This actress, film producer and entrepreneur, Favour Benson, is a woman with milk of human kindness flowing throw her veins as she fights for the less privileged especially women and children
Happily married with children, a native of Enugu State, I am a proud holder of a Bachelors’ Degree in Public Administration from Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo State. I also have an Advanced Diploma in Public Administration from Ogun State Polytechnic, Abeokuta, a certificate from Kings Club International Campaign, Illinois, United States of America and a certificate from Child Protection Network.
As an accomplished career woman, I had briefly worked with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in 1996 before proceeding to join Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC) in 1997 – 1999 as a radio presenter. I am also a member of Association of Movie Producers (AMP), I have acted in various movies and TV series, produced a movie (Bishop’s Cabinet) a pilot episode of a series (Kids & Culture) and other stage dance-drama.
I will say what I’m doing today came from seeing my mother doing it way back when we were very little. I grew up seeing my mother picking up and bringing home homeless children and destitute, feed, clothe, care for them and do all she can to rehabilitate them. She will take them to church, ensure they become baptized in the Catholic Church (that was our religious foundation then). That’s the background that I had, which stir my heart motivating me from the onset and what is still driving me today.
No man is an Island, I can’t do all the work alone and also we can never have enough hands, therefore, mentoring and delegation are quite necessary.
We have people (men, women & youths) coming into the office, wanting to know how they can be of assistance, because they have been observing us and really appreciate what we are doing within the environment and society at large.
We take them in and put them through what we do. So they learn by studying and participating in everything we do.
Most of them go back to start their own and or be an ambassador for the Foundation but we still keep in touch by way of running a kind of synergy anytime the need arises.
There’s no way one can be in this type of service and not be a giver, no matter how little.
In our case, with the limited resources that’s available, we still try to see how best we can manage and stretch it so as to go round.
We bankroll the rehabilitation and upkeep of victims of various types of abuse, financing of their legal processes, paying school fees of some children (primary, secondary, even those in tertiary institutions), paying hospital/medical bills of some of the victims. The empowerment arm known as “Start Where You Are”, also gives small grants to women to start up a small scale business that they can use to sustain their families, and training those that want to acquire skills.
Obviously we can’t do everything alone, we are therefore calling out to others who can assist to rise from their ‘comfort seats’ to the challenge facing all of us and assist the needy in the society.
The Nigerian youth
We in JTAH Foundation believe that there are both formal and informal form of education, it is not all about getting classroom education, they also need to learn skills which they can fall back to if the white collar jobs are not coming.
Let us stop waiting for what government can do for us, let’s take up the gauntlet and do something for ourselves even in the face of adversity. There can never be enough fashion designers, hair/facial beauticians, bakers, mechanics, welders etc. The certificates can be put on hold if office work hasn’t come yet, in the meantime, let them also learn a trade or acquire skills, some even have wonderful talents they never knew about, let them explored it.
Of a truth, I didn’t see myself here today from when I started, even though I had and still have a vision of where I am heading to, I am indeed overwhelmed by God’s grace upon my life.
My motivation therefore is the fact that God is using me to solve peoples’ problems and I believe that what I am doing is and will ultimately change peoples’ lives for good.
Most touching case
Every case comes with its own challenges but the one that left a remarkable mark on me was the case of Justina Joshua – a 25 year-old mother of three from Akwa- Ibom who was a farmer with her husband at Idanre, in Ondo State.
A tree that was being cut by someone else fell on her and her four year-old son; no help came to her because the man that was cutting the tree took off thinking she was dead since he knew it’s a taboo for one to die by a tree or the river.
However, Justina died in front of Idanre General Hospital which was supposed to be the second hospital if she made it because the first private hospital that attended to her gave her treatment and referred her to Idanre General Hospital because of many complications.
The battle of having to bury her by that tree that fell on her and or releasing the corpse began, it was reported to me by the legal coordinator in Ondo. I got involved in the case. That was where I experienced the complexities of dealing with two opposing cultures and traditions…the police, government, media and human rights but at the end we got justice for the late Justina Joshua.
She was given a proper wake keeping ceremony at Idanre, and her husband was made to marry her properly according to the culture of her place (even though she was late) She was also given a proper burial in Calabar.
Late Justina’s husband, Mr Sunday Joshua and the three kids relocated to Calabar and was handed a big supermarket store which was opened for them by the Association of Akwa Ibom people at Idanre.
Nothing more than a woman named Favour Benson who came, saw and conquered her world by being
“The Voice For The Voiceless, and The Defender Of The Helpless”…Hoping that others too will continue to keep the flag flying..
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