The migrant community in Fingal County Council, Dublin, Republic of Ireland were not just excited but grateful to the council for such an amazing event powered by MaryCare Foundation with the support of TellAfrica as homeland Africa was virtually relocated to Ireland on Tuesday 18 November 2020.
The theme of the event: Health, Economic & Social Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Migrant Community in Fingal County Council & Environ was judiciously dealt by three guest speakers which includes; William Deng, Esq. from the Netherlands, Tolani Balogun RN while Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom, a foremost monarch in South West Nigeria was the icing on the sumptuous cake as Royal guest speaker and father of the day.
The fingal County Council and Mayor was duly represented by Leah Walsh who made a short speech among other members of the Fingal County Council who also joined the conversation.
The Nigerian community under the umbrella of Nigerians in Diasporas Organisation Europe (NIDOE) also joined the conversation. Bashir Obasekola PhD, the Chairman Elect of NIDOE zoomed in from Moscow, Russia accompanied by Hon. Michael Adekeye & Mr. Andrew Iduh, both Belgium and Spain NIDO chapter Chairmen respectively, outgoing NIDOE Secretary, Vire Komolafe and other members of NIDO in Ireland also joined the meeting. Dr. Obasekola spoke about building a formidable new NIDOE and encouraged Nigerians in the Diaspora to embrace participation in local community initiatives as well as homeland development and ask that the join the Diaspora organisation, NIDO in their various chapters.
Aside from the subject matter, the side attraction and entertainment was intriguing with 13 year-old Temitayo Kayode (TemiSax) who dazzled the audience with sweet melodies from his saxophone while the Royal Palace Band led by Queen Sheba also performed traditional African folklore with drums and dance.
The prestigious and stylish monarch, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, the Oluwo of Iwo Kingdom caught the audience unawares and made the day, playing the fatherly role as he advised the audience to take precautionary measures against the pandemic COVID-19. The monarch also encouraged the migrant community to be well behaved and not forget homeland development while he offered free plots of lands in Iwo Kingdom to every participants and investors with an intent to start up business or build a home in Nigeria to approach him for support in this area. The participants showed so much love and interest to the monarch who was unbelievably humble, calm and quite friendly during the meeting. Oba Oluwo prayed fervently for all participants and thanked the Irish government and Mayor of Fingal County Council for the hospitality granted to the migrant community in Ireland before he exited the meeting.
Ms. Tolani Balogun RN who zoomed in from the UK also dropped useful tips to combat the pandemic as she talked about the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and the total wellbeing, the tips includes; “healthy balanced diet, plan your day, move and be physically active, try relaxation techniques, connect with others, reflect & practice self compassion and improve your sleep.”
While William Deng, Esq from the Netherlands made a presentation on the future of work and COVID-19 impact on local labour markets. He also presented an action plan to compact the impact of the pandemic which includes; “Education/retraining, flexibility, reach out & speak out, explore second source of income, get Grants and stay positive.”
Other in-house speakers such as Florence Oriretan, Toyosi Atoyebi, Ronke Adeleye and the CEO of MaryCare Foundation, Mary Ogunleye RN talked about the prevalence of loneliness and isolation and the roles of the foundation during the pandemic.
The CEO TellAfrica Gbemisola Bisi-Taiwo, Esq was the anchor of the laudable event where she volunteered to be the contact between the Oluwo of Iwo and potential investors and participants interested in making Iwo Kingdom a economic and tourism hub in Osun State.
All participants appreciate the Fingal County Council as the platform for the inclusion week and asked that the Irish government further support such inclusion programmes and local organisations.