The foundation has lifted the burden from parents as well as the government to train and feed 20 orphaned and poor children in Tudun Wada area of Kaduna metropolis up till secondary school level free of charge who had given up hope of ever going to school due to their parent’s living standard.
The foundation, which was established in September, 2013 by a philanthropist and business mogul, Alhaji Musa Bello, who felt he owed it to the society by educating less privileged children and orphans in both western and Islamic education is aimed at tackling the menace of youth restiveness in the country by starting with the children at a tender age.
It was gathered that two years ago, the owner of the school, Alhaji Musa Bello was moved by the increasing rate at which orphans and children of the less privileged were dropping out of school because of the economic condition of their parents and guardians and decided that there was need for him to assist by sponsoring their education.
The 20 children comprising of 10 boys and 10 girls were selected after a thorough screening by the management of the school to ensure that they are eligible as children from poor homes to be trained in the school from primary to secondary level.
Giving a background of the Hauwa Memorial International School, the Principal, Ishaq Adenuga said the school was named after Alhaji Musa’s mother saying that the site of the school was actually her home when she was alive.
“Thanks to Almighty Allah for using Alhaji Musa to educate these 20 children. The children we have in the school today are from very poor backgrounds, some of them, their parents can hardly fed them once a day so the schools provides them with breakfast and launch as well as free western and Islamic education.
“When the children came on board, some of them could not recite 1-10 and some could not read A-Z, but now, some of them can read, while some are still trying to catch up with others. The children are very happy and they cooperate with their teachers,” he said.
“For now, we have two teachers each for the western education section and the Islamiyya section because there are only 20 students, but as the years go by, we will admit twenty children every year not only in tudun wada area but Kaduna state as a whole,” he said.
He noted that the aim of the initiative is to curb social vices in the society caused by illiteracy and idleness by getting the children at a tender age which he believes will go a long way in tackling the problem of illiteracy facing the North if other wealthy individuals from the region would follow suit by establishing more of such schools.
“At this age, the kids are still innocent and their minds have not be poisoned, so by giving them a good education, they will grow up to be responsible citizens of the society and it is hoped that they will be gainfully employed so that they are not used to cause havoc in the society as the saying goes, “an ideal mind is the devils workshop”.
“So far, it has been going on well and we have not encountered any challenges because the parents of the children are being very cooperative and appreciative to the school for training their wards, we only tell them to respect the time for school and they should always bring them to school early and pick them up from school at the appropriate time which is something our people do not really respect,” he said.
He called on wealthy individuals to join hands in the laudable initiative by establishing more schools like the Hauwa Memorial International School and tackle the increasing number of children out of school saying that, “if every wealthy individual in an area established such schools, then 85% of children out of school can be helped.”
He also called on the government to find a means of establishing a collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to ensure that a large percentage of children are put through school adding that, “when children go to school, they do not only learn to read or write, they also learn how to live in the society they are and also learn what is right or wrong.”
Asked how the school will be sustained, he said, the founder has already set aside the funds needed for the running of the school for the next 10 years.
A mother of two beneficiaries, Maryam Umar said her two children were lucky to be admitted in the school. “I have two children who have been receiving both western and Islamic education from the school. I am so happy and may God continue to bless the owner of the school.”
“My husband died four years ago, we were at home one day when they came to tell us that my daughter would be given free education including the provision of free uniform, books and feeding. Initially, I did not believe it until we realized that they were serious about what they were saying because it was strange that someone would offer such to your children,” she said.
She maintained that since her children were enrolled in the school, their lives had changed drastically as people in their community look up to them being among the first set to benefit from such an initiative.
On his part, the District Head of Tudun Wada, Alhaji Falalu Dalhat applauded the humanitarian gesture of the proprietor and called on wealthy Nigerian’s to use their wealth in developing their communities.
“The rich must begin to think of how they can give a helping hand to the less privileged in their communities so as to contribute to the development of the society. I want to urge members of the community to ensure that the school is protected against any attack or vandalisation, the school must be properly taken care of because it cost a lot of money and these children are going to be feed free during school hours, they will be given education and they are being given school uniforms so we have to think of how this can be sustained,” he said.
He advised the proprietor to constitute a committee that will monitor the running of the school comprising of members of the community saying, “it is not good to initiate such a laudable project and at the end, it is not taken care of.”