Obscure and secluded, the Lagos State Children’s Centre, an orphanage home located at Idi-Araba area of Lagos State was aroused from its slumber on February 13, Valentine’s eve. Indeed, over two decades, the orphanage housing over 300 children wore a radiant and festive look as the employees of Oando Marketing Plc, a subsidiary of Oando Plc., Africa’s largest indigenous energy solution providers, came visiting on a corporate philanthropy mission.
Though the children of the orphanage were no strangers to corporate visitations, the visit by the over 50 employees of Oando, was remarkable and spectacular. Unlike others before it, the team, led by the dynamic and amiable Chief Operating Officer of the oil marketing giant, Mrs. Olaposi Williams prepared to associate and felicitate with the children in the spirit of the Valentine’s season. Although the visitors came a day before St. Valentine’s Day, they nonetheless made the children at the orphanage happy with their expression of love for humanity.
The children, who, perhaps may not often receive such display of affection, were all gaily dressed, radiating joy in the specially made Ankara uniform that added colour and grandeur to the day’s celebration.
Not only were those, the care givers of the home were also beautifully dressed as they were all smiles throughout the event. They were so grateful to the Oando staff for the gesture.
The festive mood became literally infectious as the school premises were decorated with the characteristic Oando brand colours of white, red and blue. Protective canopies were erected to shield the children from the scorching heat of the sun as the event took different swings.
It was glitz, glamour and fun as the children were engaged in dancing competition, quiz and several other games. The children were entertained and thrilled with rib-cracking jokes and riddles. It was indeed a day to remember as the children actively participated in general dancing session with all members of staff of Oando Marketing team for over one hour.
Speaking at the occasion shortly after a rigorous jig on the dance floor, the Chief Operating Officer said: “The company was motivated to embark on the celebration with the home as part of the company’s corporate philanthropy.
“It is in the spirit of corporate giving, which is just a slice of a bigger corporate social responsibility initiative, that we are leveraging during this season of giving brought about by St Valentine’s Day–the season of love,” she said..
Commenting on the choice of the orphanage, Williams said the Children’s Centre was less well-known than other popular ones, but observed that it was in need of support.
Before this initiative, O-Gas had embarked on other CSR projects such as the O-Gas Switch Campaign and the NYSC Cooking Competition.
Williams said: “Our O-Gas Switch campaign is a corporate social responsibility initiative which enables us to provide burners and cylinders to those who currently use naked flames powered by dirty fuels to cook.”
Noting that O-Gas will continue to initiate corporate social responsibility on every Valentine’s Day, the Chief Operating Officer said the exercise will, in future, be spread to other parts of the country.
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