Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Over 200 children had the course of their lives radically impacted directly by scholarship program awarded by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Shining Light Kids Outreach.
The outreach which started in 2010, has seen children that were not in school and could not get education without scholarship, now being educated.
The Senior Pastor, Shining Light Kingdom Builders Ministry, Pst. Tunde Dada, while speaking at a recent workshop titled: “Building the Nigerian of our Dreams,” said children being sponsored under the scheme come from extremely rough and underprivileged communities.
According to him, “These children are from communities where most men are alcoholics and women are prostitutes. We would love to have a boarding house where we could board some of our children so we can see the transformation we desire.
“It’s difficult for us to get the transformation we desire with them living in that environment. Over the years, four of our senior secondary students have gotten pregnant and had to drop out of school.
“Right now one of our high performing kids who was once head girl is pregnant. Her grandmother has driven her out of the house. She wants to stay on in school so we are working with her to make that happen.”
Dada, during his keynote address explained: “We take care of them fully, we buy their text books, pay for their uniforms, shoes and school bags. Initially they were not doing so well in school so we did two things that really worked.
“We started supplying them lunch in school every day. We have done this for eight years and it made a huge difference in their performance.
“We have volunteers that spend two hours with them every Saturday, teaching them english, maths and bible studies. We have volunteers from all walks of life and other churches.
“All our programs are open to all people. We are very Kingdom minded not church focused.”
Dada said over 1000 children had been impacted from the feeding program and Saturday classes.
Continuing, he disclosed that the program has been very successful. “We have seen transformation in the children. We send the bulk of our children to the same primary school for ease of administration.
“We would like to replicate the programs in other primary schools in other areas. So more children and families can benefit from what we are doing. It costs us N3.2 million yearly to run the program in a school/community.”