What do you see when you fix your gaze upon the indigents and less privileged? Some would see a people requiring your pity while others would see the fierce urgency to grow, perhaps financially, materially and otherwise, in order to be the change they want to see in the world.
You might think that all they require is your unrestrained show of sympathy and the giving of alms and hand-outs. Yes, they do require these things and more. However, that is not all you can do. Rather than your perpetual pity or periodic pittance, they will be glad to have support to enable them evolve and manifest their potential and latent possibilities. By helping out in this direction, you will not only have and possess enough to make substantial contributions to assuage their plight, but your story and presence will automatically give them the opportunity and permission to do the same.
Charities all over the world help to save and improve people’s lives – fighting diseases, protecting children, and giving hope to thousands of people. In Ikole Ekiti, Ekiti State, one of its illustrious sons, Funso Ayeni celebrated his 40th birthday and offered to inspire the less privileged. The celebration attracted indigenes as well as relatives, friends and well-wishers from far and near who trooped to rejoice with the philanthropist on the occasion.
Among the series of commemorative activities was a town storming by the indigenes tagged ‘Walk for Hope,’ an annual early morning activity of the Funso Ayeni Foundation (FAF). “It is one of the many ways we foster unity, rekindle hopes and reinforce the benefits in togetherness. The fifth anniversary of this activity coincides with my 40th birthday celebrations, hence the entire family and the FAF Boards of Trustees decided to increase the scope this year,” Ayeni explained. Over 30,000 participants were involved in the Walk for Hope event.
Speaking about how he feels at 40, Ayeni confessed that he was overwhelmed by the show of love from friends, relatives and indigenes who stormed the town from far and near to celebrate the new chapter in his life. “Forty has dawned on me to count God’s blessings in my life. I realise age is not just a number, but the fulfilment of purpose on earth. It’s been so fulfilling, exciting and more rewarding,” he admitted.
Ayeni celebrated by intensifying his humanitarian efforts to give hopes to thousands of indigenes and improve their life through gifts and other opportunities for youths’ expression in the community. The activities were coordinated by the FAF. “I believe so strongly that we are created for a purpose. Conceived to serve as many as possible, FAF’s Hope for All initiative seeks to renew the hope of the common man and helps to rekindle the optimism in their existence. “Through the initiative, many ‘HOPES’ have been restored and many reawakened,” the celebrant affirmed.
The foundation is increasingly gaining and gradually achieving its desired objectives. Ayeni said that it would continue to do more in the near future to raise the standard of living of indigenes and others in the society. “Through the supports from families, friends and other charity organisations, we introduced ATEWO ENI to support the ‘active poor’ in the society. Through this, we aimed at alleviating poverty by encouraging those that can work and make a living for themselves doing petty trading rather than begging. It is a continuous programme and we hope to touch as many as we can before the next annual celebration,” he revealed.
Some of the beneficiaries and indigenes expressed delight at the initiative and commended the celebrant for coming to the aid of the community to make an impact. They prayed for him to have prosperous years in good health and wealth to champion the causes of the foundation. Hundreds have benefited and the Foundation is increasing the number daily.
It was indeed an atmosphere of love and sharing with loads of entertainment that featured the popular gospel singer, Tope Alabi thrilling the crowd. Popular afro pop singer, Iledare Oluwajuwonlo, known by his stage name of Jaywon, was also present to spice up the occasion with his rhythmic melodies. Other fuji and pop stars also lightened up the occasion with popular Nollywood star Odunlade Adekola as the compere.
His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II was represented at the event, while other notable personalities included High Chief Tunde Ogunleye, Ekiti State Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr Deji Adesua and the 24 Obas in Ikole Local Government Area of the state.