Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Rotary Club of Abuja, Gudu chapter have over the weekend, adopted the Angwan Fulani village of Gudu area in Abuja, providing boreholes for clean water and promising to pay the school fees of all children in the villa when the schools open up.
The President of the club, Ogechi Uwadoka, disclosed to our correspondent that the organization has set aside over N10m for the project which involves training and equipping the residents with skills to make ends meet, buying stationeries for the the children in the community, providing food for the children amongst other things.
She said: “Rotary International has encouraged us to adopt communities and that way we are able to channel our services to that community. The aim is, if ever club adopts a community then we will have a lot of clubs that are uplifted no matter how small. What we have come here to do today is to formally let the people of the community know that as a club we have accepted to adopt them.
“When we came on our needs assessment we found out that a lot of the children don’t come to school and the reason why they don’t come to school is because some of them don’t have sandals, writing materials, exercise books and uniforms and it might interest you to know that most of the children stay away from school because of a N1,000 levy from the school. So as a club we have decided to adopt all the kids in this community.”
Speaking about their plans to educate the parents to allow their children further their education beyond primary school level, she said: “Unfortunately for us in Nigeria, we are hindered by either our culture or our religion at times, so this club has also started a sensitization process with the parents. We are trying to reach the parents one by one, because the kids themselves are ready to go to school.
“So we will be coming from time to time to speak to the parents on the need for the children to go to school. The problem is not just only the girl-child here, even the boys are told to go to farm during school hours. When you come here doing school hours, you find next to nothing meanwhile the community has over 150 children.”
Also speaking to Daily Sun, a school teacher at the Primary school in the community, Mrs Moradeyo Aljanat, delightfully spoke about the impact of the Rotary initiative. She said that though many organizations have come to the community to promise, only Rotary are proving their promises in such short time.
“If I say I’m speechless because of the joy in me, it will be an understatement. We are very grateful for the Rotary club because we have been seeing many people coming to promise over the years but Rotary came just less than a month ago to assess us and now they are back already fulfilling their promises. God will bless them and they wont have any course to regret. There are children in private schools who I can brag that they can’t beat our children academically so we are grateful because this assistance will help us showcase them.”
Almost in tears, she lamented that 75 percent of female students are not allowed to further their education beyond Primary school. She pleaded that the Club should find a way to get across to the parents, particularly the Fathers.
Also, the Chief of the community, Chief Muhammad Abdullahi thanked Rotary for their efforts and prayed God to bless them. He claimed that the community have been resident there for decades and asked the government to join hands with Rotary to help support them with basic amenities.
The village which is located near the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) laboratory in Gaduwa, hauses over 50 families with over 150 children living in huts who are enduring a very low standard of living.