From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Pupils and teachers of seven public primary schools in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State are jubilant following the recent donation of educational materials to them by a non-governmental organisation.
Felistas Foundation had put smiles on the faces of the pupils through the donation of 8,000 exercise books and other educational materials. The lucky schools were Community Primary School, Nguru, Community Primary School, Ogbagu, Community Primary School, Agbani Nguru, Central School, Isiakpu, Community Primary School, Isiakpa, Achara/Umakashi Primary School and Community Primary School, Odolu.
Renowned brand journalist, Ikem Okuhu, who is chairman of the foundation instituted in honour of his late mother, Mrs. Felistas Ugwu, handed the items to Mrs. Jane Asadu, education secretary of Nsukka LGA, for onward distribution to representatives of the benefitting schools.
Presenting the items at Nguru Community Primary School, Nsukka, on Saturday, September 18, Okuhu explained that the charity organisation was making the donation for the third time, adding that last year’s edition was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected thr academic calendar and forced pupils to stay at home for the greater part of the year.
He said: “In a bid to preserve legacies, I and my siblings instituted the Felistas Foundation in loving memory of our mother, Mrs. Felistas Ugwu, who died in 1996 when some of us were tender and still in school.
“She lived an exemplary life and was so generous that today people are still testifying to her virtuous in the community.
“Giving out things to the needy, more especially food, was one of the things she loved to do even when she had little. So, we deemed it important in this small measure to donate these 8,000 exercise books and other writing materials to seven selected public primary schools in Nsukka LGA, as part of our effort to boost primary education,”
The brand communication and public relations expert also said that their late mother, until her death, was the one sponsoring their education, which made growing up and attaining higher education herculean for them.
“Our late mother was the one who took care of my education and that of my siblings.
“We felt that the best way to sustain her legacies was to look at the most vulnerable and leave her footprints in their lives, and that was why we chose public schools.
“Through the foundation, we plan to raise and sustain a regime of love, giving and togetherness in our environment and boost education through public primary schools,” Okuhu added.
Thanking one of his kinsmen, Ignatius Ugwu, for his support to the foundation, Okuhu pledged that the body would continue to make the difference, no matter how little, as long as it would keep the legacy of their mother, impact and put smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries.
He also announced plans to mobilize his friends to sponsor the renovation, including roofing, of dilapidated school block at Community Primary School, Nguru, where he started his primary education.
One of his siblings, Mrs. Ngozi Ezugwu, recalled how they struggled to survive under their mother’s care.
“Growing up was not that easy for us, but our mother made it less difficult for us. So, what we are doing today is in keeping with her philosophy that not having enough is not an excuse not to give to the poor and the needy with open mind,” she said.
Receiving the items, Mrs. Asadu expressed her boundless joy, saying the gesture was laudable and a huge relief to parents.
“We are very happy for this donation; it is a big relief to parents. It comes at a time when new academic session is about to begin, which usually demands new exercise books for a fresh term,” she said.
Also, head teacher of Nkpunano Primary Education Zone, Nsukka, Mrs. Caroline Ozioko, who spoke on behalf of the benefiting schools, thanked the foundation for the gesture.
She called on other good-spirited individuals, non-governmental organisations and corporate bodies to always support to public schools, pointing out that such donations would help their pupils stand toe to toe with their counterparts in private schools.