By Dr Dianne Evans
Dr. Olugu Ukpai, the CEO of CHAMA World Wide was awarded “Ohafia Man of the Year 2016”, it truly could have gone to no one more deserving.
He is a man whose life has been forged by great suffering to become a force for good, a force instrumental in preventing the suffering of others. Through the loss of his 16 month’s old daughter GOODNESS to Malaria unnecessarily, he was given a CALLING to help others and prevent others from suffering as he did.
He founded Challenge AIDS and Malaria in Africa (CHAMA) in memory of Goodness twin sister to Mercy in 2006. Since then, it’s been missions for a decade now.
He has worked tirelessly and sacrificed selflessly to build CHAMA to aid the needy in Healthcare and Education. According to Mother Theresa, the greatest poverty is that of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for.
CHAMA is now an International Organization with a Team of Volunteers scattered all over the Globe with a heart for Goodness Sake. From month to month, year to year, it’s been one project or the other. Projects for Educational, Healthcare, Nutrition, Empowerment purposes to mention but a few have reached the hopeless and downtrodden in remote areas especially of sub-Saharan Africa.
It is unbelievable, yet, it is true that CHAMA is yet to receive any official funding from Donor Agencies all these 12 years of humanitarian services across Africa.
Dr Ukpai is as humble and modest as he is brilliant. Although he refuses to ever accept credit for accomplishing all these, he will insist on saying “We did it, not me alone “. None of these would have been achieved without his great drive, amazing leadership, dogged persistence as well as extreme personal sacrifices in helping others.
A great motivator he is and an inspiration to many. He has been able to attract many, well over 49,000 Volunteers cutting across the young and old to help people in need. And this, they do selflessly and sacrificially without favouritism across the globe. Olugu does all these and makes doing the work enjoyable, adding elements of comfort, support, inspiration, laughter and growth to everyone who comes near him.
I write to celebrate CHAMA CEO, a Man on a Mission (as he prefers). I wish him God’s speed in continuing this great Mission. He has helped thousands and is not done yet. He has made a mark in the world. “Man of the Year”, yes, indeed, but perhaps “Man of the Century” would better express the rarity of a person like Chief Dr. Olugu Ukpai (Ifunmini of Ohafia Ancient Kingdom).
I make bold to say, I am proud to include myself in the group of people whom he has inspired to reach beyond themselves and become more than they were. I am proud to call him Friend.
N/B: Chief Dr Dianne Evans an Optometrist by profession with so much wealth of experience, is CHAMA Global Ambassador and Director of Foreign Missions. In January 2018, she was conferred with a Chieftaincy title as Adaukwu of Ohafia Ancient Kingdom by the Ohafia Council of Monarchs . She lives in the United States of America.
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