Being address presented by Loretta Ahuokpeme, Executive Director of OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP INITIATIVE (OLPHI) at the One Day Peace Building Training for Community Women held at Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta Office in Port Harcourt, October 18, 2018
is a voluntary, non- profit making, Non- Governmental Organization that started operation in 1999 as a Medical Services provider, however in 2011 it was separated from our medical services arm and registered with corporate affairs commission to widen our scope and accommodate our new vision which include promoting the fundamental human rights especially that of women & children, quality of life for our families through sustainable development and Re-orientation, while still continuing to promote healthy living and wellness.
OLPHIs envisions a society where everyone is empowered to use his/her full potentials in living a full, sustainable, rewarding and qualitative life and our Mission is to facilitate everyone to be socially, morally and mentally empowered to ensure that they are economically self-reliance in order to live a sustainable, rewarding and qualitative lives through education especially the women, children and youths.
Our focus remains sustainable Healthy lives, Gender Equality & Equity, Environmental justice and Peace building. Peace as we know is not an absence of conflict. From our daily engagements with our publics we have realised that for every one of us to be happy we need peace and that will only emanate from our resolutions to live a sustainable healthy life by taking care of our health, respecting the rights of all especially that of women, girls and children and above all we need environmental justice to be able to enjoy our lives in peace. So many of us do not care about our environment or what happens to it. Without Nature, we will not have a life, so we enjoin you to contribute in our little ways to maintain the rights of our environment and her sustainability.
OLPHI has worked in several interventions and programs with Donor partners and other civil society partners in the public health sector in our country.Since the inception of OLPHI, we have worked with Society for Family Health (SFH), Health and Life Initiative (HEALIN) and ACOMIN all in Imo State and Grassroot Community Development (GRACODEV) in Nasarawa on Malaria Interventions, community mappings and HIV testing & referrals. We have also carried out some HIV testing & referrals Interventions in Rivers. OLPHI has been a grantee of Vitamin Angels USA on the Universal Distribution of Vitamin A to children and Micronutrients to Lactating & Pregnant women since 2014. Nigeria Institute of Public Relations have supported and partnered with us on Character Transformation Interventions for Students in Tertiary Institutions in Rivers State.
OLPHI was a grantee of Lift Above Poverty Organisation(LAPO) to design and implement a Community Campaign on Cancer Control 2 local governments in Imo State which ended in October 2017 and grantee of Women Advocates for Vaccine Access(WAVA) supported by John Hopkins Institute for Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) in collaboration with Better Community Life Initiative to implement a High Level Advocacy on Sustainable Vaccine Financing and Demand Uptake in 4 communities. This project also ended in December 2017.
We have volunteered and collaborated with so many Networks especially Partners for Peace(P4P) Network in the Niger Delta which earned us a mention and photo appearance in PINDs 2016 Annual Report and as a January Model on their 2017 calendar. We are working with so many other networks where we continue to learn and contribute our resources in assisting humanity develop in line with the Sustainable Development Goals which is the road map to development across the globe.
In OLPHI we realised that we cannot work conveniently on health without taken a very close look at the environmental impact on health. This enabled us to step up to gaining and learning about the effects of environmental degradation and climate change on our daily lives and to support the interventions that will bring about environmental justice. Learning is a continuous process and based on that we were invited to a 2 week international course on Climate Change Adaptation and Food Security held in Uganda sponsored by University of Research – Centre for Development Initiative Netherland in 2017. This opened up us up on how we serious we look at Agriculture and food security. I agree we can’t be everywhere but when people come to you after a step down training, you can’t send them away. So we work with some women farmer cooperatives on building resilience that will assist to double their yields especially as we have taken an interest as an organisation in Agriculture for sustainability plan for our organisation. We have since then attended so many other Environmental Courses to keep abreast of Climate Change and their impacts on our daily lives amongst them are Business of Environmental Sustainability in Togo and School of Ecology – Life After Oil in Nigeria.
Peace is the only way to development. It has no alternative. Health Peace, Gender Peace, Environmental Peace all come together to form and give us the all-round security we all need to continue to exist in this planet earth. So it is all for us to wake up to this clarion call to safeguard our families, communities, our society, our nation Nigeria and above all the world at large.
OLPHI have attended so many meetings and courses in course of our 7 years of existence. Civil Society work is one job that keeps you on your toes 24 hours in a day and you learn new skills and gain new knowledge every day.
The staff of OLPHI are wonderful and committed people. We have all worked so much to get to where we are today; we may not have arrived at the peak but we are consistently doing our little contribution in our little corner.
In a special way, OLPHI expresses our gratitude to all our private donors who have believed in usand continued to support us with resources to run our programmes – Mrs. Frances AmakaIkwechegh (Esq) who donated to our widows empowerment programme, Party Flavours, Rockmond Leasing Nig Ltd, Picks and Packs Global Services Ltdfor our school based activities.
We are also very grateful to all that contributed to the achievement of this programme today – PIND for this venue and their constant support, Partners for Peace (P4P) Network in the Niger Delta, Women Peace &Security Network, West African Network for Peace, Kabetkache Women Development & Resource Centre, Mother of Hope International Initiative(MOHII), BlueBells Attorney & Solicitors, Uche Nnanna Productions, Community Resource & Development Foundation(CREDEF), Initiative forData and Social Advancement (IDASA), Youth for Human Rights International and Handmaid Skill Acquisition Initiative. Of course we are very grateful to all our participants who turned out today for without you being here this training will not hold today.
If in any way, I missed you out it is not out of disrespect but human frailty please forgive us. Thank you once again every one of us gathered her to support us and Gods continuous blessings and protection.