Members of the Order of Knights of Saint Mulumba (KSM) VGC sub-council on Saturday 2nd July, 2022 in furtherance of their numerous outreach programs to the needy in the society embarked on yet another laudable charity initiative dubbed Feed The Hungry FTH charity apostolate.
Though a novel initiative and a slight departure from their known charity activities which revolves mostly around prisons ministration and organizing pilgrimages to Uganda and Israel, support to the orphanages, old peoples’ homes, support to ordained, FTH charity apostolate is a brainchild of the Lagos Metropolitan Council of KSM who in their compassion and out of sheer magnanimity, putting into consideration the despicable, precarious and parlous state of the nation’s economy decided to spare some time, thought and resources.
These worthy fellows tasked themselves to making quarterly contributions to the needy and less privileged in the society.
By so doing, expanding their scope of coverage from what hitherto appeared to be limited to building structures to bringing the charity closer home through focusing some attention on the needy around them.
Sir Don Ezeh the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight (MGK) of KSM noted that the event was the Order’s second outing of a new apostolate. In his words, the FTH charity apostolate will be a quarterly affair focused solely on the needy and the hungry through the distribution of raw food items such as rice, beans, spaghetti, tomatoes, milk, cartons of noodles etc packaged in food packs worth at the very least between five and six thousand naira.
According to the MGK, the Order in a bid to avoid reinventing the wheel will be partnering the society of Saint Vincent De Paul SVP another society in the catholic church with proven reputation for caring for the poor; in identifying and assembling those already registered as the needy rather than having to deal with impostors many of who cash in on the opportunity to receive these food packs which they eventually resell thereby depriving the actual targets who needs them more.
This have been the case in past years!
Asides from the FTH charity apostolate, Sir Don Ezeh further noted that the KSM as an organization is involved in numerous other charity apostolates such as the monthly prisons ministry whereby members of the Order visit inmates with lots of food packs, clothing items etc; a spiritual exercise he acknowledged has been going on for more than a decade.
Sir Don said in addition to the food packs distribution, KSM lawyers in collaboration with the Lagos State Government judiciary also help facilitate the release of prisoners many of who have spent longer time on awaiting trial list than the law actually stipulates for trivial offences which in most cases include loitering, affray, not possessing an identification card and other misdemeanors including some who haven’t been charged to court despite being held on trumped-up charges.
It is noteworthy that the prisons ministry of the KSM and other charity gestures didn’t start today, matter of fact, it is on record that the organization more than ten years ago embarked on the building of a chapel at the Kirikiri Medium Prisons which upon completion was commissioned by then Archbishop of Lagos Archdiocese Archbishop Olubunmi Okogie.
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Other charitable courses of the KSM include but are not limited to building of a seminary school for the Archdiocese of Abeokuta.
Even though the Archbishop later requested for a clinic for the seminary school, the Order not only built one but went on to furnish it!
In his words, Sir Don Ezeh clarified that the FTH charity apostolate as witnessed by our reporter in VGC, happened simultaneously in twenty nine other subcouncils across the entire Archdiocese of Lagos, assuring that the entire Archdiocese was concurrently covered adequately.
But for limited resources, the MGK said he would have wished for the event to be a monthly affair, he however promised that the Order will ensure that the quarterly arrangement is sustained, assuring that it will continue to get better as the years go by, he assured that the enthusiasm to drive it is in abundance.
He also assured that he had no doubts that with time other parishioners are wont to key in and offer their support just as has been witnessed in some places they’ve embarked on similar exercise.
On the possibility of the exercise being discontinued owing to paucity of funds, the MGK waved off such insinuations as he gave his word that as long as members of the Order continue to eat in their respective houses, they will always spare a thought for the needy and hungry.
He rounded off by saying that beneficiaries of the FTH apostolate are drawn from all spheres of life and must not necessarily be catholics or even christians as he highlighted the fact that hunger knows no tribe, religion or boundary.
Once a person has been registered and identified as a needy by Saint Vincent De Paul who by default takes time to vet; their tribe, religion or whatever other variables become irrelevant.
In a separate interview, Sir Tony Ukairo Worthy Grand Knight (WGK) VGC subcouncil further re-emphasized the stance of the WMGK stressing that the KSM as an organization is more than capable to continue accommodating the needy and the hungry in the society on a quarterly basis.
While noting that nobody’s candle ever gets put out while trying to help light another’s, Sir Ukairo assured that the KSM won’t be withdrawing its already outstretched hand of support to the needy and hungry in the nearest future or anytime soon.
The WGK noted that the mere feeling of assurance that someone somewhere thinks of their plight and will always provide succor is in itself a panacea that will help a downcast mind to not give up and have the courage to help them get through whatever immediate challenges they are enduring.
The FTH charity apostolate is a noble cause worthy of emulation and has the capacity to help stem the rising wave of hunger and food insecurity currently ravaging the vulnerable in the society.
With the recurring clashes between farmers and herdsmen in different parts of the country, food insecurity looms as the cost of various food items continue to rise beyond the grasp of many homes.
The FTH charity apostolate by the KSM is a timely intervention that will do much to help ameliorate living standards for average Nigerian family as prices continue to soar while the quality of life cascades.