Burna boy In collaboration With The R.E.A.C.H feed over 10,000 in Rivers State
THE R.E.A.C.H in collaboration with Burna boy feeds over 10,000
Burna boy takes center stage as the R.E.A.C.H Initiative sends palliatives to over 10,000 people across Rivers state to cushion the effects of Covid 19 on citizens
The corona virus disease (COVID-19), which originated in China, has spread to several countries and territories. Many economies around the globe have witnessed reduced economic activities in the first and almost second quarter of the year. The pandemic has remained one of the world’s most unforeseen dilemmas, even the United States and other world power wouldn’t have predicted this outcome.
Industrial facilities were shut down for months, and the global supply chain disrupted, Crude prices fell below $22 per barrel – the lowest since 2003 – due to the escalating global economic impact of the pandemic.
Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, was not left out, as a new economic and social reality was somewhat new and overwhelming. The country of over 192 million people, recorded its first case in February, and has since then recorded over 12,000 cases and over 400 COVID-19 related deaths.
While the virus infects people regardless of wealth and social status, the poor were majorly affected; Nigeria surpassed India in terms of the number of people living in abject poverty in 2019, which meant millions of Nigerians observing the COVID-19 lockdown lacked the food and income that their families needed to survive, and also Living in typically high-density houses, with reduced access to sanitation, and a lack of savings to facilitate the total lockdown situation , Nigeria’s poor were in complete disarray and got little or no help from the government to cushion the lockdown effects.
An increase in food prices as a result of the lockdown also meant that many could not stock up on essentials and necessities, this prompted a lot of giveaways from celebrities online, NGO’S , well-meaning individuals, and some companies saw this as the perfect CSR (corporate Social Responsibility ) opportunity.
Rivers State Nigeria Was not left out, a team of about 10 persons lead by Dame Floretta Halliday, Iroghama Ogbeifun and Tonye Cole came up with a project called The R.E.A.C.H, an acronym for (Reach Every Available Communal Household).
The project was setup as charitable organization with the aim of reaching out to the most vulnerable in their immediate communities; its goals will be to ensure no one is malnourished.
The REACH has plans to connect those who have something to give to the most vulnerable, and also extending love and support especially at times like this.
Speaking In an interview with G360 Magazine, the Team lead of REACH initiative , Mrs Halliday, says she took on the project because in a time of pandemic there so much gap in class between the poor and wealthy , she found out that there are people also willing to help curb the hunger situation caused by the lockdown but had no means of dispensing their resources’ and also very few trustworthy bodies to do the job of getting palliatives to those in real need , for that reason the initiative was created, she put together a transparent and accountable board of trustees and stakeholders who drive the foundation , some names would include Eugene Abels, Ifeoma Okeke, Yvonne Iwo-Brown, Fabia Ogunmekan, Ibinabo Amakiri , Nkesi Enyioha ,Silva Cole ,Elizabeth Onuoha , Iyin Aboyeji, Ashley Emenike , Sam kilani, Bruce Lucas and More ,they also have partners and donors who the organization is accountable to ,and finally they have a setup she calls the engine room of the foundation, they are the volunteers .
The REACH organization initially set up for a twelve weeks outreach to distribute palliatives across different local government areas, with the help of the volunteers , who distribute these palliatives, the plan remained to reach out to as many remote communities and more.
Just like every other body , THE R.E.A.C.H was faced with challenges at first, Speaking with a member of the team , Mr Bruce Lucas , he outlined a few challenges faced by the organisation , and highlighted logistics as one of the challenges faced at first , because monies put together by donors were strictly for palliative materials and no separate budget was made for logistics, which meant the board of trustee and volunteers had to sometimes task themselves in other to solve this problem, some provided their personal cars and welfare for the team, and another challenge was collecting data and managing crowd .
After a few outreach and palliative distribution in Port Harcourt, Dami Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy, a Rivers Born, African Singer got a wind of the initiative, and opted to get involved by making donations to different communities and more, this move gave the initiative the much needed publicity it needed at the time, and attracted more volunteers and donors .
Speaking about the Involvement of Burna Boy, we gathered, Burna felt the plight of his people ,the Ogbogolo and Mbiama communities respectively and made the necessary donations to feed over 2000 families in these communities and villages , Oyigbo in Rivers state was not left out, and as you already know charity begins at home.
Mr Lucas disclosed to us during an interview that most members of the board have different social relationships with most of the donors and one of them had a relationship with Burna boys family, which paved way for Burna Boys involvement..
It was indeed an experience for the volunteers as they moved from different Locality to another and sometimes has to use boats as a means of transportation , the REACH project would highlight Burna Boys contributions as a real moral booster and game changing for the organization, some of the benefactors spoke to us ,
Mr Friday , from Nowa in Tai Local Government expressed so much joy because the palliative came at a time when they needed it the more , and the people of Tai are very grateful and hope they make a return to their local government ,. Also Speaking with another Benefactor, from Abba community and Nanka , he also disclosed how glad they were, and how helpful the palliative was, in his words he said “we never see anything like this before , others they come tell us bib big talk but this people really help us with food and them no do parsha “
Finally Mrs Halliday thanks all the donors, volunteers and partners, and also calls for more bodies and organisation to come In with more support so as to make this initiative sustainable, post covid 19 .
We at the galaxy must commend such humanitarian gesture, and thank all those behind this initiative for their selflessness and love, at a time like this when all we needs is love! And Burna boy has shown flashes of why he is called the African Giant.