By Harrison Essien|
Humanitarianism means understanding the truth of lives we know nothing about, while responsibility means doing something to alleviate their pain and make sure their suffering never happens again.
To me, that is the ultimate responsibility of journalism – to go where ordinary people can’t go and tell the stories of those who suffer so the rest of the world can do something.
Evelyn Affia, a reporter with The Mail newspaper in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Capital, is one of the journalists, who have effectively used the power of the media as the voice to the voiceless.
She did a report last week on a 40-year-old man in Ikot Ebok, Essien Udim Local Government Area of the State, Mr Ini Emmason John, whose wife, Ekaete, 30, died after giving birth to a set of twins (a boy and a girl).
With the death of his wife, life became extremely difficult for Mr. John, a vulcanizer, who already had four children.
Taking care of himself and six kids, especially the newborn, was challenging, leaving him with no option than to solicit help for medical care of the twins, who have not received proper treatment after the demise of their mother.
His port of call was the venue of PDP campaign for the forthcoming Local Government election in Essien Udim, where he took his children with the hope of meeting politicians and other well-placed individuals for help.
However, he was unable to meet his targets either because of heavy security presence or crowd at the campaign grounds, but was lucky to meet a journalist, Evelyn Affia, whom he narrated his ordeal to.
Though, Affia was not in a position to address his problem immediately, she developed interest in the plight of Mr. John and believed that she can use the power of the media to put smiles on his face and that of his children.
She published the story on Facebook and it attracted concerns from spirited Nigerians, who donated gifts and cash, amounting to N107,500 through Affia to the family of Mr. John.
At the presentation of the items yesterday, Mr. John could not control his emotions as he was beaming with smiles while receiving the cash and gifts in his residence in Essien Udim.
He poured blessings upon Affia and other journalists and friends for coming to his aid.
But he keep on making one statement “how I wish my wife was alive to witness this show of love and generosity”.
Anytime he said it, Miss Affia and her team were on hand to console him. They played with his children, while singing to the newborn.
Though, the body of his wife is still lying in the mortuary, Mr. John was optimistic that more succour will come his way.
The news report by Evelyn Affia also attracted the attention of the wife of the State Governor, Mrs Martha Emmanuel, who sent a team from her project, Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation, FEYREP, to verify the story.
With the humane disposition of the First Lady, there’s hope that Mr. Ini John will be more empowered to meet up the responsibility of taking care of his newborn twins and four other children, whom he described as gifts from God.
Many people seem to have a negative
outlook on social media and its influence on
today’s youth. But, I don’t think social media is totally bad. I actually think being part of the social media world is beneficial to young people.
The people who are against social media seem to focus so much on the fact that this environment gives users an easy way to spread hate, and less on the fact that it also gives users an easy way to spread love just like Evelyn Affia did.
I believe we should be focusing on peoples’ inner-beauty instead of the way they look with or without makeup. The social media
platforms like Facebook, have given many youths a lot of power to touch lives. It behoves us as young people to use that freedom for good.