By Stanley Onyekwere
A Non-governmental Organization (NGO), Israel Ibeneme Foundation has uplifted the academic pursuit of orphans and less privileged pupils of Gosa Sarki Community of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Precisely, the Foundation revived hope for the future of about five pupils seeking post primary education in the community.
According to the Coordinator of the Foundation, Mr. Israel Ibeneme, since its inception in 2006 embarked on life reviving programme, the foundation has extended helping hands to thousands of less privileged children as well as orphans across the country.
While felicitating with the children during the official ceremony of scholarship award, he said that his knack for caring to children in extreme need began long time ago in the city of port Harcourt where he saw himself sleeping and waking up under the bridge with little or no help.
He explained that the school was chosen owing to the fact that it has a high record of less privileged children ranging from one social and psychological problems affecting their academic pursuit.
“It is all about my life story, how I lived my life in the city of Port Harcourt for many years without help.
“I could recall how I slept outside along the road, because I could not pay my rent and I could not feed, I lived with only a pair of shoes, one cloth a trouser and T-shirt, everyone around the community knew me with that cloth.
“I also remember how I fed with N20.00 pay day which was never enough for me I had to manage. People called me all kinds of names just because I was always awake at night.
“I can also tell you that during that time, there was never a time I ate when I needed it but in all these I was close to God,” he stated.
Israel, further noted that his fortune, came when a good Samaritan came to his help and that informed his love for giving to the less privileged people.
While appealing to good spirited Nigerians to join hands in uplifting lives of the less privileged in the society.
He pointed that rich people in the society to care for the people here is the need for t living similar lives he experienced years past.
He adds that: “What I am trying to say, is that I always remember that there is someone out there who is living the same life I lived before, who can’t afford food, who sleeps outside on the road.
“I can recall those days and I know it is real and that is why at Israel Ibeneme foundation, we will continue to strive to affect lives of some and give them better lives.
“Our mission is to reach out to those we can reach out to, help those we can help, do the little we can and le God finish the rest.”
Also speaking, wife of the Minister of Transportation, Mrs Judith Amaechi, promised an offer of scholarship to one of the orphans as her own contribution to the Foundation’s project.
Mrs Amaechi while responding to the plea made by the school principal, who requested for the help of good hearted Nigerians, assured the school of some help by contributing to the purchase of some of the equipment.
She further stated that the foundation on the rescue mission, has set the pace and the help has better come in no other time than now.
She however called on Nigerians to quickly deploy all resources to help revive lives of Nigerians.
“I have lived the life of giving to the poor all my life and giving to the less privileged is what I cherish because I came from a poor background, so I know what it means to be poor.
“I lost my mother at a tender age so I worked the street too. I have my own foundation which has also affected the lives of people.
“Imagine just about 10 million Nigerians having access to what belongs to about 170 million people you can imagine the gap; we should just be our brother’s keeper,” he said.
On his part, Mr Emmanuel Anthony of the FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), who represented the board, Dr. Adamu Jatau, expresses joy over the gesture by the Foundation.
He noted that the UBEB would like to welcome the foundation [poised in rendering humanitarian services on education and also would like to put the effort on record for future collaboration.
Highlight of the occasion was presentation of scholarship to five the orphans among the pupils and the less privileged in the school.
Among the scholarship awardees include master Yusuf Haruna, Amos Habakkuk, Deborah Amos.
Others also are Amos Silas and Amos faith. The pupils, were said to have been selected from different diseased parents recently.
Also about 20 pupils received recommended text books and exercise books and school kits to aid their financial burden while about 15 got equal measure for academic excellence.