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Hiya! Just a quick intro :) I lived in Nigeria for more than half of my life (so far) before moving to England and I have seen the best and the worst of both worlds. I was greatly inspired by the #OccupyNigeria protests and this blog is my way of #occupying. A lot of us compare African countries to the Western countries and I will mainly be talking about the positive things that I have observed and learnt in my few years of living here. Payme’s 2Cents is for all who dare to dream to see changes in their lifetime. It is for those who dream to see environments where 'helping' thrives. I will be giving my2cents worth on how we can work towards getting things to change for better. It would be great to know your opinions, so please leave comments. Remember to keep sharing posts that you enjoy. Follow @payme_my2cents. Thanks a lot for visiting!!! Enjoy my2cents :).

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Interview With Bella Antonio (Felisbella Foundation)


"We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." Ronald Reagan

Hello everybody, meet Bella Antonio! She is the founder of Felisbella Foundation Angola, a Christian Non-profit organisation aimed at helping Angolans. She took some time out to answer some of my questions and I hope you get inspired. Enjoy!!!

Hello Bella, tell us a bit more about yourself please.

Hello, I grew up in England (Bristol to be precise) and I currently live in Chatham. I just finished my degree in Diagnostic Radiography at Canterbury Christ Church University. As you already know, I am the founder of Felisbella Foundation.

When was Felisbella Foundation established?

Felisbella Foundation was established on 10th April 2010.

What motivated you to start the foundation and what is/are its aim(s)?

Angola was a country that was at war for at least 27 years. Being born in such a war climate, I believe it is enough to motivate anyone to help their fellow brothers and sisters who are less fortunate. I had always wanted to do something as such since I was a child and when I felt that God was calling me to start the foundation, I went ahead and started it. The aim of the foundation is to better the lives of those affected by the war in Angola.


How exactly do you help?

We help by providing food, clothes, books etc. to those people that are less fortunate. Currently we have two main projects - The Funda Leprosy Centre and The Panguila Disabled Community.

How do you get funding for your projects and events?

We organise events such as football tournaments, concerts and ask people for donations to be able to fund the projects.

Share your experience about your most recent project with us please

I was in Angola last year July and through our fundraising events, we were able to raise enough money to buy basic items such as bags of Rice, Cornflour, Tooth Pastes etc. to donate to the service users at the leprosy centre. I also took the opportunity to visit my sponsor child who is called Fereira. He is 12 years old now.


Bella with Fereira
Donated items
 
What are the challenges you face with regards to accessing the people in need?

It is hard being based here, however, I do have people in Angola who help in terms of taking any donations to the people we support when I cannot be there myself. As I mentioned earlier, I just finished my degree, so whilst studying, I had to restrict myself to only carry out some activities as it was hard having to focus on my studies as well as the foundation.


Is it right to think that governments should handle all our challenges? What do you have to say to people who say “I do not have much to give”?

Personally, I do not think that we should only wait for the government to help those who are less fortunate. For example, if your front door was dirty, you would not wait for the road sweeper to come and clean it. Likewise if your neighbour is hungry, you can help him/her with the little that you have. Like Tesco says every little helps, so whether you only have £1 to give every month, just give. At least when you have those millions you will be able to give more.


There is the stereotype that most Africans do not want to do anything without getting paid. How true do you think this is? Do you easily get volunteers?

I am fortunate to get volunteers actually. I think it depends on character and how you come across to people. For instance, all of our trips to Angola have been self funded. People look at what you do. To be brief, one needs to show passion and also pray that people that join to become volunteers have the same zeal to help people.

What impact do you think increased involvement from the public will have on your Foundation?

With more people involved, the foundation will have a greater impact on lives. It would also be much better if people back home can get more involved as they know exactly what those less fortunate are going through.

Do you have specific ways in which you would like people to assist the organisation?

We need more volunteers who can help with organising fundraising events. Coming to Angola to see what life is like out there for those that we help is also welcome.

Finally, what word of encouragement do you have for people who are looking to invest their time and/or money in community work?

Do not let hardship discourage you. God sees what is inside your heart. Go for it and do not think twice!

Thank you for granting this interview and thank you for your commitment to the foundation. We need more willing people like you and I know this will inspire others. Hope to speak with you again.



www.felisbellafoundation.org.uk.   
Facebook- Felisbella Foundation
Email - felisbellafoundation@hotmail.co.uk




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3 comments:

@ba55ey said...

Ok, this just made me recall my childhood ambition. Activities have clouded it but it's back now!

Thanks for this article

Lvedette said...

Well done to everyone that's trying their best and dedicating their lives to making that of others better. God's blessings will show in those who love and obey him. I hope God continues to bless the foundations and others alike in the same goals

thisiseseosa said...

God bless you Bella. The world needs more like you.