Chuks Onuoha, Umuahia
No fewer than 20 persons are to benefit from the Masters Scholarship and Acquisition Fund (MSSAF), created by the Masters Vessels Church International, with the headquarters in Umuahia, Abia state to assist the needy.
The award enables a beneficiary to either acquire in skill of choice or pursue tertiary education.
Speaking after the awards ceremony in Umuahia on March 24, Director of the programme, Elder Ernest Nwogu said the scheme was designed to mitigate the immediate problem of the students.
“If it is school fees, the fess would be paid for because we don’t have the fund to meet up with other needs at this time, but whatever is the critical need at that point in time, it would be taken care of, so, as to alleviate that challenge for the student would not drop out. That is the objective of this programme. Three of the beneficiaries would have dropped out and when we discovered that, we went in and paid their fees, and balanced the arrears of their fees and did registration for them. After this stage, we would then evaluate the performance of the student and, if funds improve; we would continue from where we stopped,” Nwogu explained.
Some of the beneficiaries are those into such skills as fashion designing, electrical wiring, mechanical, hair dressing, and others.
He added: “There are those in primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions, the idea is that at this initial stage we would be able to add value to their academic lives because some of them are from very poor background and are not able to cope with the fees requested by their school. This is a nationwide programme and another batch will soon come up. The programme is for all Nigerians from all over the state as long as you are a member of this church, so some of the beneficiaries are not from this state.”
Also speaking, President of the Ministry, Pastor Amara Uwaeziozi said that the idea of the scheme came, when he discovered that people approached the church for one need or the other, ranging from education, money to learn trade, school fees and others.
“We felt that setting up a body that can deal with these issues will be helpful. So we decided to address it to the extent we can. We want to make it an endowment so that we can attract both individual and government attention so that whatever funds we receive, would be used for the uplifting of the lives of our children. We advise the beneficiaries to give themselves over to diligent study and those going into skill acquisition should also work hard as we would monitor their activities. The essence is to reposition and empower them,” he said.
A father to one of the beneficiaries, Mr Ota Kalu expressed gratitude over the gesture. “At the time this award came, I was a little bit pressed down because my two children got admission at the same time. It was not really easy, but the urgent intervention of the ministry was a very big help to me.”
Also, Godwin Agochukwu, father to Blessing Ikechukwu, a student of Mass Communication in Imo state University, expressed joy over the award.
A 100 level student of University of Port Harcourt, Ibe Oka Mary, from the Uzuakoli branch of the church, who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries, thanked God for using the ministry to come to their aid.
She said: “I thank God so much; it is like a dream come true, and I thank the ministry for helping to invest in our lives. God will bless them”.