As a way of supporting secondary school students in hard to reach communities, a Port Harcourt based non-governmental organization has donated mobile solar lamps as reading aid to 100 students from poorwidows households in Ogoniland.
Divine Benevolent Care Organization (DBCO) made the donation weekend at as part of activities on the implementation of the project: 'Reigniting Hope: Enhancing the Reading Culture in Ogoni' at a public event held at Kaa community, in Khana local government area of Rivers State.
Dr. Benard Moses, Executive Director at DBCO, said funding for the project which has students drawn from five communities of Gwara, Kaa, Kono-Boue, Luawii and Sii all in Ogoniland was made possible by Trust Africa.
Moses hinted that the organization was not only prepared to see to an enhanced reading culture among students in Ogoni, but to also ensure that they get access to quality education, and be able to measure up with their pairs in the cities.
He regretted that falling education standards and lack of equal opportunities, as well as inclusion is partly responsible for the moral decadence in our communities, and the unprecedented crime wave, but expressed hope that the situation can still be rescued for the better.
DBCO Project Manager, Mr. Innocent Peter, said a total of 100 children of Ogoni poor widows household from the target communities have been selected and provided with the solar lamps as reading aid to encourage their reading at night.
Peter furthered that apart from donating the lamp to the students, they have also been trained on the care and maintenance of the lamps, as well as how to develop good reading habits to increase their pass rate in external exams; West African Senior School Certificate (WASSC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) examination by at least 30% by the year 2020.
In their separate speeches, Chief Theophilus Nwigo, paramount ruler of Kaa community, and Chief Christopher Nwidgo, paramount ruler of Luawii community commended DBCO and TrustAfrica for considering the selected communities in while making choice of communities for the implementation of the project.
The traditional rulers hinted that the unavailability of power supply in the communities has not only affected the education of their children and wards, but has also affected the local economy of these communities and available business opportunities.
The community leaders while pledging their support for the successful implementation of the project, pleaded that it should be expanded to accommodate children from poor single mothers who have been affected by traditional practices and are even more vulnerable in some instance than children of the poor widows.
School principals, community education committee members, women and youth leaders, as well as religious leaders, and the widows whose children received the educational support were all present at the event. DBCO also used the opportunity created by the event to celebrate 'World Literacy Day' 2019.