In a remarkable display of compassion and generosity, His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu, the esteemed spiritual leader of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, has unveiled a state-of-the-art facility in Calabar dedicated to uplifting the lives of less privileged children across the country. This multipurpose edifice, constructed at a cost exceeding N400 million, stands as a testament to Olumba Obu’s unwavering commitment to humanitarian causes.
Under the auspices of the Universal Women’s Fellowship, an arm of the spiritual organization, the welfare home project was spearheaded by Matriarch Victoria Imowo, the International President of the women’s group. Located on eight expansive plots of land in the Enang Ahe community within Parliamentary Extension in Calabar Municipality, this remarkable structure has been named the Mother Elizabeth Esu Olumba Obu Redeemed Children Home.
The inspiring initiative was set into motion in 2013 and has now reached completion after a decade-long endeavour. It gained formal recognition from UNICEF and the Cross River State government in 2015, affirming its significance in addressing the needs of vulnerable children. The pressing necessity to provide a conducive and comprehensive facility for the 380 children under their care drove the decision to erect this impressive three-story, 400-bed complex.
Matriarch Victoria Imowo described the Mother Elizabeth Esu Olumba Obu Redeemed Children Home as a beacon of hope, offering solace and refuge to children and the destitute. Previously, the organization occupied a modest one-story building on Ambo Street in Calabar South. However, due to the growing number of less privileged children and staff, it became clear that a more substantial space was required. With resolute determination and unwavering support from their philanthropist leader, His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu, the organization acquired the necessary land and constructed this remarkable edifice comprising eight spacious and fully furnished hostels.
Established in 2008, the Home obtained full incorporation as a government-recognized and registered Care Home in 2010. Following a visit in 2016 by Mrs. Patricia Enderley, the Commissioner for Social Welfare at the time, it was suggested that the Home be named Redeemed Children Home to reflect the redemptive work being carried out within its walls.
Beyond its impressive residential capacity, the facility boasts a chapel, a well-equipped children’s library, an ultra-modern kitchen, state-of-the-art laundry facilities, a children’s playground, and a handlers’ lodge. These amenities, combined with the architectural grandeur of the structure, make it the largest residential home in Nigeria specifically designed to provide comfort and safety for orphaned, destitute, and vulnerable children.
Her words, ‘Before now, we occupied a 1-storey building with few rooms on Ambo Street Calabar South but it was grossly inadequate for the ever increasing number of less privileged children and staff.
‘Following constant visits and commendations from the state ministry of social and welfare development as well as from UNICEF, we had to pull our resources together and with robust supports from our Father, a philanthropist par excellence, His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu, we acquired eight plots of land where we have now built this 400-bed multipurpose edifice which has eight spacious and fully furnished hostels.
‘In 2013, the Home was registered with Cross River State Ministry of Humanity and Social Welfare as one of the Care Homes in the State.’
Dr. Amah Williams, spokesperson for the organization, recounted the compassionate origins of this extraordinary endeavor. It traces its roots back to the early days of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star when anyone visiting their premises at 8 Eton Street, Calabar, was never left uncared for. During the harrowing Nigerian Civil War, their 26 Mbukpa Chapel provided a safe haven for numerous refugees who were sheltered and nourished within its walls. Children who had lost their parents during the war found solace and warmth within the organization’s premises.
Inspired by these experiences, the concept for this ultra-modern Home was conceived, and with Olumba Obu’s unwavering commitment to the principles of love, compassion, and charity, it has flourished into a testament to their devotion. Furthermore, Olumba Obu’s dedication to humanitarian endeavors extends beyond national borders, as plans are underway to replicate similar welfare homes in across board.
Williams’ words, ‘The building of the magnificent structure to accommodate the children and staff of the Home was activated by His Holiness Olumba Olumba Obu. It bears eloquent testimony to His commitment to practically demonstrate the ideals of love, compassion and charity that He preaches daily.
‘The evolution of The Holy Mother Elizabeth Obu’s Care Home could be traced back to the cradle of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star at no. 8 Eton Street, Calabar. Nobody that visited Brotherhood premises that time left without being taken care of.
‘During the Nigerian Civil War, many people took refuge at our 26 Mbukpa Chapel which was about the only safe place. The refugees were taken in and ate to their fill.
‘Children whose parents were killed in the war found succour and warmth in the Home.
‘Through the post-war period, many more children were abandoned in the premises of our organization. This was how the idea for this ultra modern Home was nurtured which today has been blossomed’.