The Olivia and Nicole Care Initiative is a non-profit organization, which has as its primary focus, catering for the indigent children
Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The voyage of embarking on a food drive by Olivia and Nicole Orji Uzor Kalu under the auspices of their non-governmental organization, Olivia and Nicole Care Initiative, began on a sunny Wednesday, a day that betrayed any clue of the rainy season.
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The Olivia and Nicole Care Initiative, also known as Lincare Project, is a non-profit organization, which has as its primary focus, catering for the indigent children such as the abandoned, orphaned, sick and vulnerable children in need of care where it is visibly scarce.
The mission of Lincare Project is to change the way a generation of children thinks about food and nutrition and to build a sustainable stronger care system for each child. Accompanied by their mother, Mrs. Ifunanya Kalu and the Lincare team, the journey started at the Orji Uzor Kalu House, adjacent Banex Junction Flyover, beside the ever-busy Wuse-Jahi-Gwarimpa Expressway, Mabuchi, Abuja.
After about 30 minutes drive, the journey terminated at the Jikoko, Mpape, in the Bwari Area Council. The first point of call was the City of Orphanage Home and Poor Widows Foundation. The distribution of food eventually held at the Local Education Authority (LEA) Primary School, Jikoko, Mpape. Though they had in mind feeding 500 children, the plan changed to feeding an entire community. In hundreds young men and women, including the elderly, trooped out and partook in the free meals.
For those who may not be aware, it is suffice to say that Olivia and Nicole’s act of kindness to children did not just start on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. Though it was the first of its kind in Nigeria, Nicole and Olivia had on different occasions, fed children outside the shores of Nigeria.
The food drive was also significant in a way that it was not just an avenue to share food, but to teach the children on healthy eating. In doing this, apart from the rice, chicken and drinks provided by the Olivia and Nicole Care Initiative, fruits such as apples, oranges and banana, were equally distributed to the community, along with cartons of noodles.
Olivia said her parents started early enough to tutor her on the need to empathize with the less privileged. She recalled when as a child her mother took her to the orphanage and she saw kids who had little or nothing to eat. The experience, she said, made a huge impact on her:
“I remember being taken by my mother to orphanages at a young age and her explaining to me why the people I met there matter; why no society can be healthy unless we take other people seriously.”
Speaking of her father, a former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, Olivia said: “From my father, he has always told me to keep hope alive, even in our darkest moments.
If things are going so badly, we should keep our trust in God.”
Olivia said as a young child, she didn’t know that her parents were instilling in her to always put charity at the heart of her life: “The purpose of this event today is to feed and interact with the children and most importantly, to let you know that we care.”
She congratulated her sister, Nicole, and herself on the beginning of a new journey and expressed gratitude to her mother for her support in the launching of the event. Olivia also thanked the children and their parents who took time to be part of the event, including everyone who helped in making the day a reality.
Also present at the food drive was a cabinet member of the Jikoko, Mpape community, Mr. Nuhu Dogo. Dogo said even though the community witnessed such gesture in the past, it has never had it so good as the Olivia and Nicole Care Initiative gesture:
“People have been coming, but we have never witnessed something like this. You can see everybody coming out and laughing with you. So, we love this programme, we like it because they brought our children together and our children are happy with the programme. We like it.”
He said that the community expected more of such gesture from the Olivia and Nicole Care Initiative since the children are happy in participating, an evidence, he said, showed that it was enjoyment day for the children.
To show how significant the food drive was to the community, Dogo did not stay away from eating the food, saying: “Even me sef, if they give me dis food, I will sit and balance and follow it with you people.”