Jessica studied Agronomy ‘(Crop science) in Delta State University
and obtained her MSc from University of Wolverhampton in the UK. She
took up a part-time job in a care home where she was certified as a
caregiver and this developed her interest in caring for old people.
Today Jessica runs an old people’e home in Port-Harcourt where she cares
for old people through her Jev Care Initiative. She shares her story
with Women Of Rubies and the inspiration behind her passion.
I am Evi Jessica Johnson-Ogubere. Married to Mr. Johnson Ogubere.
From Isoko south Local Government Area of Delta State. Nigeria. I
studied Agronomy (Crop Science) in my First Degree in Delta State
University and graduated in the year 2007 and MSc. in Environmental
Management with the Universityof Wolverhampton, West Midland, United
Kingdom, in the year 2013.
I worked with Krohne Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited in Port Harcourt,
Rivers State Nigeria immediately after my National Youth Service Corps
in 2009. I was employed in Krohne Oil and Gas from 2009 to 2011 as
Office Assistant and later promoted to Admin/Commercial Officer and
finally Procurement Officer. I resigned in September 2011 in other to
further my education. While in the United Kingdom, I got a job with
Techinnovate UK Limited, Nottingham, United Kingdom as Procurement
Officer. Furthermore, I did a part-time job in care home, where I cared
for the elderly people and obtained a certificate as a caregiver. I
developed interest in caring for the old people. I didn’t know I could
care for the elderly until I started working in different care homes in
the United Kingdom. That was when I found out that I have passion to
care for the old people.
Inspiration behind Jev Care Home?
During my work in different care homes in the United Kingdom, I found
out that I have passion to care for the old people. This is because I
enjoyed chatting, helping and staying around them. I responded to shifts
without complain and I did all assigned duties speedily. That was when I
realized this as a gift given to me by God.
Secondly, due to my experience working as a care giver, I discovered
we lack thiscare in Nigeria. This is because, the Government in the
developed countries provides free transportation, health services and
general care for the old people above 60years of age which we do not
have in Nigeria.
My late grand-mother was so old and she was staying with my mum. This
wasn’t easy for her because she was combining her job and caring for
her mother. We tried looking for a care home to put her so that she can
be properly cared for but there was no care home around us. It was not
easy for her. We ended up bringing someone home to care for her. The
person comes in the morning and leave in the evening thereby creating a
vacuum between that evening and the next morning as my mum might be too
tired to look after the old woman after a hectic day at work. That was
when I got the idea of having a care home where different old people
from different backgrounds can stay and interact and are cared for round
the clock. This will help to relieve the children, guarantee the safety
of the old people due to frequent rape and violence in the country, and
also keeping them company to avoid loneliness.
YES:When I got the idea of having a care home and caring for the old
people, I discussed with some relatives and friends, as I was not
married at that time. They discouraged me and advised that I should get a
job and not a care home where I will spend the little money I have.
Also, the old people will mess up their body with faeces and I will have
to take the smell and expose myself to diseases. They almost changed my
mind but due to my passion for caring for the aged, I continued.
Secondly, the challenge of finance came in when it was time to
register Jev Care Home Initiative as a Non Governmental Organization
with the Corporate Affairs Commission; it was difficult to get the fund
but God intervened and I got the fund to register it. More fund was
needed to set up a care home for the aged people, we solicited for fund
by moving from one organization to the other, visiting both corporate
bodies and individuals for support but we were turned down by them,
saying they cannot commit their funds to such an idea since it is not
going to yield any return. At that time I felt like giving up but I held
on to the word of God in Habakkuk 2 verse 3 which states (for the
vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and
not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come).
This verse has kept me on till today and to the Glory of God, Jev Care
is moving higher, though we are yet to get a home but we have been
visiting aged people, caring and supporting them both materially and
The saying that when you put a smile on the faces of others, yours
will be broader is true. Whenever we give the aged ones gifts and
support, I am always moved to tears of joy when I see the smiles on
their faces. It shows that there is someone who cares for them. Jev Care
Home Initiative will always care and show love to theaged ones, as it
is the core objective of the organization to do so.
Knowing that the aged people appreciate the support and care we offer
them makes mefulfilled. I have the conviction that whatever you do to
others, you do to yourself.
Finance as a major challenge
As I have said earlier in question 6 above, finance has been the
major challenge that has really hindered the realization of the goals of
Jev Care Home Initiative.
The dream of setting up a home, which is the bed rock of this idea
with care givers,security personnel’s and medical team, has not been
achieved yet due to insufficient fund.
In this part of the world, many people who are in position to support
have refused to, as Jev Care Home Initiative is a nonprofit
organization which has made our achievements very little compared to
what we really have in mind.
Perception of Nigerians for Old People’s Home
Whether we like it or not, getting old is compulsory. Nigerians do
not value old people’s home because if they do, they would have
supported this idea of having a care home both morally and financially.
Also, the government would have provided free transportation, medicals
and general care for the old people that are above 60 years of age, if
they value old people the way the developed countries do. We see old
people in the hospitals paying their bills or their kids paying for
them, we also see them on the streets looking unkempt, begging for alms
and even sick in some cases. This has led to my conclusion that
Nigerians do not value old people’s home.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I am a woman with noble character, who can be trusted. The fear of
the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom reigns in my heart. I am a
great blessing to my generation.
As long as God lives, though the road may be tough, I am confident
that I will get there. God is using me to put smiles on the faces of the
old people. For that I am thankful to Him and as long as I live I will
continue to show love, care and support for the elderly.
Having identified a need for a care home for the aged people in
Nigeria and vigorously pursuing the vision to ensure that it is
realized, makes me a woman of Rubies.
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