In the spirit of Christmas and New Year celebrations, some nongovernmental organis, including the Sapphire Community Group, the Peculiar Friends Initiatives and No Hunger Initiative, have distributed food items to widows, orphans and Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) at the internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp in Durumi, Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Speaking during the outreach on Saturday, the CEO of Sapphire Foundation (Nigeria), Jasmine Cannon-Ikurusi Wigodo, who was represented by the Event/Programme Manager of Sapphire Community Group, Chidinma Stephens, said that her Foundation will commence skills acquisition training for the IDPs in order to empower them.
“We want to start skills acquisition for the IDPs from next year because at the Sapphire Community Group, we believe in teaching people how to fish, instead of giving them fish. We decided to give the IDPs a sense of belonging by celebrating and donating food items, clothes, snacks and drinks to them in the spirit of Christmas.
“I also want to urge other organisations and individuals to make it a habit to remember the IDPs. Their conditions are pitiable. Government should do everything possible to ensure that the violence in the North East is curbed so that these IDPS can return to their homes. There is no place like home. On our part, we will continue reaching out to the less privileged, even as we look forward to more sponsorship from individuals and organisations to touch more lives,” she said.
Also speaking, the founder of Peculiar Friends Initiatives, Livinah Alozie, said she was moved to see the IDPs living in sub-human conditions, urging individuals and organisations to also remember the IDPs as they celebrate this yuletide.
Similarly, the Coordinator of No Hunger Initiative, Kumdet Longdi Yilkon, said improving the conditions of the IDPs should be of urgent importance to the government, advising the IDPs not to give up, but to trust in God to better their conditions.
While appreciating the items on behalf of the IDPs, the women leader in the IDPs camp, Mrs Liyatu Ayuba, urged government to resolve the conflict in the North/East so that they can return to their homes, saying their conditions are nothing to write home about.
“We don’t relish living here as IDPs, but what can we do? Even if we decided to go home today, the conflict in the North East has not ended. Our houses have been destroyed and people are still being killed. My husband was a military officer and died in active service because of the conflict in Borno. We urge the federal government to take urgent steps to settle the situation so that we can return home,” she said.
Blueprint reports that highlight of the event was children in the IDPs camp dancing with and receiving gifts from Santa Claus.