BY ANGELA MATUA
The When in Need (WIN) Foundation is hoping to give children in Nigeria shoes so they can walk comfortably to and from their brand-new school.
Founded by Chetachi Dunkley-Ecton, a philanthropist who is also the CEO of a company that provides in-home and community care for people with disabilities, the WIN Foundation was created two years ago to provide grants to assist minorities in the areas of secular education, higher education and health education.
Dunkley-Ecton’s first course of action as president and CEO of the foundation was to fully refurbish the Samuel Njemanze Primary School in Owerri, Nigeria, and is now hoping to provide the students with shoes with the Soles for Education initiative.
“Being a philanthropist for 30 years, this is what I’ve been doing for many years, building schools and churches and helping especially orphans,” Dunkely-Ecton said. “About two years ago we decided to make it official and to have it measured, so we started with that school.”
The WIN foundation is headquartered in Philadelphia but their work affects people all around the world by providing services such as preventative health education on diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. The foundation also provides college scholarships to high school students in Philadelphia and that program will soon expand to New York City.
The organization also created the Mission of Mercy, an initiative to identify and aid orphanages in need around the world. The initiative is meant to change people’s perceptions of what a vacation should be, she said.
“We donate plenty of food and supplies, toiletries to the orphanage,” Dunkley-Ecton said. “What were trying to do is change how people vacation.”
The WIN foundation has visited orphanages in Turks and Caicos, Bahamas, Chile, Argentina and other countries around the world. Dunkley-Ecton said she hopes people will consider visiting orphanages and donating time and supplies the next time they plan their vacation to a foreign country.
George Onuorah, the media director and LeFrak City resident, said Dunkely-Ecton’s commitment to the foundation is what made him want to get involved.
“Her passion, trying to help, is really something that is incredible,” Onuorah said. “It made me gravitate toward trying to become part of this cause because she’s so committed about helping people.”
The organization is looking to raise $18,500 to purchase and ship shoes to the Samuel Njemanze Primary School. People interested in donating can visit their GoFundMe page.