Human Development Initiatives-Empowerment Trust Fund (HDI-ETF) gives Educational Materials to School Children
Venue: Grace House: 2, Iwaya road, Onike, Sabo-Yaba Lagos Nigeria.
Wednesday 6th of September 2017 was a day of joy for over 195 students and their parents/guardians who benefited from the distribution of education materials under the HDI-ETF scheme. The Human Development Initiatives-Empowerment Trust Fund (HDI-ETF) Foundation is an extension project of Human Development Initiatives. It focuses on supporting the education of children of widows, widowers and orphans who are highly prone to dropping out of school as a result of the demise of one or both parents and consequent inability of the surviving parent or guardian to meet the children’s educational needs.
RATIONALE BEHIND THE FOUNDATION
Almost on a daily basis, HDI receives widows requesting help with various issues ranging from financial, counseling, health intervention and economic empowerment needs. Several stories from these widows are often so laden with emotion, that they usually move the hearers to tears.
Case Study 1 “A certain widow visited HDI, seeking better employment. She came in company of her daughter who was a SS1 student of Herbert Macaulay Senior Secondary School and visited during school hours. Upon interrogating why she visited with her daughter who was expected to be in school, she explained that she could not afford the money for school uniform, as she had to cater for four children. She added that any money she earned was spent on feeding. Her situation was indeed pathetic; as such, she could not be discharged without offering some financial assistance”
Case Study 2 “A widow came seeking assistance in obtaining the letter of Administration to access her late husband’s account which had only about sixteen thousand naira (N16, 000) in it at the time. HDI was able to retrieve the money for her, but she needed more assistance since the money could not cater for her needs with three (3) children while her late husband’s properties had been taken over by his family. She was subsequently enrolled for HDI’s annual life-skills empowerment training where she learnt hat-making and got some money for business start-up from one of HDI’s benefactors.”
These experiences and several others not mentioned here largely informed our decision to kick-start the HDI-ETF project in October, 2014. Human Development Initiatives believes that education is the right of every Nigerian child and not a privilege. Therefore being the child of widow/widower or an orphan should not be a limitation to accessing good and quality education. Although education is theoretically free in Nigeria up to junior secondary school, according to the Universal Basic Education Act 2004, government alone cannot meet the educational needs of Nigerian children, especially the vulnerable ones.
The HDI-ETF foundation therefore supports government’s efforts in ensuring the education of selected beneficiaries from primary through secondary school, based on good behavior and consistent outstanding academic performance. The scheme provides her beneficiaries with School uniforms; pairs of government socks; Ties; Berets; school sandals; School bags; Exercises books; Mathematical sets; Core subject text books not provided by the Government while also paying all government approved associated costs or fees.
Since inception, well over three hundred (300) students have benefited from the HDI-ETF scheme, which has also paid the NECO fees of several student beneficiaries. Today’s program features the distribution of educational materials to a hundred and ninety-five (195) beneficiaries who came with their guardians or surviving parents. For this new academic session, 38 students will be sponsored to write NECO Examination. Therefore, we want to appreciate all our donors and plead with well to do Nigerians to support this initiative financially and morally.
Furthermore, from this academic session, selected students who excel in UTME and who eventually secure admission will be sponsored through their tertiary education. The tertiary initiative will cover only Federal Universities, beginning from the University of Lagos.
Mrs Olufunso Owasanoye the Executive Director of HDI further stated that all students currently on the scheme have unfettered access to the organisation’s psycho-social services, reproductive health rights awareness and career counselling with experts for free.