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Catholic Bishop Berates Govt Neglect Of Oji River Leprosy Settlement

The bishop, during the visit on Monday with the support of the Beginn e.V. group, donated different gift items to the settlement, including 15 crutches, 11 mattresses and mats, bags of rice, 60 tubers of yam, cartons of noodles, among others.

He said the gesture was part of the activities to mark the World Leprosy Day.

‘Today is the first time I am visiting on a Sunday, which coincided with World Leprosy Day. I am happy at what I am seeing today. I also appreciate other organisations and kind individuals for their support to the centre.’

The prelate, however, decried the level of stigmatisation being meted out on the inmates by members of the public, even when they have been certified leprosy-free medically.

Bishop Ezeokafor regretted that the appeal he made to the Enugu State Government to evacuate them from the centre in order to reintegrate them into larger society was yet to receive attention.

‘It is better to reintegrate them into the larger society than to allow them take to begging. It is one thing to encourage them to go back home, it is yet another to provide them with useful skills in order to make them useful and productive to society,’ he added.

Bishop Ezeokafor expressed gratitude to Beginn e. V. for their support over the years to the diocese, noting that the NGO started rendering assistance to the diocese since 2006.

He said the entrance of Beginn e.V, helped in in increasing the items and other relief materials they presented to the centre.

‘Beginn e.V. started in my hometown, Nanka. Beginne e.V means: Building, Development, Health, Education in Nanka Nigeria. It is a German word.

   ‘I got to know them through, Rev. Fr. Dr. Martins Ibeh. Beginne e. V, has done so much for us. Nanka alone benefitted over 60% of the 163 scholarships they offered to the young people.

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