No excuse, we will double-up interventions for vulnerable persons – Sanwo-Olu


…As State launches new intervention initiative, First Lady calls for support

Moses Adeniyi

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said his Administration will not give-in to excuse from provisions of social intervention, mentioning that efforts would be coordinated to off-set the plights of vulnerable persons in the State.

The Governor who spoke on Thursday at Ikeja, the Capital City of Lagos, at the launch of an intervention scheme, tagged Social Welfare Integrated Program Initiative (SWIPI), mentioned that it was time coordinated efforts be galvanised to helping the less privileged in the society.

Launch on Tuesday, SWIPI, is aimed at supporting orphanages, elderly care homes, and others in the areas of addressing their infrastructure, medical, education, nutrition, and training needs.

Vulnerable persons in the category of target include orphans, children with special needs, the elders, the mentally challenged, and other vulnerable groups in the State.

Governor who made a case on why it was significant to give hope and make life meaningful to them, pledged he would personally lead the course with exemplary interventions in his personal capacity.

Sanwo-Olu who said he was particularly thrilled with the objectives of the SWIPI team in reaching out to the care homes in the State, mentioned that it was a clarion call on all to join hands with the government to make a positive difference.

“I am actually very thrilled listening to all of the very modest interventions and initiatives that SWIPI stands for and I must thank the initiator and the Grand Patron. There is a lot we can do for the children and vulnerable people out there; there is a lot that is expected of us.

“As a government, we are not going to give excuses and I will personally take the lead and see that we double up our interventions through Ministries of Youth and Social Development, Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, and other MDAs,” the Governor assured,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Narrating the experience of an intervention in his personal capacity on his way to the venue of the SWIPI launch where he stopped the convoy upon noticing two young girls roaming the street during school hours, Sanwo-Olu said a lot need to be done to care for the less privileged in the society.

Upon sighting the two out-of-school girls, Sanwo-Olu had stopped to inquire from the girls who gave their names as Chindinma Amarachi and Suwebat, nine and 12 years respectively, vowing to take over the sponsorship of their education.

“Out there, there are several Amarachis and Suwebats who don’t have the opportunity to go to school. We all can make a difference if we choose to, and this is why I am indeed happy with this SWIPI project because there is no better thing we can do to mankind than ensuring that we can make life better for our next-door neighbor,” the Governor said.

In her remarks, following her investiture as the Grand Patron of SWIPI, Lagos First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said she was fascinated by the objective of the organisation which is principally aimed at helping to tremendously improve the quality and value of care to the less privileged in the society.

In her words, “SWIPI is a commendable milestone in the bid to revolutionize social welfare practice in Lagos State, with the principal objective of caring for the vulnerable, especially children with special needs, mentally challenged individuals, and the elderly.

“The SWIPI Project was conceived to bridge the existing gaps and support the current governmental and private sector efforts in the administration and management of social welfare in line with the THEMES Agenda of the administration of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, with emphasis on health, wellbeing, and education.”

“It is commendable that SWIPI is already intervening in delivering a training curriculum for registered caregivers, using world-class facilitators and the feedback has been improved knowledge and delivery of care by the caregivers in all the registered homes and orphanages in the state.

“The organisation has also been strong in improving the quality of social welfare administration through the donation of critical equipment and facilities including digital tablets, computers, boreholes, water treatment plants, and toilet facilities, among others to ramp up the care of the vulnerable in the homes,” she said.

According to her, it was with a deep sense of responsibility and call to service that she accepted the investiture.

This, according in her, was in order to consolidate on the amazing objective to embed best practices in social welfare administration in the overall interest of the vulnerable, especially children, the elderly, and mentally challenged individuals.

The First Lady, however, called “on the government, Organized Private Sector, multilateral agencies, religious bodies, and public-spirited individuals to support this cause and join hands with SWIPI to truly care for the less privileged in our midst.

“We all owe it a duty to work towards giving meaning to life to the needy and the vulnerable.

“Permit me to end with one of my favourite bible passages: James 1: 27, which reads: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world,” she submitted.

Besides, she called for deliberate policies and laws to ensure that registered orphanages and elderly care homes adhere to best practices, while efforts are put in place to address the issue of unregistered homes, with the view to ensuring that they are properly regulated.

In his remarks, Chairman of SWIPI, Dr. Kolawole Ajayi said the organisation consists of 11 professionals from different walks of life who have an incredible love for children and are concerned about the social, economic, health, and welfare of vulnerable children, particularly those in orphanages.
He said SWIPI was concerned about children with some learning disorders abandoned in the orphanages and the less privileged adults in the elderly homes in the state, saying the focus of the project was to address the identified gaps in social welfare practice and administration.

The launch also witnessed, digital tablets presented to 14 registered elderly care homes to enhance their operations toward efforts-learning.