A US based philanthropist, Mr Afamefuna Atu on Sunday launched an empowerment foundation to cater for the needs of the indigent in Enugu State.
Atu, who is the president of the organisation called Kings Care Empowerment Foundation, said that he was motivated to launch the foundation due to unpleasant personal experiences he had while growing up.
The president while speaking during the formal inauguration of the Nigeria office, said that the foundation was aimed at addressing the health, education and material needs of the people.
He said that three events in the history of his family shaped his passion for humanitarian works leading to the present intervention.
“Three events in my family history shaped my passion for humanitarian works. First is the death of my grandmother, who died during childbirth because of malnutrition and lack of food.
“The baby boy she was delivered of also died too. She left my mother aged two and her four years old sister behind.
“Shortly after my grandmother’s death, an eye disease which we know as ‘apollo’ broke out in our community and my grandfather was one of those that were affected,” he said.
According to Atu, his grandfather did not have money for medical treatment due to poverty and went for a local remedy.
“He squeezed a local herb into his eyes to clear the infection but he lost his eyes leaving my two-years old mother and her four years old sister motherless and with a blind father,” he said.
Atu said his father also lost his younger sister to liver cancer “and the tragedy affected all of us. After hearing the story of my grandparents, I vowed to make sure that no other parent will experience such suffering.
“Realising that when we leave this world we will not be remembered by the volume of our wealth but by our good deeds.
“Standing on those ideals, I established the Kings Care Empowerment Foundation whose primary aim is focused on our people to avoid another parent losing their eyesight as a result of poverty.
“I will not also like to see another woman dying at her birth stool like my grandmother,” he said.
Atu said that the foundation would focus on rural communities in order to create a future the people could touch and feel; a future where everyone is valued, every voice is heard and every life counts.
“As we formally open our headquarters in Nigeria, we look forward to engaging communities on challenges of health and community development, youth outreach and women empowerment,” Atu said.
Earlier, the Director of the foundation, Mr Ikechukwu Nwobodo, said that the organisation which was founded in 2017 had engaged in charitable works and growth of indigent families through medical outreach and others.
In a goodwill message, Enugu State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Manfred Nzekwe, said that the state government would partner with the foundation in any way possible to address the challenges of indigent members of the society among others.
Nzekwe commended the founder of the foundation for the initiative.
Highlight of the event was testimonies from beneficiaries of the foundation’s empowerment schemes.