Monday, October 1, 2012

Re-Writing the Stories of Special Children: Bake For Change & AIPA’s “Educate the State – Sponsor A Child Initiative” Raises Hope for the Kids

At Bellanaija, we are very passionate about celebrating people who in one way or the other, impact the lives of others positively. People who through their careers, businesses, organisations, groups and initiatives act as role models and contribute in their own little way to touching lives and nation building.
Ever since we caught the Bake For Change girls on the BN radar, I’ve been following their activities on Facebook and they never cease to amaze me. In January, we did a feature on the Charity Group where we highlighted some charity works initiated by four intelligent ladies –  Nkemdilim Uwaje, Ngozi Coker, Ashim Uwaje and Stefanie Moh {click here to read their story}. But the girls have been relentless ever since and together with other charity organisations and friends of the group, they have continued to share little acts of love and care here and there.
Some months ago, they left me in awe when I read about a donation of gifts they organised for triplets who lost their mother at child birth. It was really heart warming.

Again, one of their recent charity acts got my attention.
On Saturday the 1st of September 2012 under the Educate the State – Sponsor a Child Programme, Bake for Change in partnership with AIPA (Foundation for the Alleviation of Illiteracy,Poverty & AIDS) issued 10 educational scholarships and 19 vocational  scholarships to the Lagos State Ministry for Youth & Social Development. The beneficiaries of the scholarship are wards resident in 6 Special Correctional Centres & Approved Schools across the State.
It was really touching to know that the destinies of the children would be positively affected with their kind acts.
The Sponsor A Child Initiative under the Educate the State Programme, was initiated on Children’s Day of 2012 and was set up to raise funds to ensure that less privileged children in these Lagos State homes have access to education in private schools within the State or are assisted in setting up their businesses following successful completion of their vocational training and the Lagos State Trade Test or other equivalent certifications have been attained.
10 educational scholarships were conferred to children ranging from the ages of 6 – 17 in addition to back to school kits. The kids will be attending renowned private schools across the State and will benefit from education from the level they are in now until completion of their Secondary Education.
In total, 19 vocational scholarships were handed out to children between the ages of 16-18.

I got in touch with Nkemdilim Uwaje who told BN more about Educate the State project. “Educate the State was borne out of the wish to re-write the story of less privileged children and open a door to a brighter future. The initiative was launched in 2011 with the books for all project and a spelling bee & reading competition, which is now being held annually on Children’s Day. This year we decided to embark on a bigger and better and especially more sustainable initiative with a greater and long term impact.”
This is not the first time the group is working with children from Special Correctional Centers. They have organised several donations, give-aways, and functions at such centers in Lagos. They also refurbished the kitchen and dining hall of the Special Correctional Center for Boys in Oregun, a project which gulped over N1,000,000. “I guess once you get to know the kids you get inspired to do more and more,” Nkemdilim said.
According to her, funds for the Educate the State project was raised “from a lot of different individual donors, as well as other charity organizations and the support of a training school for welding, woodwork and painting that gave us 12 scholarships.”
The educational scholarships that have been awarded are for the completion of Secondary School. The kids are at various levels, the lowest being Nursery and the highest being SS2. “We will support all of them until they get their Secondary School leaving certificate,” she said.
She also expressed her views on education and skill acquisition which I totally agree with and hope more people and organisations emulate.
“Education and skill acquisition are the only things no one can take away from you, so to us their are paramount in terms of development and the future of the kids. With education and skill acquisition they have a complete different chance in life. Educate the State sponsor a child is re-writing their stories.”
Well done Bake for Change & AIPA!
The official handing over of 29 scholarships from Educate the State (Bake for Change & AIPA) to The Special Advisor to the Governor Lagos State Ministry for Youth & Social Development Mr. Enitan Dolapo Badru
For more enquires on the Project and on how to donate Call 08053356713, 08138451876, 08057775577 | Email | Facebook page | Twitter @Bake4Change
You can also donate into the AIPA Account  - Bank: Guaranty Trust Bank | Account Name: Foundation for the Alleviation of Illiteracy Poverty & AIDS | Account Number: 0119417662.

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