On November 23, the Atiku Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Agriculture, and Development reached achieved another milestone.
It graduated a fresh batch of 55 young boys from the Feed and Read program. Friends of Nigeria, made up of US Peace Corps alumni, was the primary sponsor for the 55.
The program started in 2015 and had been supported by USAID, Irish AID, GIZ, and Embassy of Denmark among others. Both the boys’ and girls’ components have graduated over 500 enrollees so far.
The Head of Atiku Center and Grant Administrator, Dr. Audu Liman, said the young boys had completed nine months of literacy and numeracy training, an equivalent of primary 2 in Nigeria’s formal education system.
“This intervention does not only bring literacy and numeracy know-how to these boys, but it gives them about the only proper meal they have in a day.”
President Dekle said she is proud of the youngsters. “For each of you, this is just the beginning. You are part of the AUN family forever. We embrace you.”
Wife of the Founder, Titi Atiku Abubakar was the Special Guest of Honor at the occasion. She praised AUN for what it is doing for the children in the host community.
Chief Mrs. Titi Abubakar narrated how she set up the Women Trafficking and Child Labor Eradication Foundation (WOTCLEF) in 1999 to combat child labor and human trafficking after she witnessed the ugly scene of young Nigerian women lining the streets of Rome before her husband became Nigeria’s Vice President in 1999.
“There and then, I pledged to help these women get a better life if I get the opportunity. And up till today, this is what I have been doing. I have counseled over 10,600 boys and girls. I put them in primary schools, secondary, and tertiary institutions.”
WOTCLEF and the untiring efforts of its founder, Mrs. Titi Abubakar, are credited with mobilizing Nigerians in enacting legislation to tackle human trafficking and child labor.
Mrs. Abubakar, who offered primary school scholarships to all the 55, was recognized for her giant strides in education philanthropy. The Center named her the Grand Patron of Feed and read Program in Nigeria, and President Dekle presented a plaque to her in recognition of her successes in human development.
Imam Dauda Bello granted the graduating pupils scholarship into a formal school he founded, Izzuddeen Acadacare Academy.
Speaking on behalf of other graduating pupils, Abubakar Ibrahim thanked all the stakeholders of the project for the privilege to get western education.
“We shall not disappoint you but make you proud.”
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa