‘10,000 children get educational, nutritional interventions’

Some of the beneficiaries

Some of the beneficiaries

Going by the beautiful pictures of opulent neighbourhoods in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, not many people would believe that squalor and destitution are present. In the poor neighbourhoods, many school age children may be seen wandering about in tattered clothes.

This has prompted a non-governmental organisation, AfriGrowth Foundation, to reach out to these youngsters and redirect their lives.

Executive Director of AfriGrowth, Mrs. Oly Sanni, told The Guardian that her foundation has been able to intervene in the lives of 10,000 children within the past 10 years. She said pained by their condition, AfriGrowth decided to adopt two broad approaches: Child Development Intervention (CDI) and Youth Development Intervention.

Mrs. Sanni noted that despite funding challenges and lack of strategic partnerships with ministries and agencies, AfriGrowth has never wavered in its commitment “to enhancing growth and changing lives in needy communities in West Africa.”

She stressed that one of the greatest challenges young citizens face in the world is poverty, explaining that “we decided to focus on eliminating poverty by initiating and supporting empowerment programmes, which develop techniques for self-sufficiency.”

While insisting that much work still needed to be done, the Executive Director pointed out that some achievements have been recorded through the CDI and YDI. For instance in CDI, she said 48 per cent improvement in literacy levels have been recorded through the establishment of 25 libraries in LEA (Local Education Authority) primary schools in the Federal Capital Territory and its environs.

“Ten thousand children in underserved communities have benefitted from improved literacy, educational and nutritional interventions,” she said, adding that the Foundation trained more than 100 teachers on interactive learning for children. To sustain the tempo, Sanni disclosed that her foundation donated more than 85,000 books to schools in Nigeria, donated school equipment in partnership with MTN, as well as the donation of more than 10,000 bags, clothes, shoes, writing materials and food items to orphans and vulnerable children in the country.

AfriGrowth mentors include such eminent personalities like, Ambassador Joe Keshi, Dr. Pat Utomi, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Mr. Tomi Akingbogu and Mrs. Eugenia Abu. Mr. Ohimai Godwin Amaize, Mr. Omon Ogodu, Mr. Kolo Kenneth Kadiri, Miss. Lydia Luka and Mr. Edward Eneojo are some of the foundation’s mentees.

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