Rural Linkage Network (RULIN) started providing support to Vulnerable children in 2001 as a non-formal voluntary based help group, when a couple, Patrick & Rosemary Okoh from our saviour’s chapel, Delta State University, Abraka, Nigeria visited a village Orphanage home and was shocked to see the poor condition under which the inmates lived. The widows in the uncompleted building had no shorter and the floor had no concrete surface. In addition, the roof of the building leaks profusely whenever it rains. As a result of the poor condition under which the children lived, they were highly withdrawn with attendant psychosocial problem. Inspired by the Bible teaching in James 1:27 (NIV) “this is the pure religion that you visit the orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself pure” the couple mobilized resources to alleviate the problems of the inmates in the orphanage home. With financial support received from European Union under the MPP3 programme, the building for the GBI orphanage home was completed in 2004. Thus from the early days the founders of RULIN believed in helping the very poor in our communities, especially vulnerable children and their caregivers.
Driven by a desire to expand the support to increased number of vulnerable children, the founders of RULIN decided to register the organization in the year 2003 with Delta State Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture as well the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, Nigeria as a Not- for profit, Non- Governmental Organization. From the humble beginning, RULIN by the year 2014 had made great impact in alleviating poverty in rural communities. Today, RULIN is providing care and support to over three thousand (3,000) vulnerable children and over eight hundred ( 800) caregivers (mainly widows) in communities in Delta State Nigeria. The Support is being provided in the areas of food & nutrition, shelter & care, protection, health, education, psychosocial support, and economic strengthening.
The children we provide support are most vulnerable to exploitation, whether to sexual abuse, child labour, child trafficking and more recently the inhuman act of harvesting of human organs. Since RULIN has over ten year track record, we have seen young people in our care continue to university with many taking up gainful employment after graduation.
Some of the children under our care and support have acquired skills to take up trades such as hair dressing, barbing, tailoring and petty trading. RULIN measures success once the child reaches adulthood and is able to care for himself or herself and in some cases able to take care of other family members.
RULIN also provides economic strengthening support to caregivers many of who are now economically independent to support children under their care. Some of our success stories given in this website have been very inspiring and encouraging.
RULIN began as a Non-Profit Organisation focusing on Orphaned & Vulnerable Children (OVC) but as we continued to expand our reach to more Orphans in the South-South region of Nigeria, we quickly discovered that this target group (OVCs) are directly or indirectly affected by certain reoccurring issues which if not attended to would lead to an increase in OVCs or negatively affect current OVCs. This discovery led to an expansion of our focus areas.