the widows and elderly in the state, noting that it would help in addressing the increasing hardship in the land.
“The Bible says whoever lends to the poor, lends to God, and one beautiful thing is that he has been able to sustain this over the years; he should be commended. You can see how happy the people are, and we can see that these people are the real segment that needs support from us,” he said.