The National Association of Seadogs, (NAS), also known as Pyrates Confraternity, on Sunday paid the National Examination Council (NECO) fees for four children of people with leprosy at Ago-Ireti Community in Akure, Ondo State.
Mr Chinazom Nwankpa, State President of EL-PASO SS DECK, Ekiti and Ondo State Chapter of the association, said that the gesture was part of the efforts of the association to support vulnerable people in the society.
Nwankpa, who said that the state chapter of the association collaborated with its South African Charter, Okarango Deck, to pay the examination fees, called on government, religious leaders, civil organisations and philanthropists to support people living with disability.
“During our visit here in December when we gave them some food items, we found out that four of the children would be sitting for NECO exams and there is no way they could pay the fee.
“We believe that the mind of kindness doesn’t only provide for less-privileged in the society but also to lift their spirit and make them understand that people out there care for them.
“So, we have returned to Ago-Ireti Leprosy Community today to keep to the promise we made with them in December 2021. Today, we gave them a cheque of N90,000 to cover the payment of the NECO fees for the four children.
“This is part of what we do as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to make sure that the weak in the society is taken care of, and we believe that the strong should take care of the weak and not the other way round or to oppress them,” Nwankpa said.
He appealed to the state government to ensure regular payment of the N10,000 monthly stipend to the people with leprosy.
“It is cheaper to keep them away from the society than allow them to roam about because the health issue is more expensive as we all know that leprosy is contagious,” he said.
Nwankpa, who also advised the beneficiaries to know that education was the only tool that could lift them out of their present situation, urged them to study hard to excel in their examination.
Also, Mr Tunji Oluwatimilehin, the Community Secretary, who spoke on behalf of the parents, appreciated the association for the gesture.
“Where are we going to see the sum of N22,350? if not for the Seadogs’ intervention.
“This has brought relief to us as parents, and we will be grateful if people can emulate the God-fearing people that followed the words of Christ that “be your brothers keeper”.
“We can not reward them but we know that God will reward them, and we pray that whoever helps should be rewarded in billion-folds,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Olojo Ibidapo, who also appreciated the association, promised to come out in flying colours in the examination.
“I am very happy now. Before, I was thinking that I will not be able to sit for the exams due to the financial problem of my father, being a person with leprosy, but with this gesture I can pay and sit for the exams.
“With this gesture now, my dream can come through because I want to be a Psychologist in future,” he said.