Olugu was orphaned a small child. He lost his father to cholera, a disease that flourishes where there is no access to clean drinking water. Unable to provide for his siblings, he lost his only sister to malnutrition.
During his senior year of Undergraduate Studies at the University of Port Harcourt, Olugu contracted malaria, and was unable to write his final exams, as the disease had affected his brain. A kind-hearted doctor named Elder Dr. U.K Agwu treated him for free after he was diagonised with cereberal malaria. Without that treatment, Olugu likely would have died.
Olugu came to Canada in 2005 under a Commonwealth Scholarship Fellowship and enrolled in a graduate program in International Development Studies at Dalhousie University when the call came from his wife Esther in Nigeria. Their 16 month old baby girl, “Goodness”, had fallen victim to malaria and died nedlessly. Before her death, Olugu had unsuccessfully applied twice to the Canadian Deputy High Commission in Nigeria for his family’s visa.
“I never had the opportunity to borrow or fundraise to save the life of my late daughter, but now come the golden opportunity to do so in order to save the lives of million other children who die unnecessarily every year due to malaria in Africa. This alone has given me the desire and drive to help fight malaria in Africa.” ~ Olugu, CEO, CHAMA~
WHAT DRIVES OLUGU
From left: Late "Goodness with Mercy at 14 months. From Left: Late Goodness with Mercy at 3 months.
A malaria survivor himself, Olugu not only lost his 16 month old daughter to malaria but his father to cholera and her mother to post-natal complication after child birth because of lack of health care in the rural villages. He lost his only sister to malnutrition soon after the death of his parents.
Olugu’s mother in-law was poorly diagnosed in Nigeria and where she traveled to the US thanks to an American lottery that she was then diagnosed of cancer. The poor healthcare system over there robbed her of witnessing her first daughter’s marriage in 2002 (she died few months before Olugu’s wedding).
His brother in-law was born normal, but lost both his eyes due to poor surgery and healthcare at an age of eight.
All these personal tragedies took place in the rural communities of Ohafia in Nigeria.
Because of these tragedies, Olugu’s moral values were challenged and triggered him into the formation of CHAMA.
Olugu aspires to stop these needless deaths by helping to provide the much needed healthcare and other life necessities to the rural citizens of Africa. It is time to give back to the community.
These children are not dying of disease, they are dying of NEGLECT! Every child deserves the right to live!