Chief Executive Officer (CEO), FirstBank Group, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan; Group Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney and other staff of the Bank during the visit to the Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos for the planting of 50,000 trees in partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), as part of the 2023 edition of its Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability week with the theme: Kindness, A Way of Life
By Edu Abade
First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Limited has, again, restated its commitment and support for humanity, the environment and communities in which it operates by extending kindness to the people, who it said, need help and intervention to better their lives.
The bank stated this during a visit to the Bethesda Home for the Blind in Surulere, Lagos as part of activities to mark the end of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) week with special focus on promoting kindness, caring and sharing through its Start Performing Acts of Random Kindness (SPARK) initiative.
Speaking at the ceremony, Executive Director, Retail Banking, South, Mr. Oluseyi Olafeso, who represented the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, said FirstBank’s CSR activities through which it reaches out to its host communities on a yearly basis, has become a way of life for the first generation financial institution.
“For us at FirstBank, this has become a way of life, which we hold dearly. The act of touching lives and showing kindness to the people and environment goes beyond making money. We love to see a better humanity and environment, which is why we embark on this support initiative every year. And it goes beyond today as it is a continuous thing. We are doing this in different locations across the country due to our robust and large network.
“It goes beyond Nigeria to Ghana, Benin Republic, Togo, Cameroun, Liberia, Sierra Leone and all the African countries where we operate. This is because over the years, we have realised that there is no limit to what human beings can do and achieve once they set their minds to do anything.”
Olafeso, who spoke in company of other representatives of the bank, including the Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Folake Ani-Mumuney; Group Head, Ikeja District, Mrs. Dolapo Adigun; Head, Brand Management, Mr. Olayinka Ijabiyi; Head, Sponsorships and CSR, Mr. Abimbola Meshinloye; Managing Director of Bethesda Home for the Blind, Rev. Dr. Chioma Ohakwe, as well as Head Teacher of the Home, Mr. Ahmed Kareem, among several employees of the bank, maintained that FirstBank was poised to continue to touch lives and make impact, especially in its areas of operations.
Speaking, Ohakwe commended FirstBank for extending a hand of fellowship to the home by donating laptops and food items, including bags of 50kg rice, noodles, salt and different kinds of beverages, among others.
She however, solicited more support saying: Like Oliver Twist, we request more support to carry out projects. More importantly, we have a four-year old Darasimi, who has been diagnosed of cancer of the eye for which we have been spending over N300,000 each time we take her for treatment at the hospital.
“The doctors say Darasimi needs surgery in both eyes before her condition gets worse. So, we are asking the bank to do whatever it can to help save a life and give the little girl the right liveas others. We have other needs, but we will take them one after the other and I pray that God will continue to bless the bank for touching lives and making an impact.”
Also, Head Teacher of the Home, Ahmed Kareem, who applauded FirstBank for the gesture, said the Bethesda Home of the Blind was established to rehabilitate and reintegrate the blind in society from as young as four years old to when they old enough to be fully reintegrated into society after receiving the requisite skills.
He disclosed that in the last couple of years, no fewer than 25 persons among the blind have benefited from the Home’s university education programme, adding that most of them graduated with first class and second upper division degrees from various tertiary institutions across the country.
A high point of the event was the tour of the facility at the Bethesda Home after a talent display by the blind during which they showed their singing and dancing abilities as well various items and crafts they made from local and recycled materials.
The bank also visited 48 other orphanages and homes for the less privileged across the country during the CSR week, including Government Orphanage Homes and Daycare, Karewa; Sabil Trust Foundation; St. Louise Inclusive Care; Goodnews Humanitarian Foundation; Crowther Community Children’s Home, Onitsha; Faith Orphanage Home Awka; Tivid Orphanage Home, Makurdi; Benue State IDPs Camp; Borno State Children Orphanage Home and Doro IDPs Camp.
Staff members of FirstBank also visited the Holy Child Motherless Babies Home, Enugu; Guardian Angels Motherless Babies Home, Emene Enugu; Abuja Schools For the Deaf, Kuje; FCT School For the Blind; Nassarawa Children’s Home; Torrey Home For Handicapped Children; Katsina State Orphanage Home (Giddan Maraya); Kebbi State Orphanage Home, Birnin-Kebbi and Orphanage Home, Argungu, among others.