We started out the year not really knowing what to expect but it was clear in our minds that whatever we did, we would do with the intention of making a difference, no matter how small. If we could just touch the life of one (1) person, that would make a world of difference for us.
In addition, we had always known that if you wanted to go far, take people along with you but we did not know how we would achieve the synergies we needed to find stakeholders who would see our vision and want to support us to see things through. Thus, we made the decision to just start and gradually build a profile, doing the things that give us joy and along the way, we would see who would want to join us in the journey.
We met a friend of the house, Dipo Obisesan, through another friend and we got talking about many things, including what we do at October Orange Initiative. As the discussions went on, Dipo introduced Anchor Heritage and the good work they do and we thought let’s go check them out on social media, thus, that’s how our future together started.
Fast forward a few months later, we have had a couple of meetings together, talked through a lot of points of mutual interests, planned for joint projects in the new year, 2020 and we still strongly support both our organisations. Without a doubt in our minds, we are eagerly looking forward to working with the team at Anchor Heritage Initiative into the foreseeable future on many initiatives that will help redefine people’s perception about correctional centres in Nigeria and how we can support them to become places that inspire people to do better, whether from within or without.
Anchor Heritage Initiative, a non governmental organisation established in 2015, is focused on: Providing free legal help and representation to individuals who cannot afford to pay for it and are unable to access legal aid; Providing rehabilitation for those released from the correctional centres and empowering them for the society; Giving informal training; Helping to improve the quality of life of those released by bringing them up in their faith and belief; Providing assistance through counselling programs and other intervention activities.
In essence, Anchor Heritage Initiative provides legal aid support to those incarcerated for flimsy excuses or who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances becoming victims of a broken system. And there are many people who have found themselves in this situation and are helpless if there is no external intervention. For instance, IK was the victim of a raid in a neighbourhood and was taken into police custody. After a few days, he was remanded in a correctional centre pending hearing. IK has not been privy to a lawyer since his arrest nor has he been given a chance for a fair hearing. He has been there for about six (6) years.
This story depicts the plight of many people behind the walls of our correctional centres, thus, making it pertinent to find legal means of liberating those who have genuine cases and can be helped. Which is where the strategic outlook for Anchor Heritage Initiative takes its life from and it is what drives those whom have dedicated their lives to providing liberation to those who deserve it. In addition to this, part of what Anchor Heritage has been setup to do is really drive transformational efforts that contribute to changing the perception of our correctional centres in a manner that would encourage more people to get involved in helping change the thoughts around correctional centres. If more and more people get involved in providing legal aid and participating in activities that are geared towards uplifting the plight of the inmates, then we would all be contributing in our own small ways to make our correctional centres places that breed hope for second chances.
It is in line with this hope of creating second chances that October Orange Initiative will be partnering with Anchorage Heritage Initiative to leverage its own programmes (such as the Donation Drive and Instaart. There is an education focused idea we are mulling and would share the details as soon as we can) in contributing to reform activities of our correctional centres and creating environments that encourage the inmates to think and see differently. It is our hope that through these activities and many more we would experience genuine changes that will foster second chances.
We are excited about our partnership (one borne of shared visions) with Anchorage Heritage Initiative and eagerly looking forward to many truly rewarding years ahead.
Anchor Heritage Initiative can be found at their WEBSITE and on Instagram (@anchorheritageinitiative) and Facebook (anchor-heritage-initiative). They can also be reached on +234(0)907.223.3666 and +234(0)817.646.0478.
Let’s show them support.