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Total Parental Guidance Orphanage: Home Built on God’s Inspiration

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By Eric Elezuo

In 2008, when Mr. Olusegun Ogungbe obeyed a divine call to float an orphanage home, many thought he was threading on an unknown ground, but little did anyone realise that when God ordains, he makes available the resources to put to work His divine assignment. And so it is with TOTAL PARENTAL GUIDANCE Orphanage Home, located at Oluyole Estate in Ibadan, where children of all ages are given the best of attention and care to give them a standard pedestal to compete favourably in the professional world.

With over 20 children of different age categories occupying the double bungalow of the home, standard has remained the watchword in addition to fear of God with attendant vocational superiority.

When The Boss visited the facility, the neatness of the entire environment was the first attraction. The home is maintained to squeaking cleanliness with passionate caregivers going about their duties with zeal.

Established 14 years ago, the Home, founded by Ogungbe, is run on a daily basis by someone you can call the administrator or matron, and you will not be wrong, Mrs. Grace Akpan, a down to earth person, who had held sway in the facility since November 2009. She is the only mother-figure the children have known, and they adore her to high heavens as a result of what they described as her unequalled kindness, devotion to their welfare and desire to see that the best happen to them.

It is not by accident that the Home, only recently produced its first graduate, Opeyemi, who was one of the first sets of children admitted into the home, from the prestigious Redeemers University. Another, by divine arrangement, has just been admitted by the Kings University in Ode Omu, and the rest of the children are graciously attended the best of schools in Ibadan metropolis, striving to become the best destiny has preserved for them.

The Boss chose to tell the story of the Home through the voices of the inmates. Here are excerpts:

We Have Reached Full Capacity, and Needs Expansion – Ogungbe, Founder, Total Parentage Guidance Orphanage.

Segun Ogungbe, Founder, Total Parental Guidance Orphanage

The Boss: Can you go down memory lane, and recapture how this Home to be

Ogungbe:  We are living in a building my dad and mum left when they died in 1999 and 2001 respectively. As the only child of my parents, I inherited the building. Initially, I tried commercialising the property because in this area, everything is mostly commercial. I was contemplating leasing it out as block of offices, but God intervened. I had gone for a church service in December 2002 in London when a certain preacher was ministering on supporting the orphans. That was when I heard a voice, ‘my son that’s what I want you to do’. When I looked around to know where the voice was going from, I saw no one. The voice came again. I obeyed, and asked God to direct me on whatever steps to take. With that, it was easy to locate contacts and the ministry to register with. We later got a solicitor to draft the contract, register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and then derived the capital to begin with.

It is pertinent to note that the preparation for this took about five years; between January 2003 and December 2008. The Home opened for operations on December 1, 2008, which has remained our Founder’s Day. It was approved by the Ministry of Welfare, which we carried along in every step, for us to conduct our activities from that day. The ministry provided assistance in advising on infrastructure, ratio of caregivers and every other requirements. We refurbished the whole place. And with our desire to make everything perfect, consulted other homes like Heritage Homes already in existence for guidance. We raised 18 months funds to help with operations before more funds would come in.

Ogungbe with some secondary school students of the Home

As we were working towards that, we realised we had to build a kitchen. There were originally twin buildings, all completed as far back as  August 1977. So we needed to have extra structures. I knew I couldn’t do half measures, that it is either I do it, or I don’t. With the help of God, I arranged all the furniture. We got the first matron, who left after sometime, but the present matron, Mrs. Grace Akpan has been with us ever since (November 2009).

The challenges we encountered were issues of transportation and schools the children will go. Then we had about seven children. Opeyemi, who just graduated from Redeemers University was one them. There is also another girl that has just been admitted to UNILAG; and the first set of twins, who are 13 years old at the moment. Other challenges had to do with wage bill and operations. But we have learnt as we trudged along.

The Boss: Running an orphanage home of this magnitude comes with tangible challenges. Can you itemise them?

One of the sleeping quarters for the children

Ogungbe: Some of these challenges lie with determining the health status of the children as they grow up. However, before any child is admitted here, we carry out some medical tests such as HIV and other major ailments. We also do background check on all our children to determine the status of their parents. If they are dead, what is the circumstance surrounding their death. This helps us to know how to care more for the child.

Here, because we are not just running a business as most people do, getting the best of staff becomes a challenge as we have to go for the very best. Ours is a cause to better humanity, and we can’t afford to get it wrong. We look out for those who have the heart and passion for the job and those sent by God to do it.

The Boss: Apart from the divine inspiration which prompted your setting up the home, are there any other reason behind this enterprise

Ogungbe: It’s important to note that my mother use to have a daycare centre around here. I have had a soft spot for children ever since, and I don’t like to see children suffering. More so, when God picks you for a role, there is no saying no, or going back. Originally I resisted the call, and was busy praying for breakthroughs in other areas, but God told me “look, I have already given you a job”, and I have to advise myself. This orphanage is divinely inspired, and that is why God is helping us.

A cross section of the children with the matron, Mrs Akpan

But the major challenge is funding. We have used our God-given wisdom to raised funds. God has intervened divinely in many ways and on many occasions. I must not fail to mention a particular God-sent benefactor, who consistently paid money to assist in running the home. He knows himself, and wouldn’t want his name mentioned.

But how did it all begin? At a point sometime in 2007, God instructed me to go to Nigeria. At this time I had no money, and so I resisted. But God insisted, and gave me directions. Long and short of the matter, of the names I was directed to pen down, one called me just as the time of my travelling got closer. I came, and he signed a cheque for me. Shortly after, another cheque came in from another benefactor, and that was how it continued, and lo and behold before the day of the trip, I had about three thousand Pounds and N1.5 million from donors including Pastor Femi Faseru. So, I came to Nigeria and did so much on the orphanage to put it in shape.

In the same vein, kindhearted Nigerians have been donating items and money to sustain the home. We are even privileged to have donors who gave us either full or half scholarship for schools.

Mr Ogungbe with primary and nursery pupils

THE WAY FORWARD

As at the moment, we are at full capacity with over 20 children, with all getting the best of attention and attending the best of schools. This is where we need the much need assistance to continue to give out the best of tutelage we have been known for since 2008. Now, the foundation of this house is meant for a two story building, we need to expand the building to create more sleeping areas, library and recreational facilities. This will help us give the much needed humanitarian service. We need two, two storey buildings here. As the children are growing older, much spaces are required even as new ones are joining. So we really need to expand.

We also need an inverter to complement generator services in order to ensure that power remains constant for the children to excel in their academics. We need more computers for the children to enhance their vocational abilities. Our children are really excelling in their work, and this has shown in some of the exhibitions we have had, as well as training programmes conducted. With additional support, they can go places. We are blessed with an easy to find location already, and so we appeal for kind Nigerians to help the expansion of this great humanity-based institution

Who are you looking at to help with this expansion you talked about

I know Nigerians are very kind people and don’t like children suffering. Specifically, we are calling on captains of industries such as the effervescent Michael Adenuga Jnr., Mr Femi Otedola, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and many others.

The dinning area

Is this Institution registered and recognised

Sure, we are registered with the Association of Orphanage Homes, which our dear matron, Mrs Akpan, is the treasurer for the state. This association is saddled with the responsibility of inspecting orphanages. Most times, they have visited us on impromptu basis, and never found us wanting in any area, be it cleanliness, availability or otherwise.

In the last years, what can you say are the strengths of the Home in terms behavioural pattern of the children, academic performance etc

We are committed to excellence in every area. In academics, the documents are there to prove their abilities. Here, apart from the schools they go, we provide extra moral lessons at home. There is also pastoral care for them. We undertake complete welfare of every area of their lives, and to the glory of God, standardization has remained the watchword of the Home. In fact, we submit report to the Ministry of Welfare on a monthly basis. We are all round, and with the little help we seek, we are sure to reach the zenith..

Do you have any plan of establishing a school so as to make the children school within

Yes, the plan is already drafted, waiting for execution. All we need are people who share in our dreams to key into the project and they will be glad they did.

Taiye and Kehinde Yisau, the first set twins in the home, now 13 years old

We Do Everything to Ensure Total Safety of Our Children – Mrs Grace Akpan, Home Matron

Here at Total Parental Guidance Orphanage Homes, we give total attention and care to vulnerable children ranching from shelter, food, education, tutelage and pastoral care

What is the idea behind the establishment of this home

The home is a product of vision given to the founder by God himself. And that is why the home is quite different from every other home. It is not an NGO, which most people open to raise money. This home is in total obedience to God by Mr. Segun Ogungbe. He started by faith, and God took over. I have been here for 13 years. I joined just before the one year anniversary of the home, and God has been faithful

My qualifications are not educational, but passion and talent. I am a total mother, who has singlehandedly raised five children since the death of my husband. To have raised five well behaved children alone is enough qualification. I discovered that I have this penchant for loving and caring for children, and I have utilised them to the later. So it was not difficult for those who interviewed me to see these qualities, and offered me the matron job, and 13 years down the lane, God has used me and the Founder to turn around a lot things here including providing this particular office I have now, which among other things, have served as a place to pray to God.

One thing becomes obvious immediately one walks into this place, and that is how clean the environment is. Tell us more

I don’t compromise with squalor and dirtiness. I am by nature a very clean person, and anyone that knows me can testify. This is one of my very qualities, and I am reciprocating it here. I go around everywhere to ensure cleanliness. This place is used as a reference point for neatness in the whole of Oyo State.

I met six children when I joined, but by the grace of God, we have 22 children now. When I joined, all our children were attending public schools, but through God’s grace and my effort, we gained places for them in private schools.

Mrs Akpan with members of staff

How do you derive funding for their education

God has been helping us. I appeal to our benefactors, and ask for scholarship, and God is helping us. The Founder has been putting major efforts, and I know that I have to support with own drive effort. Schools like Adedunke Group of Schools at Ososanmi give our children 100 per cent scholarship. There is another one called Great Kiddies Porch, which gives us fifty per cent scholarship. There is also New Realms and Brainchild Care, which also give our children 100 per cent scholarship

What are your challenges in the process of doing your job here

Yes, there are challenges, but the major one is more of spiritual. Sometimes, you don’t know what has taken the lives of the parents of some children, and you are standing in the gap to rescue the child. We fight more of spiritual battle than physical. I do sometimes dry fasting to see that our children are safe. On the physical basis, money is the thing we need. With money, we can do everything we want. I call therefore all well meaning Nigerians to come to our aid. Someone just gave us a huge deep freezer, another at PG changed our chairs. I believe God will touch the hearts of those he has put substance in their hands to elevate this home to assist us.

Can you comment on their attitudinal and academic performances

With all sense of humility, I will say that our children are performing optimally in both academics and morals. We have just graduated one child from the university, and another just got in. We are training them in the way of the Lord.

What categories of children can be admitted here

This is a home run on Christian background and principles. But we admit anyone so long as you agree to the fact that we will train in the Christian way, take them to church and generally admonish them in the way of Christ. We have Muslims here too, but every tutelage is Christian-oriented.

How do you scout for your children

Most of our children come in while they were babies, but we take as much as the facility can handle, and that is the more reason we need assistance to expand.

The Home's school bus

At Total Homes, We Don’t Leave Anything to Chance  – Jumoke Olawale, Reporting Officer

So let me know your experience as a reporting officer for this home

I have been working here for past four years. And being a reporting officer has given me the privilege to meet the vulnerable children. In my experience so far, I have had a closer relationship with the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs and more. So, this gives me the opportunity to know the Association of Orphanages, and OVC operators in Nigeria.

What else does your job entails

Yeah. Apart from giving the reports for the home, I give report to the Ministry of Women Affairs, as I said earlier. I give report to the Association of Orphanages and Home Operators. I learnt a lot through this, as it allows me to move with vulnerable children, new people, visitors, donors, and others.

Another sleeping area

What has it been like in your four years working for Total as regards management of the children, their upbringing and why somebody should choose this home instead of another one?

I use to think that it’s only children that have parents that have the benefits of going to school, and the cool things in life. But working in this orphanage has made me have a rethink. Having seen the way we are training the children, it really shows that it’s not only children with parents that have privilege of going to school, or have a good, solid education.

What do you do here that is not prevalent and not very common out there that make your children outstanding?

The way we bring them up; it is quite different from others.

\What is that magic you inject in bringing the children that makes better? 

It’s not really magic but God because we can’t train them on our own strength. God makes it easier for us. We have different types of children here, so its only God that gives direction.

Thank you very much.

 

Total Home Has Taught Me to Give without Restriction – Opeyemi, First Graduate

Home’s first graduate, Opeyemi

 

For Opeyemi, who has completed studies at the Redeemers’ University, the Home has tutored him in love, and bequeathed the virtue of giving to him. A graduate of Sociology, awaiting NYSC call up, the young man, who looked every inch aristocrat, share his experience in the Home he came into 13 years ago when he was just nine.

You are a child of Total Homes. Can you tell us your experience during your stay there?

It’s has been great, filled with lots of lessons, time tested advice, and without the Matron and Founder of this home, I won’t be here today. They have invested a lot in me.

You were nine years when you were admitted here, and today 13 years after, you are 22. What can you say is your takeaway from here 

The biggest thing I’ve learned in this home is be a giver. I have realised that if the founder is not a giver, I won’t be who I am today. I won’t be a graduate. And I don’t know what would have happened to my siblings. So the biggest thing I’ve learned and one thing I will keep holding on to is the act of giving.

What was the relationship like between you and your younger ones in the home

We were brought up in good and lovely environment with love, and that has formed the basis of our relationship. They use love to bring us up and we use love to relate with one another.

How will you remember here when you eventually make it big in life

One thing is certain. I can never forget this home because any river that forgets its source will dry up. My matron tells me that every time. So, I can’t forget where I was brought up. Though I’m out of here, I still have other siblings here that need care. I can’t forget this home. There will always be a payback time, I’m sure.

Mr Ogungbe and Mrs Akpan

There must be a message you would wish to give those who seek a desirable orphanage home concerning this place.

Very simple! That Total Parental Guidance is a very lovely home. It’s a home to keeps ones mind be at rest because children are empowered here with something tangible.

Without iota of doubt, this place need more facilities in addition to the one it has already. So what would you say to government and kindhearted Nigerians

They should help the home to maximise its potential. The founder has done and is doing so much already, and needs the assistance of all and sundry to further produce great children that will build Nigeria for the better. The facility here can expanded so that more homeless children out there can further be accommodated.

The standard the Home dishes out to the public has made it a cynosure of all eyes, and seems to draw volunteers to home to offer one service or another, pro bono. One of sure volunteers is Olateju Oladipo, who took up the function of driving the children to and fro schools on a daily basis.

The common room

“Actually, it has been amazing because getting to work with kids is something that I did not have the opportunity to do before, but now it has shown me that wow, there’s so many things that I did not know and that I needed to know. And being with them taught me so much about even myself because I got to take them to school bring them back. It has been an amazing experience basically,” he said.

He rated the home, management and the children 10 over 10 in all areas, saying the kids have been groomed to be very respectful. He added that he has taken up the job of unpaid of PR person for the school because their services are comparable to the best.

Caregiver, Mrs Edith Eze

The Home is blessed with passionate caregivers, led by Mrs Edith Eze, who gave assurance that everything, including their remuneration is topnotch. According to Eze, we give the children the best of care and attention, and ensure they feel at home at home. We correct and rebuke when necessary, and perform general motherly duties.”

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Ebonyi Rally: Atiku Reiterates Commitment to Restructuring, Devolution, Says APC Deceitful

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Former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, pledged his total commitment to power devolution and restructuring if elected the president, next month.

Atiku spoke while addressing a mammoth crowd of PDP supporters at Pa Ngele Oruta township stadium Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

While noting that the people of the South-East zone, had been clamouring for restructuring to enable them have more powers to deal with their local affairs, the presidential hopeful assured the people that restructuring and devolution of power would be a major policy of his administration.

He described the rulling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a deceitful alliance and not a political party, even as he claimed the alliance that brought APC had collapsed.

He said the APC promised to restructure the Nigeria but failed to do so.

Atiku said: “I am committed to power devolution and restructuring. All the South Eastern states have been yearning and have been propagating for restructuring of this country because they want to have more powers, more resources to deal with their own local affairs. We agree entirely and that is why it is a major policy of our government, if you support us and if you give us the opportunity.

“APC had promised the same. Did they do it? They abandoned the issue of restructuring, they are very deceitful alliance, very deceitful.

We are committed and we mean what we say and if you give us the support, we will deliver.

They said some people formed a party, it is not a party. It is an alliance and the alliance is collapsing and it has collapsed”.

He promised to empower women and youths to take over power from old politicians if given the mandate to be president of the country.

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Niger Delta Will Benefit from Our Resource Control Agenda – Atiku

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Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday said if voted into office, his administration would change the security architecture in the country and grow the economy.

He gave the assurance at the party’s Presidential Campaign in Delta held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

Abubakar said that between 1999 and 2015, PDP grew Nigeria’s economy and made it the largest in Africa, but that the All Progressives Congress (APC) destroyed it with its inept leadership.

He said that with adequate security and right economic policies, a PDP administration led by him would attract Foreign Direct Investment that would grow the nation’s economy, adding that the security of the country was paramount because no nation could develop without security.

He told Deltans that the team was not in the state to campaign, saying “we are here to show our gratitude and appreciation to say that we are with you in all respects because of the support we have received from you from 1999 to date.
“All through my political journey, Delta state has always supported me and I want to promise you that I shall not betray the trust of Delta and the entire Niger Delta.

“That is why in my modest appreciation, I chose one of you as my vice presidential candidate and you know that a running mate is always a stepping stone.

“Therefore it is up to you to show your support by giving Governor Okowa the massive support to enable us to rescue and rebuild our dear country.”

On his policy document, the PDP Presidential flag bearer stated that his administration would pay attention to developing the education sector, and promised that under his watch, strikes by members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would be eradicated.

“The Niger Delta and other parts of the country will benefit from our resource control and restructuring agenda because it is our intention to devolve more powers to the states and local governments to tackle peculiar challenges facing the people.

“The APC government has disunited Nigeria in all aspects and it is our commitment to restore the unity of this country by ensuring that every part of this country has a sense of belonging.

“You must believe in PDP because as a party we built the biggest economy in Africa until the APC came and destroyed it in 2015.
“Why vote for the same party that has suffered us in the last seven years plus? Let us vote them out to unite and rebuild our country again,” he said.

The Vice-Presidential Candidate of the party and Governor of Delta, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, said that Atiku knew how to address the socio-economic challenges bedevilling the country and urged the people to vote for the party.
According to him, we all know that the APC-led Federal Government brought poverty to the nation; they destroyed our economy to the extent that Nigerians are now hungry, without food to eat.

“How can a bag of rice be sold for almost N50, 000? It is only Atiku that can solve the problems in the country because when the PDP took over the reins of power in 1999, Atiku and Obasanjo were able to restore the nation’s lost glory.

“Atiku has assured Nigerians that he will revive the economy of the country and reposition it for optimum productivity in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“For over 20 years, Atiku has been advocating for the restructuring of Nigeria where states and local governments will get more money that will stimulate growth and development and this is what we want in the Niger Delta.

“Atiku has also promised that his administration, if elected, will put in place a constitutional framework that will enable states to have State Police so as to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.

“Atiku is an experienced politician that has the capacity and pedigree to reset the country and I call on all eligible voters in the state to ensure that they have their PVCs to enable them vote in the forthcoming general elections,” Okowa stated.

National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, on his part, congratulated Deltans for the choice of Okowa as Vice-Presidential Candidate and lauded previous governors of the state for their contributions to the growth and development of the state.

He called on sons and daughters of the state to vote massively for all PDP candidates in the general elections.

The rally was attended by former Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki; Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Douye Diri of Bayelsa and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa.

Earlier, Atiku Abubakar had held a meeting with traditional rulers in Delta, at their Secretariat in Asaba, and assured that if elected, he would ensure that clear constitutional roles were given to monarchs in the country.

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Atiku Campaigns in Bayelsa, Promises Devolution of Power, Restructuring

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has promised the Niger Delta people that his administration will devolve powers from the centre and restructure Nigeria if elected.

Atiku, who spoke at the campaign rally of the PDP in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Monday, noted that the people of the region had been clamouring for resource control and the restructuring of the country and that his government, when elected, would accede to their demands.

He reiterated the implementation of his five-point developmental agenda for the nation, which he listed as the unification of the country, tackling insecurity, the economy, ending the strike in universities, and restructuring.

He said, “I promised to tackle insecurity. Here in Bayelsa State, you have faced a number of security challenges. You have lost so many people due to breaches of law and order. I promise I will restore security in this country.

“We proposed to restructure this country. You people in the Niger Delta need more restructuring than any other part of this country. We will give you more resources and more powers to deal with your problems. You don’t have to always start begging the Federal Government.”

In his remarks, the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, said Atiku was the only presidential candidate who had pledged to give the Ijaw people, and indeed the Niger Delta, restructuring.

Diri said partly, “Now, the only candidate who has keyed in and who has talked about what the Ijaw people want and what the people of Bayelsa want is Atiku; we have been talking about: resource control, Atiku is the only candidate that has talked about the restructuring of this country. Therefore, Atiku and the PDP are the only candidates and parties for which the Ijaw people will vote.”

Also speaking, the vice presidential candidate of the PDP and governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, called on the people of Bayelsa State to give the party no fewer than 700,000 votes, while the geopolitical zone should deliver at least five million votes for the PDP at the presidential polls.

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