On February 15, 2020, three AUN students in collaboration with the Meridian International Center, a US government-funded organization began training 100 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Yola. Tagged 'Project Clean', the training focuses on personal hygiene, entrepreneurship, and skills acquisition. The program is aimed at encouraging personal hygiene while learning basic tools for keeping a clean and healthy environment.
Initiators of the project, Abdulmalik Garba, a senior in the Petroleum Chemistry/Economics program, Amarachi Chukwu, a senior majoring in English, and Odinaka Okemini, a 400-level Law major explained that 'Project Clean' was selected out of many community-based proposals presented at the 2019 SUSI program (Study of the United States Institutes) held in the United States between June 21 and July 27, 2019.
"The seven-week girls-only project is funded by the Meridian International Center and is intended to assist the young trainees to develop valuable life-time skills while improving their hygiene," said Abdulmalik. He added that they critically selected the facilitators of the training through the AUN Office of Community Service to ensure success and excellence.
Ms. Chukwu stated that they decided to impart various cleaning agent skills to the young participants because, "if they can make various soaps and detergents for themselves, they can easily and affordably take good care of their environment and themselves too. We also want them to go and teach their friends and families"
Mr. Okemini hopes to see this project extended to other beneficiaries. "We want to do well in this project; we want it to spread across many schools. With more resources and funding, we will achieve this."
The Vice-Principal of Government Girls Secondary School, Mrs. Nancy Midala, thanked the AUN community for always coming in to improve education. She also thanked the foreign sponsors and urged well-meaning Nigerians not to be tired of helping out as partners in progress.
"This initiative is timely as the rate of unemployment in Nigeria and globally is becoming alarming. Creating such opportunities for students to acquire life skills at an early age will no doubt go a long way towards ensuring a better future." Mrs. Midala urged the beneficiaries to pay attention and acquire skills for their self-sufficiency and improved personal and community hygiene.
The beneficiaries, who were selected from junior to senior sections of the school, expressed boundless joy for the opportunity. Faith Maxwell and Abigail Ibrahim said they would forever remember this day. "Not everywhere you will be given free knowledge. We lack words to express our happiness," they told our reporter.
Reported by Noel Sashi