MARIA AND FERDINAND DYNAMIC CARE (MFDC) Foundation To The Rescue

12th November 2021

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When Acclaim Nigeria Magazine met with the brains behind Maria and Ferdinand Dynamic Care Foundation, it was clear from the beginning of the discourse that ensued that these are people who knew what they wanted. The Passion, conviction and pursuit of their overall goal is clear. The mandate and focus are concise, especially in a rapidly growing country where the government of the land needs support to complement its efforts in this area.

The Nigerian Children and the Girl-Child are sufferers of all manners of maladies they do not know anything or very little about. Acts such as wars, corruption, leadership failures, lack of parental care, poverty, lack of proper planning, etc, thus often resulting to them becoming victims of abuse, neglect, under-development, loss of confidence, addiction, prostitution, crime perpetrations of all kinds to mention a few

There must be respite for these innocent souls bearing the burdens of the adults, a rescue effort must come to them often and continually for them to be comfortable in the society and measure up with their counterparts in other developed world. The need for dynamic and integrated care must become expedient if we must salvage these groups and positioned them for meaningful impact. If Nigeria will continue to exist as a nation of worth her children and youths must be given urgent and top-most priority. ‘All Hands Must Be On Deck’ to achieve this, and MFDC among others has risen to the occasion. Its overall mandate is to R.E.S.C.U.E: Revive the Nigerian Children and Girl Child from burdens of death, dangers and destructions, Empower them for development and progress, Support activities, growth strategies, platforms and initiatives that will facilitate their growths, Uphold their ideals, values, worth and confidence in life and salvage them from Encumbrances and additions that can limit their potentials and cut them down in their prime.

The President of the Foundation, Ms. Lara Adefila is a Nigerian woman, a mother, wife, and carer of unusual dimensions. Her heartbeat is closely knitted to improvements and progressions. When Acclaim Magazine heard about her efforts from her little corner of the world, as a Development and Sustainability promoting publication, we felt Nigerians must know her strives and partner with her in helping her realize her dream of putting smiles on the faces of children and seeing to it that the Girl Child amounts to something in life.

Similarly, Acclaim Nigeria Magazine team paid a visit to the Chairman, Board of Directors in Lagos, and we were convinced of the zeal of this team and wish then accelerated impacts on their mission.

“The quality of lives and improved welfare of the Nigerian Children and Girl-Child are of great significance to us. Our Foundation’s goal is to ensure this important component of demography becomes Indispensable Nation-Builders and Contributors to Global Good; and this will seek to achieve through life transforming opportunities, collective attention, aid and advocacy, and attainments of safe and sustainable societies…MRS. LARA ADEFILA (President MFDC-Foundation)

MFDC is an initiative borne out of passion and a divine purpose to properly and adequately after God’s Gift, in this case the children and the girl child. It’s is a humanitarian platform where needs are met, lives are transformed, societies are salvaged and improved on and hope is restored. It is registered and approved by the required agencies ad institution of the federal Government of Nigeria and continues to seek collaborations, engagements and relevance with other related international bodies. So we are law abiding, diligent in our works, God-fearing and committed to our stated Vision, Mission and values.  However, the journey didn’t begin now, it was shaped by an occurrence.

An experience, I had sometimes ago, further change my perception to life and gave birth to what is now known as MFDC. I was driving somewhere in Lagos, and a little girl of about 7 years, looking, haggard, hungry and hopeless accosted me begging for alms in broad daylight, at a time when she ought to be well clothed and be in school. I enquire why she was in such act, and she told me she (and her other siblings) had not eaten for sometimes now and there was no money to send her to school. I was very touched and actually wept at the plight of that little girl, I gave her the money along with my complementary card, and told her to tell her parents to come and see me. When they eventually came, I inquire what happened and the mother told me they don’t have anything to fend for themselves, because there was just no money.

I begged the girl’s parent to allow us to take up the care of that little girl, and since then she has been our responsibility,

Off the street, doing fine and looking forward to become a great woman in future.

That singular experience birthed the Foundation, because as I compare this child to my children and saw the great difference that existed between them. I thought to myself, if nothing is done to intervene and bring positive change to the lives of these children left at the mercy of societies, then nobody is safe, even our well trained, cared and fed children, whom we spent so much on may someday becomes victims of these neglected children, who may one day become undesirable elements and dangers to the societies. So MFDC came to life and has taking up the responsibility of several of these types of children.  

It is a platform borne out of passion for humanitarian purposes, with specific focus on our target groups.

So what are your activities and impacts so far?

Hmmmm, as I look back now, even within the short time of MFDC’s existence, I give glory to God for what He has been using us to achieve, especially in Nigeria, but before our impacts let me first roll out our values and works in concrete and specific terms.

 Acclaim Associate Editor, Ademola Ogunlade and Ms Lara Adefila

President, MFDC, at her office in Abuja after the interview session

MFDC is committed to

  1. Enhancing the quality of life of children (Ages 3- 12) and girl-child (ages 13-18) who are our specific focus.
  2. Improving education of our primary beneficiaries, by supporting initiatives that will enhance access to educational opportunities, interventions and engagements.
  3. Supporting improved health care and providing access to modern and effective medications and drugs.
  4. Providing counseling services for improved quality of life to the girl child and by extension widows, parents and general public with needs related to our Foundation services.
  5. Partnering and networking with other sister/related organizations, NGOs, civil organizations, governments to foster our services, improve national development and contribute to global humanitarian works.

Our Impacts:

To God be the glory, we are touching lives, transforming destinies and shaping the society for greater good. Our reachouts have brought smiles to peoples’ faces in a number of ways.

For instance in the provision of improved healthcare, we have partnered with establishments and institutions to achieve our set targets.

We have conducted with the Lions Club and Partnership of Local Government Councils in Nassarawa State series of massive Deworming Exercises, where several hundreds of students have benefitted. We have distributed drugs worth millions towards this cause. Presently, we are extending activities to schools in Lagos, Kano, Ibadan, Port-Harcourt, Jos, and Adamawa, and progressively across the nation.

We are collaborating with the leadership of the LIONS CLUB in Nigeria and officials of the Education Boards across the nation to ensure smooth operations, success and sustainability.

  • In addition to this, we are partnering with necessaries bodies for regular eyes checks, and where possible distribution of free glasses to these students.
  • Regular health checks and counseling,
  • Dental checks.

Hand washing and good hygiene education, etc.

We pay hospital bills and drug prescription to some of our beneficiaries who are in critical conditions or require urgent medical attention to save their lives and restored them back to healthiness again.

and the Girl Child live and enjoy better lives…MR BAYO  OLODO

In terms of qualitative educational growth, we are partnering with schools to supplies free educational materials, such as exercise books, writing and reading materials, schools bags, desks, boards and provision of uniforms to some indigent students. We are even going the extra-mile to pay for evening classes (additional academics classes), holiday/summer coaching and obtaining GCE/NECO forms to some Girl-Child who desire and are prepared, but cannot afford them.

We work in partnership with seasoned counselors in our visitation and counseling works. We extend humanitarian services to The Girl-Child hawkers, drug addicts, and prostitutes, and other criminally inclined towards rehabilitating them and bringing them out of their various delinquencies. We go as far as to hotels to encourage them to desist from improper  and dangerous sexual acts, drug addition, undue peer influences and indulgences, encourage HIV-Testing, etc, and where and when necessary we ensure the provision of support and ante-natal care to the pregnant among them and counsel them against anti- medical acts that could endanger their lives.  

We also provide integrated support to orphanages to take care of the children in their care.

We care within our capacity for the widows (and their children), through various empowerment support that have positively impacted their lives

Given a broader support, we are ready to continue partnership with sister and related Foundations and organizations to ensure that Nigerian Children and The Girl-Child get the best of care to propel them to greatness in life. So you see it’s a whole lots of dynamic care we are engaged in, and to God be the Glory, we have moved on stronger because we realize that Government alone cannot handle this, the society is enlarging and dynamic and MFDC works have found relevance.

What are your challenges and aspirations?

For an ambitious organization like ours with enlarged vision of transforming the lives of Nigerian Children and the Girl-Child, Funding has been a major challenge. The need for finance to actualize our vision, reach our goals, carry out operations and activities and make impacts in all spheres of activities is critical. In plain words we need money to fulfill our roles and aspire more. I therefore call on well meaning Nigerians to join hands with us to achieve this great task on transforming the Lives of Nigerian Children and the Girl-Child and to progressively salvage our Societies from crime, degradation, destructions, and dangers and make it worthwhile in living.

Offices

Our desire is to have adequate representations across the nation, in the geo-political locations, such as Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Kano, etc.  We want to have functional and well equipped offices, with well trained staff who can effectively and efficiently respond to issues relating to our works. So we need offices, equipment, materials and infrastructure to work with and we want partnership and assistance in this area

Transportation

The need for a branded vehicle for the transportation of our staff, materials and beneficiaries has become crucially necessary now as our activities becomes more pronounced nationwide.         

A good van/ bus will tremendously aid our works and movement in addition to a first glance recognition of our Foundation by Nigerians as we traverse the country. It will be a great joy to us and multitudes of children we have access to if donations of vehicles and ease of mobility can be extended to us. I will be really grateful.

Training and capacity support request for our personnel.

Works as sensitive as ours require skilled and well trained staff, who are versatile and professional in their jobs. And these attainments require training and constant training of job effectiveness and current development dynamics globally. I therefore appeal for government, private organization and international institutions collaborations, invitations and sponsorship opportunities in trainings, seminar, conferences and global opportunities participation to ensure optimal performance and profitable outcomes.  

Our focus and reach is to become a world standard and international recognized Foundation from Nigeria. Our reachouts is to ensure that our beneficiaries becomes nation-builders, world class citizens of honour and global repute

Your Advice for the general Societies?

Well my advice for the general public is stratified in the following:

Children: This glorious group of citizenry, God has blessed Nigerians with should learn to be disciplined, contented and well behaved early in life. They should always be careful of bad peers and wrong influences, and strive to become responsible and impactful persons and good ambassadors of Nigeria, anywhere they find themselves. As tomorrow’s leaders and drivers of the vehicle called Nigeria, the future of this great country belong to them, hence we all as parents, guidance and leaders at all spheres of influence should be concerned of their welfare and continued development.

Parents: As parents, our primary duties are to bring our children up in the fear  and doctrines of God, we should let them know the consequences of right and wrong choices and actions, and let them begin to take responsibilities early enough.

Their care, welfare and growth should be our major priority. Majority of delinquent, abused, crime prone and societal harmful children are products of dysfunction homes and unconcerned parents.

Hence, the good of these great gifts of God to us should be treasured, nurtured and pleasured towards development and Nation- Building practices.

 Government:  The nation’s leadership at all levels of governance plays vital roles in the development of children and youths in Nigeria. Government first role among others is to protect lives and property and defend the sovereignty and integrity of the land.

Children and youths are major constituents of the system, and if adequate and continuous care are not properly given to them, then we are going to have serious problems, as the bulk of challenges facing the country today  comes from the youths, because they are the energy of any nation, and these youths are offshoots of uncared  and neglected children.

Government must buckle up; while they are trying more is expected from them in terms of youth development initiatives, in terms of empowerment, confidence building, impact and sustainability. Corruption at all levels must stop, moneys appropriated for this sector must be judiciously used for them. All our leaders across board must see children and youth growth as a serious concern for the safety and continuity of the nation.

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