Wish for Africa Foundation

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Saturday, 15 August 2009

Walk 4 wish 15th August 2009


As we all arrived in Morrison’s Thamesmead at 10.00 on a warm but overcast day, we looked across and saw a growing array of red and white. Great I thought people have come, as we gathered, chatted, hugged and welcomed each other even more turned up.

We had the customary photo shot and pep talk from Femi and then started to split into groups and headed off. I was walking with Michelle, Folakemi, a Doctor friend of Femi and Beth and Tolu. Danni started the walk with us but she (the fit one) was running so soon she sped off in her lycra!

The kids had a great time Beth on her bike and Tolu on his scooter, I am sure they did 3 times as much as us, back and forth. The weather brightened up and the sun came out. It was a lovely walk along the Thames path, with blackberries to pick and sailing boats passing by.

At the half way point (by the skateboard park Woolwich) we all met up and well earned refreshments were waiting. We sat chatted and when everyone had arrived, Femi gathered us all together to thank us and remind us why we were doing this.

30 or so people sat and listened to an inspired and inspiring man sharing his dreams and being encouraged to do their bit. He shared his dreams for Wish for Africa, that one day affordable healthcare in Africa will be as accessible and well known to all as MacDonalds. That no one will be turned away or have second rate services due to their income and status.

We were reminded of the state of healthcare and the cost that many, probably 65% (the amount that live in poverty in Nigeria) find difficult to afford. How it has the second highest maternal death rate in the world. How the woman who we performed a caesarean section on would almost certainly have died if she had gone into labour due to the state of her uterus.

We then gathered for photos, tidied away our rubbish, gathered together all the bits and headed back to Thamesmead. Tired and hot we were all treated to ice creams, which really went down well with the kids (and the adults). Again a big thanks to all that attended from Femi and we headed off.

Some of us went back to Folakemi’s and were treated to Jollof rice and chicken, a fitting end to a Wish for Africa day.

I can not begin to name all those that took part, I would only forget so many and misspell the rest, but I am so proud of everyone that attended and it was a fun day. It was great to meet you all and put faces to names. I look forward to seeing you all again soon and hopefully next time with your friends.
Thanks to all
Jo

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

UK, London, Trafalgar Square August 12th 2009


The first of our two August events that we had been excitedly preparing for, Ola standing on the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square had finally arrived.

The day commenced with meeting Femi at Greenhithe station to catch the train into London, this gave us time to catch up on agendas and updates of what is going on with things in person rather than via email and text. We headed from Charing cross to Warren St station to make our way for an interview with Flower on Ben TV, after a cancelled train it was a fast walk to get there on time. We were interviewed and were able to share what Wish for Africa has been up to with things like the River State medical mission, my trip to Lagos and forthcoming events such as today’s and the Walk 4 Wish event on Saturday.

The TV interview over I headed back to Charing cross to meet family and friends, whilst Femi headed to Colourful FMs office for another interview with Rosemary Laryes. For me it was a well needed coffee, after which we made our way to meet Ola at Trafalgar Sq. The famous tourist attraction was as busy as ever.

I called Ola and he was being interviewed in the big green portacabin owned by One and Other the event organisers, so I headed over to meet him. Finally many of the friends and family supporting us turned up and it was Ola’s turn on the plinth. The big JCB with a green cage came to pick him up and transport him up onto the plinth, to the sounds of cheers from all us down below.

With Ola on the plinth, the rest of us adorned our T shirts and raised the banner displaying the cause that we had united to support ‘Wish for Africa’. Many people came over to ask for more details and took information. A lady that had been thrown a T-shirt by Ola from on high came over and explained that she was going to get fellow artists at her college to sign and donate money to the cause and would send it on.

With the web cam constantly on checking out Ola’s goings-on on the plinth and relaying it all over the world, this was a fantastic opportunity for us at Wish for Africa. Also Mr Youb from Ben TV came along to see us. We also had the opportunity for a live chat with Naija FM’s Sen’ Clemence, chatting with us and sharing the day with his listeners, again giving us fantastic support and coverage.

The hour on the plinth sped past and the JCB headed over with the next person on in. Ola dismounted the plinth to a huge cheer and a very English chant of ‘for he’s a jolly good fellow’, which did make me laugh as it wasn’t a mainly English audience!! The final photo shot and thank yous to all that had come to help and support the event and we dispersed home. What a great day and great opportunity to plug a worthwhile cause, along with the chance to meet many facebook friends and to share the work with others too.

A huge thanks to Ola, his beautiful wife, my Husband Tony and Beth, Michelle, Aminata, Adebola, Olaitan, Toyin, Christina, Temi, Abby, Oladunn, Olu, Sarah, Funke, Tolu, Mo, Clint and all the other supporters that I have forgotten to mention by name. Also again for the support of Ben TV, Naija FM and Colourful FM for the coverage they gave and continue to give.

Ola said that he had been inspired by my efforts to help his fellow Nigerians through Wish for Africa and because of that he had given his time on the plinth to raise awareness of this cause. We can all make a difference, we can all do something small or big, never think “it’s not enough to make a change”, never think “what is the point”! I did something, Ola has done something, you too can do something, and you too can be change agents and make a difference! Go on try it….you know you want to!