Orphanage restates commitment to welfare of abandoned children

The oldest orphanage in the South-east region, Ngwa Road Motherless Babies’ Home, in Aba, Abia state, has restated its commitment to giving second chances to abandoned children in the society.

The Home’s foundation stone was laid on May 7, 1965, by wife of then Premier of the Eastern Region, Michael Okpara, Chief Mrs. Adanma Okpara, making it the first orphanage in the entire South Eastern Nigeria.

The Secretary of the Home, Barr Reginald Nwobbi, reiterated this objective at a recent event to celebrate the selfless life of the nonagenarian founder of the Home, Madam Joyrita Onyekwere Nwobbi.

He said the greatest desire of ‘Mama’, as the founder is fondly called, was that no abandoned child was turned away from the safety of the Home.

Barr Nwobbi said despite several challenges the Home had faced, there was no other choice than to keep going.

He noted that organisations like that were playing very significant roles in curbing crime in the society, just as he called on well-meaning Nigerians to keep the dream of Mama Joyrita alive.

“The vision has evolved beyond what can be managed in-house. So, we need support because every child deserves a fair chance in life,” he stated.

On the choice of the name, he explained that, “the name evokes a lot of nostalgic feeling for Mama as he recounts the days of the Nigerian Civil War which was the toughest season of ourr lives but we survived.

“There were about 15 babies in the Home when the war broke out, and determined not to let go of any of them, Mama reached out to friends of the Home for help.

“While bombs rained on Aba, the United Nations sent a 911 truck which ferried the children, including Mama’s family, away from its initial location, until the situation became calmer and the Home found a new beginning at Ngwa Road.”

The Home, initially registered under the old Companies Act of 1968, is now duly registered as an Incorporated Trustee under Part C of the Companies and Allied Act of 1990.

Trustees of the orphanage recently kicked off a digital campaign to make the Home more visible, a move necessitated by the disruption caused by Covid-19 pandemic which forced several organisations to think out-of-the-box in order to continue rendering public service.