COMMUNITY SERVICE

Agunze empowers Makoko pupils, with scholarship, skills

ADEZE OJUKWU

Over 800 children from, Makoko community in Lagos State, have received scholarships and vocational skills, from Makoko Dream Foundation.
Founder of the Non Governmental Organization(NGO), Mr. Emmanuel Agunze, stated this, yesterday, during an interactive session.

According to him, the major objective of the mission, is to provide tuition-free education for the indigent.
‘Makoko is a slum, located, below the Third Mainland Bridge. Some dwellers live, in stilt houses, while others occupy, areas bordering, the lagoon. The waterfront site, is mainly inhabited by Egun natives, who migrated from Badagry and Republic of Benin. The community, one of the largest poor settlements, in the metropolitan city, is popularly known as ‘the largest floating slum in Africa,’ he added.

Agunze, a fellow of Mandela Washington and Ashoka Changemaker Fellowships, said ‘the charitable project is to ensure that no child is left behind.’
His words: ‘Till date, we have rehabilitated and placed, over 800 children from Makoko slum in tuition-free institutions. Sadly we still have over 30,000 children, that are excluded from studying. We want to bridge this gap.’
‘We are, currently, focusing, on primary education and facilitating, the enrollment of successful pupils, in government secondary schools.’

According to him, this feat has been largely achieved, through the generous support of philanthropists and corporate organizations, notably, OOLU Solar company, Keystone Bank, Zenith Bank, Union Bank, US Embassy, St Raphael Catholic School, Louisville Kentucky, United States(USA), Louisville Slugger Museum among others.
‘Our vision, is fundamentally, to enable indigent children to access qualitative tutelage and vocational expertise. We believe that no child is left behind.’

The programme provides a veritable platform, for young residents, who cannot afford academic costs. We are committed to bridge this gap, for these under-privileged children. Government may not be able to adequately provide essential amenities for all citizens, hence the need to assist these under-reached populations, to access formal education, vocational and health services, for a more productive life.’

‘To sustain the project, we have commenced an entrepreneurship venture, for volunteer teachers and pupils too. Additionally, we plan to engage in crop farming, in order, to expand our feeding programmes and financial capacity.

Agunze who, has for the past four years, successfully rehabilitated hundreds of Makoko slum kids, stressed the need for more volunteers and resources to scale-up the initiative and other socio-economic projects in the community.

This humanitarian service, is undoubtedly, a commendable undertaking, worthy of emulation and support.

Mr. Agunze, Founder of Makoko Dream, a Non Governmental Organization, flanked by an international volunteer, Angela Connor Dutton from Louisville, Kentucky, USA, and The Makoko Dream School children, during a recent visit to Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria.

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