The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International swiftly responded to the call for aid after a building housing a primary school and nursery collapses in the city of Lagos claiming the lives of 20 people.
On the morning of March 13, a building in Ita Faji, Lagos Island, a poor neighborhood located within Nigeria’s largest city, collapsed without warning. The collapse of the three-story building, which housed the Ohen primary school and nursery, trapped dozens of people and displaced a number of families who lived in the building. Amidst the horror and grief, hundreds of volunteers banded together to offer what they could to the survivors and families of the victims, including the local chapter of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International.
The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation leads humanitarian efforts
Soon after the incident, a large tent was raised outside the site of the collapse to offer relief, aid and supplies. The Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI) sponsored a Hope Relief Mission to provide medical assistance, welfare and spiritual support to victims, survivors and those affected by the tragedy. COFI is a faith-based, non-governmental organization with a mission to provide aid to the destitute and those in the midst of despair. The organization responds immediately to natural and man-made disasters all over the world to deliver relief and offer hope to survivors, displaced persons and communities in need.
An emergency search and response mission commenced immediately after the building collapse to help find anyone who was still trapped inside the crumbled wreckage. Witnesses on site reported emergency responders pulling dozens of children from the debris. The rescue effort was able to save 37 people still alive after the collapse. Health officials in Lagos later reported that the incident killed 20 people and 45 others in the building at the time of the collapse survived. It was unclear how many children were in the building when it collapsed
The humanitarian efforts of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International supported the ongoing rescue operations carried out by government authorities, the State Emergency Management Agency, security officials and concerned citizens.
Providing for survivors and grief-stricken families
The member agencies of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation, consisting of the InnerCity Mission for Children, the Humanitarian Volunteer Network, the Trauma Care International Foundation and the Bible for All Mission quickly mobilized in response to the disaster.
Trauma Care International Foundation, an organization that provides care to victims in the event of trauma, recruited blood donors from across the country to volunteer to donate blood to help save victims of the tragedy. Emergencies can cause immediate shortages of blood and volunteer donors helped stop the crisis from claiming even more lives.
The Trauma Care International Foundation advocates for a national crisis and trauma response network aimed at coordinating services to cope with medical needs during emergencies. Many reported that ambulances and emergency response teams lacked basic medical supplies needed to tend to those injured in the collapse.
The Bible for All Mission, an organization devoted to sharing the divine message of God, provided survivors, their families and residents of the community with inspirational Rhapsody of Realities Devotional Bibles to help lift their spirits during their time of despair. Volunteers led community members in prayers for the victims, those still missing and those in the midst of grief.
The InnerCity Mission, a non-governmental organization with a vision to end child poverty, provided urgently needed supplies including folding beds, blankets, toiletries and footwear to those displaced by the building collapse. The Humanitarian Volunteer Network of the Mission quickly assembled a mobile food kitchen at the site with enough provisions to supply nourishment to the survivors and displaced families of the collapse every day for a duration of two weeks.
Pastor Chris Oyakhilome prays with the community
Furthermore, the visionary founder and benevolent leader of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International and LoveWorld Inc., Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, visited the site, surveyed the damage and shared the powerful Word of God with survivors. He commiserated with the bereaved families and community members, offering prayers of strength, resilience and hope.
The healing message delivered by the Man of God, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, resonated with the broken community, whose journey towards recovery is only just beginning. The Christ Embassy Pastor pledged his continued support to the people of the community through the initiatives of the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation and its sponsored agencies.
The foundation, through the strength of God, its donors, volunteers and partners, is particularly well equipped to provide the physical and spiritual needs of those affected by this unspeakable tragedy.
The Aftermath of the building collapse
Building collapses across the country of Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, happen all too frequently due to poor enforcement of building standards and regulations and the use of substandard construction materials. It has been reported that the collapsed building had been condemned and was slated to be demolished, but the landlord had illegally renovated and rented the building to the nursery school and other tenants.
The governor of Lagos, Akinwuni Ambode, has requested a full investigation into the building collapse. In the meantime, the government began demolition efforts across the city to topple buildings deemed structurally unsafe to prevent a similar disaster from occurring in the future. About 100 buildings have been earmarked for demolition, displacing hundreds of families across the city.
If you are interested in pledging your support, volunteering or learning more about the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International please click here. It is through the generosity of donors and the altruism of volunteers that the foundation is able to achieve its goal of helping vulnerable and impoverished people across the world.