‘On Thursday, April 7, 2016, Edak Willie Foundation organised a workshop at the main auditorium of the Nigerian Institute Of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria island. The well attended event had his royal highness, Oba Dokun Thompson, the Olooni of Eti Oni, Osun state as the father of the day. Dr Charles Elikwu from Department of Medical Teaching Hospital, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Illisan, Ogun state as its key note speaker. Others who delivered papers were Dr. (Mrs.) Celina Maduemezia and Dr. Dominic Ukpong.
ENCOMIUM Weekly had an interview with the organiser of the show and initiator of the foundation, Edak Willie…
What inspired the Lassa Fever environment hygiene sensitization workshop for young Nigerians?
The need for a better environment. A clean environment. I come from an environment that is clean always, this has been a passion for me.
What inspired the decision to involve students in this project?
The idea is to catch them young. Whatever values you give a child, he grows up with it and he will not depart from it. It is difficult to teach an old person something new. I believe that if the young ones are better informed about a cleaner environment, we will be able to stop most of this epidemics.
You also involved the use of film and documentary to illustrate your points?
I believe that we learn in pictures. What you see stays with you more than what you hear. I believe to create the documentary such that when a child watches it, the message will be better absorbed. It is all about environment, keeping the environment clean. We are all aware that in the past, Fashola took pains to create beautiful parks, what has become of them now? People have been dumping dirt there. People have not been sensitized. There is no need to build mansions when the people don’t know how to stay there. They don’t know the value of these things. I believe sensitization is better.
What inspired the setting up of your foundation?
We set up Edak Willie Foundation to actualise a couple of dreams I had which were centred around sustainable growth and development for Africa and Africans, especially Nigerians. Nigeria is my country, my primary constituency. The challenges are the same where ever you go in Africa, save for a few variations, as a result of socio cultural differences, religious slants or ethnicity. Our belief at Edak Willie Foundation is that the answers, though not necessarily simple, are more readily available when we join hands, work together to create lasting solutions.
How old is the foundation?
The foundation is officially three years now but I have always been in this kind of work. It is a lifestyle for me. Like I said, I am from Eket, we are known to be clean and neat people.
Will it be an annual event?
Yes, it is an annual thing. We will go to other states to organise things like this too.
How do you source funds for the organisation?
I always say that it starts with your family, your friends. We hope to get sponsors with time.