Ben Ezechime, Enugu
A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Women Information Network (WINET), in partnership with Mundo Cooperante of Spain, has given scholarship awards to 22 indigent female Junior Secondary School (JSS) students of Community Secondary School (CSS), Iva Valley, Enugu, in Enugu State.
The NGO also gave the students several items including bags, dozen of exercise books each, writing materials and math-sets.
The Executive Director of WINET, Mrs Miriam Menkiti, said the scholarship was in furtherance of the organization’s activities under “the right to be a girl – projects to end girl child marriage.”
“We are here today to present one academic year scholarship (2022-2023) under the project titled “Support for 128 Female Students’ Education in Enugu State, Nigeria.
“It is funded by Mundo Cooperante of Spain to 22 female students of CSS Iva –Valley,”she said.
She said that, the organization was supporting the retention of girls in schools and to avoid early marriages.
“As a member of the international coalition of organizations called “Girls Not Brides, we are here to support the retention of girls in schools for their education.
“We want our girls to be educated; we do not want them to be given out in marriage at a tender age because, they are girls and not yet matured enough to be brides,”she said.
She said that was why WINET insisted their parents must sign commitment letters that they will not be withdrawn from school for any purpose during the scholarship period.
Menkiti urged parents not to discriminate against the girl child but to send them to school like the boys.
According to her, the scholarship entails payment of school fees for the 2022/2023 academic year for the selected 22 female students.
“Meaning that, we will pay school fees and State Based Management Committee (SBMC) levy.
“I am glad to inform you that we have already paid all the fees for the girls for this first term,” she said.
The director appealed to the benefiting female students to make the best use of the opportunity offered by WINET and Mundo Cooperante to study hard.
She thanked Mundo Cooperante of Spain for supporting the project of retaining the young girls in school.
She said that, her Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Officer, Mrs. Chinelo Dim, would visit the school monthly to check the progress of the students and solicited the cooperation of Authorities of the school.
The representative of the State Ministry of Education, Mrs Franka Nwokolo, commended the organization for the project and for their concern for the education of the girl child.
She charged the students to take advantage of the scholarship awards to work hard and justify their selection.
Nwokolo, who is a Deputy Director, School Services in the ministry, threatened that the ministry would not hesitate to withdraw any of the beneficiaries who failed to perform.
She appealed to the organization to include text books in their future proposals to be deposited in the school library for the benefit of other students.
The Principal of the School, Mrs Louisa Agbo, lauded WINET for choosing students of CSS Iva Valley for the scholarship awards.
She advised the students to grab the opportunity by working hard to justify the gesture.
“You must consider yourself lucky to be selected for this scholarship out of over 500 female students of this school.
“So, you must work hard in your studies as I will personally withdraw the scholarship from any non-performing students and give it to others who are doing well,” she said.
One of the beneficiaries, Miss Joy Oki, a JSS 2 student prayed God to reward the organization bountifully for giving them hope for the future.