Nigerian female professionals called Erudite Ladies at a New York homeless shelter

By Harrison Arubu/New York

A group of Nigerian female professionals, under the aegis of Erudite Ladies of New York, has undertaken a humanitarian outreach to a homeless shelter in the city.

The group distributed hand sanitiser, face masks, gloves, canned food and other relief materials to the beneficiaries housed at a Salvation Army shelter in Jamaica, a middle-class neighbourhood.

The gesture comes as life slowly returns to normal in the Big Apple, once the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Erudite Ladies, a social/humanitarian organisation made up of female professionals from different fields, is principally involved in women empowerment.

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Its President, Dr Maryjane Nwankwo, said the gesture was their little way of reaching out to the needy in these trying times.

“Amid the socio-economic hardship brought by the pandemic, we felt that the under-served population, which is the family shelter, needed our help.

“So, we are here today to provide some Personal Protective Equipment, food and other supplies that they need for self care.

“Some women are here because they have lost their jobs; some are here because they have no significant other to help them care for their kids, and they need help,’’ Nwankwo said.

The organisation’s mission, according to her, is to empower women to actualise their potentials through financial support, sensitisation and mentorship, among others.

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She explained further: “We assist women and girls who need help to go to school, start a business or go to the next level of their career.

“ We are professional women from different walks of life. We target every woman that we know we can assist to reach their next level.

“Among us are nurses, pharmacists, human resource professionals, and others. So we come together, we meet, support one another and reach out to others.’’

The beneficiaries were not willing to be identified, but one of them thanked the organisation for the gesture, saying she was touched by the show of kindness.