It was joy all through in Onicha-Ugbo, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, as a non-governmental organisation, Anioma Youths Network (AYN), showered gifts on orphans and widows in the area recently. AYN, under the leadership of Mr. Odita Sunday, a journalist with the Guardian Newspapers, was able to equip 500 students with school bags, notebooks, math sets, dictionaries, bibles, novels, and others items to enable them to resume school unhindered.
Odita in the group’s third edition the “Back To School Project,” said he was happy putting smiles on people’s faces, especially the less privileged. He said: “I give thanks to God for the grace to embark on the project. I am always happy when I spend my hard-earned money, putting smiles on people’s faces, especially the less privileged.
I recall that, during my growing up years, without the care of a mother, I suffered deprivation. I did many odd jobs to survive and I know that not all children would be hard and ingenious enough like me to survive hardship. “That is the sole reason I decided I must assist the less privileged, especially orphans, with the little I can, to reduce their burdens. At least, many of them have received quality schoolbags that will last years.
They have notebooks, math sets, bibles, scientific calculators and other things that will equip them to go back to school. “I have also reached out to two widows with a cash donation of N25,000 each to add to their business. The children of the widows also benefitted from the back to school project. The widows are so happy because they did not expect the widow’s mite, which will go a long way in giving them relief.
“I sincerely appeal to people, in any little way they can, to assist the less privileged. They are not the cause of their predicament. Don’t wait to get millions before you invest in people and, when you give, don’t give to get, but give to inspire. “I am not a wealthy man, but with the little that God has given me, I should be able to give to people,”
apart from a donation of 40 pieces of big King James Version of the Bible and 10 small ones from Assistant Commissioner of Police Akinbayo Olasoji and a former course-mate who donated 48 math sets from her supermarket in Lagos, at least 80 percent of the funding came from his personal funds. Odita, also paid glowing tribute to Prince Ned Nwoko, whom he described as a wonderful philanthropist and his role model, as he inspired him to give.
“A poor teacher with St. Pius Secondary School, Onicha-Ugbo, was seriously sick and needed N5 million for treatment; I sent a text message to the Star Prince to help, he responded and subsequently paid N2 million into the teacher’s account,”
The monarch of Onicha-Ugbo, Obi Victor Chukwumalieze, who endorsed the program, challenged politicians and other sons and daughters of the community to emulate the good gesture from Odita, whom he described as selfless, as he was not seeking any political position. Obi Chukwumalieze, therefore, appealed to the pupils and students to make judicious use of the materials by studying hard to become better citizens in society.
Before the special guests of honour gave their speeches, there was a quiz competition between St. Pius Secondary School, Onicha-Ugbo, Onicha-Ugbo Mixed Secondary School and St. Stephen’s School, Onicha-Ugbo. St. Pius emerged winner, while Onicha-Ugbo Mixed and St. Stephen’s were first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively. Speaking to the pupils, the representatives of Hon. Onyemaechi Mrakpor, CP Adeleke Adeyinka, Prince Ned Nwoko, and DCP Abba Kyari told the stories of their growing up while advising them to shun vices capable of jeopardising their chances of a better future.
They urged the audience, instead, to focus on their studies and launch themselves to the top. The highpoint of the ceremony was the presentation of the school materials to the beneficiaries, as well as the presentation of cheques to two widows to start a petty trade of their choice. Moreover, the Star Prince of Anioma, Hon. (Dr.) Ned Nwoko was presented with the Star Award for Charity as a mark of appreciation for his kind gestures towards the needy in the society.
Philomena Ngozi Christopher-Oji was born to the family of the late Michael and Cecilia Ojeogwu of Ubulu-Uku, in Aniocha South Local Government Area, Delta State. She had her primary and secondary education in Nwanoli and Ezemu Girls College, in Ubulu-Uku, before she proceeded to the Delta State University, Abraka, where she studied English and Literary Studies.