The mood at the hall of Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos was one of festive filled with fun during the 10th Anniversary of PZ Cussons Foundation as handful of selected guests gathered for to celebrate a decade of impactful cooperate social responsibility activities in touching lives of community people.
The Chairman PZ Cussons Foundation, Professor Emmanuel Edozien, said it was necessary after 10 years to pause and ponder, do some soul-searching, look at the scorecard and welcome frank and honest views from the other side on the performance relative to their set goals.
“We executed 59 projects cutting across all areas even though it is obvious the lion share of expenditure had gone to education. In the spirit of fairness, we have also ensured projects were evenly spread across the six geopolitical zones.
The Chief Executive Officer, PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc., Mr. Christos Giannopoulos, who commended contributors to the success story of PZ Cussons Foundation, also affirmed that the Foundation will continue to contribute to the growth of the country through its CSR activities
There were testimonies galore. One of the most touching was by Rev Erika Elijah of the Dioceses of Oji River, Anglican Communion, Enugu State who spoke on behalf of the Oji River Leprosy Centre established since 1935.
The gripping narration of the condition of the leprosy Centre before PZ Cessions Foundation built two Sanitary/houses and a leprosarium for the settlement draw tears from the participants.
Most guests could not hide their emotions when Elijah narrated the current feelings of the inmates.
Sharing her touching story, the Ejike who dressed in Reverend attire, said: PZ has provided succor for indigent and isolated leprosy inmates. “The situation then, was so bad when people when the CMS people that put up mud buildings left, the inmates continue to face stigmatization and outright ostracism from immediate family members and the society.
“It is a place nobody wants to go to. They see us as people that cannot be associated with. This is one thing PZ Cussions have come to show that we are relevant in the society and that we are important in the society.
“The time PZ Cussion came in 2017 informing us of interest to build 20 rooms hostels for the inmates; it was unimaginable as the people have lived under leaking roofs, half fallen walls, dilapidated Centres. The number of the inmates was increasing but houses were reducing. In some of the homes, you will find a family of 8 living in one room because part of the rooms has fallen away, and their roofs leaking.
“During the rainy season some stay awake all through the night praying there should be no rain. This is the condition the people have been in for a very long time and until PZ Cussons come last February.
Also sharing their story, Representative of Mbamba Community Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Malam Umar Aliyu Bello said “Words are not enough to express the deep gratitude of the entire members of Mbamba community in Yola over renovation of the Mbamba Community Health Clinic, which was commissioned on 2nd November, 2010.
The renovation undertaken by the Foundation has upgraded the Clinic. Consequently, people from neighbouring towns and villages patronize the Clinic more than ever before.
“Records have shown that from January to date, the clinic has recorded 1,429 antenatal cases; 356 labour and delivery cases; 372 immunization cases; 1,284 cases for family planning; and 2,879 OPD cases. After suffering a long period of darkness due to the breakdown of the transformer supplying electricity to the Mbamba community, P.Z Cusson Foundation came to the rescue.
The Foundation purchased and installed a brand new 200KVA transformer for the community. This singular gesture has helped our community tremendously. It was able to connect the Community Primary School, borehole as well as the Mbamba Health Clinic to the national grid.”