Riverdale, MD: The Global Health and Education Projects, Inc. (GHEP), an emerging non-profit organization in Maryland, will begin a community diaper distribution program to serve needy families in East Riverdale and Bladensburg communities of Prince George’s (PG) County, Maryland, starting 2015.
Announcing the program over the weekend, GHEP Founder and Executive Director, Romuladus Emeka Azuine, DrPH, RN, said that data from its year-long needs assessment and interaction with members of different groups in the Riverdale and Bladensburg communities in PG County demonstrate a tremendous need for assistance with diapers and infant care products for working poor families who struggle daily to make ends meet while caring for their infants.
He said that their needs assessment showed that existing diaper programs were either located too far away from members of the community who need diapers, or needy families are expected to sign-up for social services with government agencies. However, there are hundreds of working families in our area who will neither qualify for social services because they are not “too poor” nor want to approach the social services due to cultural values and stigma surrounding “welfare.” Above all, those who need these services do not traditionally drive and thus need to have access to a local source, no matter how small.
“While we recognize and appreciate the role of our social service agencies, we do not think that every needy family that is working two jobs and struggling to cater for their little ones must line up at the welfare agency offices and ask for help with diapers and infant essentials. We must do something for these families in our communities, no matter how little,” said Dr. Azuine.
Dr. Azuine said that GHEP wants individuals to seek help within the confines of existing social and cultural networks without compelling them to violate personal cultural values to help seeking because of their circumstances. “As a non-profit organization, it is our calling and our goal to listen to the community we serve and address their needs by meeting them where they are. That is why the Internal Revenue Service gave us the non-profit status in the first place. We must live up to this calling,” Dr. Azuine added.
Dr. Sussan Echezona Ekejiuba, GHEP Director of Programs, said the organization would model its community diaper distribution program after successful local programs in New York that provide monthly diapers to needy members of the community. In addition, she said the organization would establish a hotline where needy families can call for emergency diaper supplies in-between the monthly scheduled distribution days.
The organization said that its diaper program will kick-off in the year with initial supplies obtained with its internal funds and build sustainability through the tax-deductible donations from members of the public and local businesses who understand the need to lend a hand to less-fortunate members in our area.
Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support GHEP’s community diaper program.
About the Organization:
Established in 2011, GHEP is a US 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan, non-religious, charitable, educational, research, and development organization dedicated to eliminating inequalities in health and education among local communities in the USA and worldwide by addressing all aspects of educational and health inequalities affecting the most vulnerable individuals and populations in our communities.