Sixty indigent female students of the Community High School Umabor Eha – Alumona in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State received scholarship awards from the notable non- Governmental Organization (NGO), Women Information Network (WINET), and its foreign partner, Mundo Cooperante of Spain.
Besides the payment of their third term school fees payment covering (2022- 2023), the benefiting students were also handed over different kinds of educational writing materials, such as packs of notebooks, Mathematical sets, school bags, and others.
NewsBits recalls that the Enugu-based NGO – WINET – with passion for women and the girl child issues, had in the recent past carried out similar gesture in several schools in various parts of the local government areas in state.
The WINET’s Executive Director, Mrs. Miriam Menkiti, in her speech at the colourful event held at the school premises told the students, “I want you to know that we are here with the kind permission of the Hon. Commissioner for Education, Professor Uchenna Eze and the Chairman, Post Primary Schools Management Board (PPSMB) Dr. Favour Ugwuanyi.
“In furtherance of our activities under the Right to be a Girl –Projects to End Girl Child Marriage, we are here today to present third term scholarship (2022-2023) to 60 female students of Community High School Umabor Eha –Alumona under the project titled “Support for 128 Students Education in Enugu State, Nigeria” funded by Mundo Cooperante of Spain.”
Mrs Menkiti explained that one academic year scholarship was initially awarded to 106 female Students to CSS Akpasha and 22 female students of CSS Iva-Valley, Enugu.
Represented by the WINET’s Monitoring, Evaluation and learning officer, Mrs. Chinelo Dim, the Executive Director also said: “We realized extra income after the implementation of the project. We now wish to utilize it to pay third–term school fees for an additional 120 female students, 60 in Community High school, Umuabor, Eha-Alumona, Nsukka Local Government Area, and sixty (60) in Girls Secondary school, Oduma, Aninri Local Government Area.
She said that as a member of the international coalition of organizations called Girls Not Brides, the NGO and its foreign partner were there to support the retention of girls in school for their education. “We want our girls to be educated; We do not want them to be given out in marriage at a tender age because, they are girls and not yet matured enough to be brides,” she stressed.
She said that was why they insisted that parents of the selected female students must sign commitment letters that they will not be withdrawn from school for marriage or any purpose during the period of the scholarship, urging the parents not to discriminate against the girl child.
She appealed to the benefitting female students to always make the best use of the opportunity offered by WINET and Mundo Cooperante to study hard. “We thank Mundo Cooperante for supporting this project to retain our young girls in school,” she said.
According to her, the Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Officer, Mrs.Chinelo Dim “will visit the school in the months of May and June to check the progress of the students. She called upon I the Principal, Vice Principal, and teachers to cooperate with the monitoring team during the exercise, while thanking the Principal, Vice Principal, and the teachers in the school for supporting the project.
In a remark, principal of the school, Mr. Ugwuoke Martin, expressed gratitude to WINET and it’s foreign partners for the kind gesture, emphasising that WINET had played a significant role worthy of commendation in the defence of Women and the girl child.
He said the gesture would no doubt serve as encouragement and motivation to the benefitting students, whom he admonished to take their studies very seriously as it is the only way they could reciprocate the intervention. The principal noted that education remained the bedrock for the advancement of any society including Enugu state and Nigeria, hence, the need to always accord the sector the attention it deserves.
He said that the scholarship would also serve as a morale booster to the students.
Expressing their feelings in an interview, Mr. Paul Atama and Mrs. Lucy Ozioko , who spoke on behalf of parents of the selected students, thanked WINET and her Foreign partner for remembering their children. They however, called on other NGOs and wealthy individuals to emulate the two organizations in assisting the less privileged in the society, insisting that all fingers are not equal in terms of finance.
Responding, on behalf of her colleagues, Ezeguorie Abigail of Junior Secondary School JS1, lauded WINET and Mundo Coooperante for coming to their financial assistance and , assured of their readiness to reciprocate the gesture by being committed to their studies , stressing that they will not take the intervention for granted.