Access Bank Partners UNICEF, Fifthchukker to Reach OVC in Kaduna

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Funmi Ogundare

Access Bank, in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Fifthchukker, will hold the 2016 annual charity shield polo competitions to raise funds to impact the lives of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) in communities in Kaduna State.
The competition will feature UNICEF cup, where 15 teams will participate between May 25 and 29, 2016, while Access Bank trophy will hold between June 1 and 5, with a charity shield.

Briefing journalists recently in Lagos, the Communications Officer, Advocacy, Media and External Relation, UNICEF, Mrs. Blessing Ejiofor, said one of the core mandates of the fund all over the world is creating opportunities for disadvantage children to realise their rights to education, adding that its 10-year partnership with Access Bank and Fifthchukker has been very laudable.

“With funding from Access Bank, UNICEF has been able to renovate schools, provide furniture, books to some of these schools in communities that ordinarily children there won’t have had the opportunity to go to school. We value this partnership. We have progressed from the first year we started. At some point, we even saw the doubling of the funding. We are hoping and believing that Access Bank will in no distant time add more to the funding we are getting right now, so we can be able to reach many more children.

“Because UNICEF, Access Bank and Fifthchukker have been able to provide avenue for child-friendly schools for children in Kaduna, we have seen enrolment going up. With the furniture we provided, the children now have something to sit on and their dignity restored. The impact of the project is so huge in the lives of the children and their parents.”

A representative of Fifthchukker, Mrs. Terri Brennan, said as a polo club in Kaduna, corporate social responsibility is something it values and this has manifested in the long-term partnership it has enjoyed with UNICEF and the bank.

“It has being a privilege for all of us at Fifthchukker to embark on these projects because so much work has gone to the local communities, it is gratifying to know that we have made a difference in the lives of children in the local communities and the impact has been so huge.”
She observed that such commitment would not only help to improve the lives of the children who are not just the future of the local communities, but the future of Nigeria, adding that without showing love to children, there is no way a nation will move forward.

The Executive Director, Personal Banking, Access Bank, Mr. Victor Etuokwu, said as a financial institution, the commitment to the projects reiterates the bank’s passion to be a responsible corporate citizen in the market it plays in.

He said the bank plans to continue to provide values to communities because of its passion about life, healthcare and education, adding that the charity shield competition would also hold in London on July 16. “Every year we have this event, we try to make them as interesting and beneficial as possible for orphans and less privileged children in Nigeria.”

In the past nine years, the collaboration has enhanced the status of schools in Kaduna communities by improving the quality of learning through the supply of modern teaching facilities through the construction of libraries and computer centres and supply of recommended novels, library books, journals, among others to the libraries.