The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Region 19 headquarters, Dominion Sanctuary, Ikeja recently graduated the first set of graduates from the empowerment programme of Dominion Cares Foundation (DCF). This is in addition to what the CSR department is doing to reach out to the Ikeja, Agidingbi, Ogba, Iju Communities.
The special event took place recently at the church auditorium located on Acme road within the central business district of Ikeja, Lagos, Charging the 31 specially equipped trainees to go out and succeed, the Pastor in charge, Pastor Brown Oyitso demanded that they dig deep to expand their sphere of influence as pioneer ambassadors of Dominion Cares Foundation (DCF). “I want to hear in the next 2 or 3 years that your businesses have expanded within Africa to Europe and even to the USA. This is the kind of news we are expecting to hear from you” Pastor Oyitso Stressed.
Speaking later in an interview, on what motivated the Dominion Sanctuary to embark on this charity project, DCF Pastor Oyitso explained that the humane ministry of his General Overseer, Pastor E. A. Adeboye in this area were the biggest factor that motivated him. “Daddy G.O. as we fondly call him instructed us to embark on CSR initiatives to help the marginalized people of the society. Daddy G.O. saw the huge needs in the society and realized that government can’t meet all these needs. He therefore instructed the Pastors of the RCCG to embark on these CSR initiatives to help humanity.
The RCCG’s CSR, Christian Social Responsibility initiatives seek to positively effect changes in society by working with people, corporate bodies, NGOs, and Government to improve the overall socioeconomic status of both people and communities.
“In that project, our primary scope and focus is on external interventions in tandem with the RCCG National framework and objectives initiatives subdivided into eight pillars – Social, Health, Education, Media, Business, Art/Entertainment, Government and Sports.
‘’ The CSR programmes are on and quite active in our region here. Just as our General Overseer saw that vacuum, we were motivated to look around and we saw a lot of spaces we need to fill. In addition to what we do through our CSR department, which is outward looking, we had to set up the Dominion Cares Foundation to look after the needs of our members within the church. The foundation is headed by Babatunde Savage, former Chairman of Guinness Nigeria Plc.
“In this area of skills acquisition programmes that we are starting with, we expect there will be multiplier effects. This first group will employ and train apprentices who in turn will also become manufacturer and entrepreneurs someday.
Commenting on his involvement as chairman of Dominion Cares Foundation, Mr. Babatunde Savage revealed that he felt highly privileged to lead a committed team dedicated to meeting societal needs through the demonstration of love that positively impacts individuals in the church.
He explained that at Dominion Sanctuary, CSR objectives are in tandem with that of the National Headquarters, however, for DCF, Savage explained that the foundation has identified and extended its scope, and the focus presently is to provide financial independence for indigent church members. He also explained that the project is built on 3 pillars- skills acquisition, job creation, and business networking.
On the initial challenges the foundation faced, a member of the DCF, Dr Chidi Okpaluba who mentored the trainees for one year, revealed that it took a lot of efforts to convince people who were always looking for jobs that they can start something on their own. “We had to go deep and motivate them and the result is the can-do spirit we can see now. Already, 28 persons have been interviewed and they are on the line to resume as the second batch of this impactful project,” Okpaluba explained.
The 31 pioneer beneficiaries were trained in seven areas- fashion design, digital/ social media marketing, catering, driving, videography, shoe making, and Igele /make-up services. The church is finalising the establishment of a micro-finance bank that will facilitate loans and grants for trainees.
During the event, all the colourfully- dressed 31 beneficiaries came out to collect their certificates from the regional pastor.
In a chat, Olufunke Umoren who graduated in Fashion- design/ dress-making was full of praises for the pastor and the church for the capacity-building opportunities provided. “For six months that we trained, the foundation provided everything from clothes even to the needles we used. It was so seamless and we were treated like queens’, Umoren stressed,
For Adedayo Olabunmiji who lost his banking job some years ago, his training in digital/Social media marketing was like a new beginning and he is ready to explore the digital world massively. Felicia Esazebor and Austin Ogechukwu Benson, trained as a make-up artist and shoemaker respectively, were full of excitement at their graduation. Some trainees exhibited their products, smiling home with quality sales.
RCCG Dominion Sanctuary is passionate about its vision for all members to make heaven. The congregation has grown massively over the years. The church has a uniquely built edifice which gives a captivating look to viewers. They also have a beautiful choir with songs always beautifully rendered to inspire and engage all attendees in profound worship.