“I decided that if I was ever able to be in a position to make a difference, I would create an enabling environment where these girls can come to have their babies and have counselling while they are there.” This led to the setting up of The Refuge Homes - The Refuge Babies Home and The Refuge Girls Home -two separate homes for abandoned babies and young teenage pregnant girls at risk. At The Refuge Girls’ Home, the girls are taught life skills. Abstinence is the watchword.
The Girls at the Refuge are encouraged to go home with their babies after delivery but should they for any reason refuse to do so, the babies are placed for fostering and subsequently adoption.
The situation prior to the setting up of The Refuge Homes newborn babies were usually found abandoned and in some cases dead in bushes, gutters, trashcans and side streets. Till date, a total of 65 babies lives have been saved since the commissioning of The Refuge Homes in 2008 by the present First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dame Patience Goodluck Jonathan. All but one of whom, I am delighted to say are all now in very comfortable loving homes.
The Calabar Carnival Queen, is the face of MACA and the tourism ambassador of CRS. CCQ beauty pageant is an annual charity event the proceeds of which are used for the upkeep of The Refuge Homes. CCQ amongst other things pays advocacy visits to schools, talking to young girls about abstinence, ills of abortion, teenage pregnancy, STDs & other societal ills. The CCQ motivates the youth by the introduction and constitution of Peer groups in schools.