By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-Office Transition Initiative has said that it has concluded plans to enroll one hundred displaced and indigent children from Godogodo chiefdom into public primary schools to acquire basic education as part of efforts to engage them productively.
The Programme Manager of USAID’s Nigeria Early Recovery Initiative (NERI), Mrs.Chikodinaka Omokide disclosed this during the profiling of beneficiaries for the programme at Ungwan Gwandara, Jagindi Ward of Jema’a LG, Kaduna State, Nigeria.
Mrs. Omokide explained that about 80 Children and beneficiaries of the USAID Programme were displaced Fulanis from Kussom Community that resettled in Ungwan Gwandara, while the remaining children are from the host communities within the chiefdom.
The gesture according to Mrs Omokide, was part of line-up strategies to reconcile and restore peaceful and harmonious relationship among the various communities in the area.
She explained that the initiative was to speed up the process of social integration and bonding between the children of the displaced Fulanis and those from their host communities which according to her, have rich implications for lasting peace, inter-communal understanding and cooperation.
“We believe that exposing the children to Western education would make them less vulnerable to vices and extreme radical influences,” she said.
Mrs. Omokide said NERI would help provide the children with school uniforms, bags, shoes and writing materials as well as pay their Parents Teachers Association (PTA) levy for the first three terms with a view to encouraging them and lessen the financial burden on their parents.
She encouraged the parents to support their children’s education to guarantee them a promising future.
According to the programme manager, NERI has also finalized arrangements to train 20 youth from the Fulanis and host communities on red bricks making business, and would provide them with machines to start-up the business upon completion of the training.
This according to her, would help reduced Idleness and incidents of poverty among the youth which she said were the major drivers of conflict and insecurity in the society.
Also speaking, wife of Jema’a Council Chairman, Mrs. Salamatu Peter Averik lamented the issue of insecurity in the state and advised people in the area to be tolerant and live in peace with one another regardless of tribe or religion, towards having a progressive and united society.
She commended USAID/NERI for their peace and security activities in the local government and assured the organization of the people’s cooperation and support to ensuring the set goals and objectives are achieved.
On his part, acting Education Secretary, Jema’a Local Government Education Authority, Mr Dagans Nyam, described the initiative as timely and called on other spirited individuals and organisations to emulate USAID/NERI to ensure a better and peaceful society for all.
In his vote of thanks, the Youth Leader of Ungwan Gwandara, Mr Jeremiah Amos appreciated the local government chairman, Hon Peter Danjuma Averik and NERI for their peace and reconciliation efforts particularly in Ugwan Bido and Gwandara communities and promised to continue to mobilize and sensitize their communities to live in peace.