By Dr. Pauly Enwere (Houston TX).
Orlu Regional Assembly, USA Inc. (ORAUSA) is the umbrella Organization of parochial associations of the people of the current Orlu Senatorial zone of Imo State Nigeria living in the United States of America (USA). ORAUSA is organized primarily for Charitable, Educational, Economic, Social, and Political development of Orlu people in the homeland and the USA (www.orausa.us). Hence the umbrella was born out of the necessity to link the associations (affiliates) and pool the efforts and resources. Once a year ORAUSA organizes a convention hosted by an affiliate in a different city, where members of all affiliates get together to mingle, hold meetings, exchange ideas and raise funds to accomplish the primary goals of helping and empowering Orlu people in the homeland. These goals and opportunity to meet and mingle with old and new friends make ORAUSA an organization to belong to and to serve in.
Since formal incorporation in 2001, ORAUSA has continuously made progress in many fronts, most especially in the impact it has on the people in Orlu Senatorial Zone of Imo, where it conducts free medical mission every year with medications from and medical professionals trained and practicing in the USA. Many in the homeland have become accustomed to and look forward to this mission every year.
Another great impact is the ORAUSA Homeland Summit, a forum conducted at Orlu, where members in diaspora meet with home-based community leaders to exchange ideas on how to improve the lot of our people back home. Microfinance is another activity of ORAUSA, specifically managed by the Women Affairs Committee, targeted at helping indigent women in the homeland with small interest-free loans to grow their businesses. These women would otherwise not be able to borrow money from banks.
ORAUSA has raised funds to build, furnish and donate an Information Communication Technology Center to the University Teaching Hospital in Orlu. It has also created a Political Action Committee (PAC) responsible for ensuring that our Orlu Citizenry are educated in the political environment, social welfare and other governmental vices in Imo State. ORAUSA is active in lending helping hands to our people here in the USA and non-Orlu people elsewhere: recognizing and giving awards to individuals for community services, student’s achievements and philanthropy. When people were displaced in the Louisiana area during hurricane Katrina and Haiti Earthquake disaster, ORAUSA made financial contributions to the relief efforts. These are very commendable activities that should motivate those Orlu men and women still sitting on the fence to join an affiliate near them or form an affiliate where none exists.
In my opinion there’s more ORAUSA should be doing, like being the voice of our people to government and people of the USA. One question always comes to my mind – what would ORAUSA be doing if this was the era of the Nigeria-Biafra war? Should we not be in the forefront of protests against oppressive regimes in the homeland, be it in Orlu Zone, Imo State or in Nigeria? Don’t we have the clout to petition the US government to sanction certain individuals known to oppress our people or embezzle their money back home? ORAUSA can work to ensure that such persons are refused entry to the USA or held accountable if they enter.
ORAUSA is a progressive organization, come and join us to let it stay that way. Long live ORAUSA and May God protect and bless the people of Orlu Zone!
Dr. Pauly Enwere Asst National Secretary & OCOC Secretary