This one day program was designed primarily to reach out to the teeming poor population of one of the major slums in the Coal City of Enugu. Prior to this event which was held on the 29th of November 2009 at the church premises of one of the mobilizing churches- Anglican church of Transfiguration, Deeper Life church, Assemblies of God church, Grace of God Mission and Catholic Church, Women and their children were registered at different points of the slum community. In all, a total of 2550 families comprising women and children were registered. This prior registration helped in planning the logistics of the event.
The programme started at about 1:00 pm at the closing of the Sunday service. The opening prayers were said by the representatives of the above churches. This was followed by a welcome address by Rev. Emma Nwachukwu, who welcomed everybody present and recognized all the members of all the NGOs present. He appreciated Mrs. Stella Brown especially for remembering the poor in Nigeria area. He expressed the appreciation of all the entire area and its leaders for being remembered, and termed this visit as answer to their prayers. He recognized the presence of the medical team led by Dr. Ben Chukwu. One of the high point of the event was a session of praise and worship during which the participants danced and rejoiced and praised God for His divine provision before Christians.
In her speech, Mrs. Brown traced the origin of SHATWON and shared some of her experiences. She seized the opportunity to advice people on marital life generally. She urged people and told them they can conquer poverty through fervent prayers and believing in themselves. She said that God spoke to her about this ministry through the book of Lamentation 2:19 and that she has devoted her life to the Ministry.
Rev. Nwachukwu summarized what Mrs. Brown said that "poverty is a test and a challenge to prominence" he encouraged that with this testimony they too can overcome. The Executive Director of Healing Hearts Widows Foundation spoke on the 16 days activism on violence against women. She talked about the physical, emotional, sexual and psychological violence. In concluding her speech, she observed that violence is on the increase, if it can't be eradicated it could at least be checked.
This was followed by a speech by Mrs. Rita of New Millennium Foundation (NMF). The focus area is on habitats, empowerment and reproductive health, and their goal is service delivery and empowerment to the poor indigent, and physically challenged members of the society.
From records about 150 patients were treated for lack of time. They received free medical aid, which included drugs, and other hygienic products.
Wrappers were distributed to 2500 children between the ages of 1-9 years, sack bags containing raw foods such as:
This session lasted several hours as the uncontrollable crowed kept surging, and even more women and children trooped to the distribution venue from nearby neighbourhoods to receive their own packages.
The mobilizers (Heads of different Churches) organized their own security, while SHATWON came with truck load of police. Thank God everything went well without a hitch.
It was a day of joy for the area, in the word of one of the beneficiaries…"God really came down in human form today and visited us, so we will eat rice this Christmas…Alleluia!!!" Comments such as these were freely made by the beneficiaries who could not hold back their joy. However, the area needs further support as there are no toilets, no bathrooms, no kitchens in that area, there is need for construction of these facilities. It is also very necessary for further intervention especially to educate the women on child spacing. It was observed that they desperately need a net to fish with. That will be our next project come 2010. In all, it was a very successful outing and very well received by the community (independent interviewers went round the camp interviewing the habitants of the camp).