The adopted family of the late Presbyterian missionary noted for stopping the infanticide of twins in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi and Abia States, Mary Mitchell Slessor has concluded plans for the launching of a foundation in her honour.
This was disclosed by the Head of Programs of the foundation, Mr. Adim Gabriel during a courtesy call on the Association of Cross River Online Journalist (ACROJ) in Calabar, Cross River State.
Mr. Adim stressed the need for the foundation to be launched, noting that the late icon’s legacies could be forgotten if steps are not taken.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that this woman’s efforts are not forgotten”.
He announced that the unveiling of the foundation shall take place on the 12th of December, 2019 at Transcorp Hotel, Calabar by 10am.
He solicited the support of ACROJ and other bodies, individuals, and organizations to ensure the success of the launch and the foundation proper.
“We call on government at all levels to support this foundation in order for her to be given a befitting face. We intend to make it an annual event which would also include an annual public lecture”. He said.
Responding, Chairman of ACROJ, Edem Darlington thanked the foundation for the visit. He assured the foundation of ACROJ’s support and partnership.
” We see this as our project because this is a woman that rendered selfless service to humanity”. He added.
The birth of twins was considered an evil curse. Natives feared that the father of one of the infants was a ‘devil child’, and that the mother had been guilty of a great sin. Unable to determine which twin was fathered by the evil spirit, the natives often abandoned both babies in the bush. Slessor adopted every child she found abandoned, and sent out twins’ missioners to find, protect and care for them at the Mission House. Some mission compounds were alive with babies.
The late Scottish missionary died on December 12, 1915 at Use Ikot Oku in present day Akwa Ibom and was buried in Calabar, Cross River State.