#COVIDPositiveStories – Mayowa Adegbile

Mayowa Adegbile is the founder of the Ashake Foundation. This is her #COVIDPositiveStory;

I work with a lot of women who depend on daily sales and with the lockdown, we started receiving calls that there was no hope for food and hunger was inevitable. These women in most cases are the breadwinners of their home and in the heat of the COVID-19 lockdown guideline by the federal government to control the spread of the coronavirus, these women were left with no means of earning their daily source of livelihood while trying to stay safe. 

We then decided to start the ASHAKE FOUNDATION FOOD RELIEF PROJECT. With support from friends and partners, we gave food palliative to Widows, elderly women, children, and Teachers.  We needed to take care of some teachers because a lot of them hadn’t received salaries as schools were closed and they needed support.

The total number of beneficiaries is over 2200 and counting. We gave 300 nose masks to widows and children. We also trained 20 widows in our train-the-trainer project on soap making. We wanted to ensure that they are well taken care of. We are not through with our relief project. We are focused on providing food baskets to elderly folks to boost their immune system. When you see hunger, you don’t need motivation to start, you are persuaded without impulse.

Through this project, we have received a lot of appreciation messages and feedback from our beneficiaries, as it gave them hope that someone really cared and that in spite of the halt in socio-economic activities in the country, they will survive. We have had women who didn’t have any hope for their next meal and with our food relief project, we have put smiles on the faces of people. It is beyond the quantity of the relief materials, we ensure quality at all times. Our sustainability plan at Ashake Foundation is to provide collateral and interest-free loans to widows in Abuja. This would help recoup after the stress of the lockdown. 

This project has taught me that passion is not enough. There are people who are waiting for the most convenient time to face their passion, waiting for the resources and the people. It might not happen the way you expect. We had issues with volunteers because of the pandemic but with a few committed hands, we were able to achieve our goals.

When you say you are a humanitarian, it is during the times of crises that your skills will be tested and I assure you that beyond feeding people and reducing pain in the hearts of the undeserved, it is also a privilege in such a time as this to be part of a front-liner providing hope to the hopeless.

My advice to young people is that, do not be afraid to try. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Remember, you were born as such a time as this,  so there is no excuse to fail, the only excuse is nothing.