Discover how SMEF is transforming lives in Minna through scholarships, providing over 370 orphans and banditry survivors a chance at education.
As we work towards a better world, we must not forget those who endure hardship.
In the heart of Niger State, Minna, a beacon of hope shines bright for over 370 deserving orphans and vulnerable children from HIV/AIDS impacted families.
This story follows SMEF, an NGO dedicated to uplifting the disadvantaged through education.
The Birth of a Noble Initiative
Founded in 2011 by the kind-hearted Rev. Fr. Chiedozie Ezeribe, SMEF began to partner with rural schools to extend a hand of educational assistance.
Over a recent weekend, SMEF, in collaboration with Friends of the Poor Foundation, launched the “Kit Up A Girl Child” initiative in Minna.
Over 116 lucky individuals were beneficiaries in the first phase, which Ezeribe assures will repeat every four months.
A Lifeline for the Unfortunate
The beneficiaries included 164 children from parents impacted by HIV/AIDS and many other orphans who were unable to access schooling due to various life constraints.
The initiative disregarded tribal or religious affiliations, focusing solely on the need of the child.
Now, imagine the spark of hope ignited in these young hearts!
The Pilot Scheme: Dutsen Kura
Let’s take a brief trip to Dutsen Kura, where the pilot scheme unfolded.
Each kit provided to the girls contained 8 packs of pads, three panties, tights, bras, detergent, and bar soap.
Simple items that bring profound changes to the recipients’ lives.
Beyond the Education: Attending to IDPs
The impact went beyond that.
After SMEF visited various Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Gusoro (Shiroro local government area) and Kafin Koro (Paikoro local government area), the school fees of an additional 60 children who escaped banditry were covered.
Scaling the Impact: Expanding the Outreach
Currently, a heartening 378 children are reaping the benefits of SMEF’s scholarship program.
Ezeribe disclosed future plans to expand the “Kit Up a Girl” project to five other communities, namely Fadipe, Maikunkele, Chanchaga, Mutun Daya, and Gbaiko.
An Added Bonus: Palliatives for Dutsen Kura
Residents of Dutsen Kura community received a little extra – forty-five individuals received food items and cash as palliatives, further alleviating their daily struggle.
Building Psychological Resilience: A Message from the Bishop of Minna
Most Rev. Dr. Martins Uzoukwu, Bishop of Minna Diocese, lauded SMEF’s efforts.
Through his representative, Rev. Fr.Isaac Abba, Secretary of Education at Minna Diocese, noted that the school has provided psychological hope to children who have endured banditry.
A Plea for Inclusivity: A Voice for the Boy Child
Lastly, Mrs. Maria Ndako, Director of the Child Development Department under the Niger State Ministry of Women Affairs, encouraged SMEF to include the boy child in their program of activities, promoting an inclusive educational environment.
A well-known saying goes: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day.”
Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
” The Stella Maris Educational Foundation embodies this wisdom through their transformative scholarship program, aiding over 370 orphans and vulnerable children in Minna.
Every child deserves an equal opportunity for a bright future, regardless of their past or present circumstances.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Stella Maris Educational Foundation?
The Stella Maris Educational Foundation is an NGO dedicated to providing education to underprivileged children in Minna.
What is the “Kit Up A Girl Child” initiative?
This is a program by SMEF to provide essential supplies and educational support to underprivileged girls in various communities.
How many children are currently benefiting from the SMEF scholarship program?
Presently, 378 children are benefiting from the scholarship program.
Who is Rev. Fr. Chiedozie Ezeribe?
Rev. Fr. Chiedozie Ezeribe is the founder of the Stella Maris Educational Foundation.
Are there plans to extend the scholarship program?
Yes, plans are in place to extend the program to five other communities: Fadipe, Maikunkele, Chanchaga, Mutun Daya, and Gbaiko.