A Nigerian Cleric, Prophetess Teleola Oganla, has bagged the British Empire Medal (BEM) from Queen Elizabeth II for her humanitarian and community services to the less-privileged.
A statement by Oganla’s Media Aide, Ms Deola Joe, said the cleric was recognised for her years of dedication towards uplifting the less-privileged, especially in the UK and Africa.
The statement said that the award was part of the Queen’s Honours List for 2020.
It said that Oganla, who was among the 1,495 which the Queen honoured for their selfless and caring deeds, was appreciated for using her position to impact on the downtrodden and give hope to downcast.
It said: “The queen, in the list of honour to mark her 94th birthday, described the role played by Teleola as unique and that she merited the award due to her services that have continued to benefit thousands of people including foreigners.
“The British Empire Medal (BEM) was created by Royal Warrant on December 29th 1922 to replace the Medal of the Order of the British Empire (1907-1922).
“The British Empire Medal is a British medal awarded for meritorious civil or military service worthy of recognition by the Crown.
“Although the cleric and other recipients’ names would have been published before April 21, the queen’s birth date, but due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the publication was delayed before it was finally released on Saturday, Oct. 10,” she said.
The statement added that Oganla received the award five years after establishing a Non-Profit Organisation, Teleola Martha Christian Organisation (TMCO), to care for the needs of the poor, orphaned, widows, vulnerable children and adults living in Africa.
It quoted Oganla as saying: “My Charity work is not just borne out of the passion to help the needy but it was ordained by God.
“I got a vision regarding supporting the needy and building an orphanage when a mentally challenged man walked into the Church where I pastor, Messiah C & S Church, UK.
“During an annual Shiloh Programme in January 2015, he said to me ‘Go and Start a Foundation to Care for the underprivileged, the needy, the orphans and widows’.
“And today we celebrate the enormous, positive difference this charity has made in the life of many vulnerable people and I have witnessed first-hand the difference TMCO has made and continues to make to the lives of vulnerable people.
“Also in UK, where she relocated to from Nigeria in 2003, Teleola, through her outreach service and charitable organisation, provides free breakfast to the community every Sunday in order to ensure that the society remains better for all,” it said.
The BEM was often given by the crown to someone that had offered self-less services to the public and did not engage in the act for gains rather to contribute his or her quota towards social development. (NAN)