Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

From TCNEWS

A non-profit organization, Child Education And Child Support Initiative, CEACSI has called upon government to be especially supportive of indigent orphans.

The call was made by the founder of the organisation, Mrs. Maryam Bala Shehu during a get together the organisation hosted for 80 orphaned and indigent children who are under their scholarship and care.

Speaking at the occasion which held on Saturday, 29th June at the LEA Primary School, Utako, Abuja-FCT, Bala Shehu explained that CEACSI had been in operation for 15 years. 

In that time they selected orphaned and indigent children for whom they pay school charges, kit with new uniforms and school sandals as well as provide school bags and stationery.

According to Bala Shehu, the CEACSI first child is graduating from university in 2025 with others doing well in their schools.  However the initiative has faced challenges of losing some of the children to early marriages or relocation of their guardians out their schools  location.

Speaking further, she said “I believe education is a leveller as it allows non privileged children to compete in the same arena as privileged ones. It is a pathway out of poverty. Education not only makes children better citizens, it also draws out creativity and innovative tendencies in them”.

Speaking of the activities of CEACSI, the founder revealed that the organization has volunteers, mainly university students, who  dedicate their time during holidays to teach and coach in some identified secondary schools especially in STEM.

She concluded  her address by declaring “The children we cater for are our children too and are also children of the world”.

And with that declaration, she led the children and guests in a special performance of the song “We are the world”.

The Special Adviser to the Minister of Education, Dr. Ruquayyat Gurin, expressed her joy at CEACSI’s  activities. 

She said “What CEACSI is doing is supportive of government’s effort in education. The Honorable Minister, Professor Tahir Mamman  is determined to fulfil President Bola Tinubu’s vision that no child is left behind”.

She assured CEACSI that the Ministry of Education is always willing to throw their weight behind credible organisations supporting government to achieve her goals.

A trustee of CEACSI, Adanma Odefa, also spoke at the gathering, explaining that the charity had started as Maryam Bala Shehu’s quiet effort to help vulnerable children during her active service years but has obviously grown into an organisation that must be known and supported by all. 

She highly commended the founder for keeping it afloat all these years. 

“But it is now time to seek help and expand the scope so that more indigents can benefit from the lofty objectives of the Initiative. We have so many children that deserve our support and they cannot get it if we don’t have financial support. This project has grown beyond us to you. These children belong to all of us. We must all pitch in to keep them in school and out of trouble”.

Also speaking at the event, the representative of the Commonwealth Business Women Africa, Hajia Hassana Bala reminisced over her own childhood.

“I went to a government owned school as a child. I shared a class with children of expatriates and children of wealthy parents. It is regrettable that the standard of education has fallen so far that I am unable to send my own children to government schools. This saddens me a lot as I got a good foundation from the public schools in my time”.

She highly commended CEACSI and called upon well meaning Nigerians and organizations to rally round them to benefit more qualified children.

Mrs. Blessing Abu another guest, noted that what CEACSI has done for the children and the way they made them feel by supporting them to stay in schools and attending a fun filled get together of this sort will stay with them  forever. 

Other dignitaries who attended advised the children to be steadfast with their studies and ensure that they continue to work hard and stay in school.

The 80 children drawn from LEA Primary School Utako; LEA Primary School Kado; LEA Primary School Sabo Kado; LEA Primary School Daki Biyu; LEA Primary School Wuse Zone 1had great fun as they danced, won cash prizes in a quiz competition and entertained guests with varied performances.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of t-shirts, schools bags, a set of uniforms, stationery, a pair of sandals and socks to the children.

By NWAMARA

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