No fewer than 12 orphans have been empowered in Ilorin with tools to aid them in their various vocational skills.
The empowerment kits were at the instance of an Ilorin-based Islamic Orphanage Foundation, which had earlier enrolled them for training in different areas of skill acquisition.
Some of the items gifted the beneficiaries include sewing machines, welding equipment and catering service facilities among others.
The Chairman, Islamic Orphanage Foundation, Architect Saifullahi Alege, who spoke to Journalists on the sidelines of the event held at the National Secretariat of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), said the foundation has 276 orphans under its care.
He disclosed that the foundation has also produced 68 graduates including medical doctors, lawyers and Engineers while 45 undergraduates are currently in various higher institutions of learning.
Alege expressed displeasure that the foundation has not been receiving help as expected to cater for the children in its care.
He also lamented that the proposed orphanage foundation centre had been abandoned in the last ten years owing to lack of funding to see it to completion.
Alege therefore, appealed to the government and philanthropists across the world to come to the aid of the foundation in order to complete the site in record time.
He said, “Our expectation from government and several people in the society has not been encouraging.
“The governments at federal, state and local have not been helpful as expected.
“The only thing we have had from the federal government was palliative, which was given to us sometime last year when President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Nigeria Customs Service to disburse items in their care to all orphanage homes in the country.
“Also, the state government help to us has been on material only. But financially, we are very much handicapped, and this has stopped us from admitting more orphans into our care in the last six years,” he said.
Alege said the empowerment scheme is being organized annually for the orphans to ensure that they don’t become liability to themselves, community and the nation as a whole.
Also speaking, Kwara State Coordinator of Sister of Jahnah, Mrs Monsurat Olohungbebe, urged responsible people in the society to prioritize adoption of orphans with a view to preserving their future.
She also canvassed support for orphanage homes, particularly Islamic Orphanage Foundation financially and materially, saying that it has remained a bastion of hope for the hopeless children in the society.
Mrs Olohungbebe pleaded with the government to identify genuine orphans wherever they are and provide for their educational needs, just as she maintained that idle children among them could become liability to the entire populace.
“We should try to sponsor them in their education or those that are willing to go into full time vocational skills with provision of equipment. If we are all involved, things would change and everyone will be happy”, she said.
In his lecture, a Muslim Cleric, Shuaib Suleiman Dagbo, said any society that desires prosperity would have to extend hand of help to the orphans so that they don’t end up as threat to the collective well being of the people.
He also called on parents and guardians to give due attention to the education and welfare of their children at all times.