Emmanuel busy with classwork
The Story of Asadu Emmanuel, whom the Challenge Fund offered a chance to learn
“If you ask me what I would like to do when I am finished with schooling my answer would be a medical doctor. But you would not even have met me here to ask me that question if it had not been for the ESSPIN scholarship”(Challenge Fund)
Asadu Emmanuel, 10 year old beneficiary at Civitas Dei Nursery and Primary School in Enugu
These were the deep thoughtful words of Asadu Emmanuel, a 10 year old primary five pupil of Civitas Dei Nursery and Primary School in Uwani, Enugu. Emmanuel had lost his father a few years ago and continuing to send him to school was not his mother’s immediate priority. She had other things in mind which included providing food and shelter for the family. And so he would have to wait until enough money was raised in the future for his education or go on to become an apprentice.
The Challenge Fund initiative, a partnership between ESSPIN and mission schools, included an agreement to waive school fees and to provide basic school amenities for each benefiting child. The children had to complete a full course of primary education. In parallel, teachers received training and teaching aids were supplied to the schools as well. As such the participating schools made it a point of duty to widen advocacy to potential beneficiaries from their communities. It was one of such advocacies that made Emmanuel’s mother aware of the golden opportunity to educate her son. She thus pleaded for a form on behalf of her son and it was brought to her by staff of Civitas Dei.
When I saw strange people at my house speaking with my mother, I thought I was in trouble when she called me. It was a moment that changed my life. I was in primary 2 when all this happened and now I am in primary 5,
ESSPIN initiated the challenge fund scheme to set examples of initiatives that state governments and other stakeholders could use to improve access and equity in basic education. Emmanuel is one out of 1,710 pupils that are benefiting from the Challenge Fund who would otherwise not have been in school due to unfavourable circumstances.
ESSPIN as a programme seeks to make access to quality basic education possible for all children and to also raise learning outcomes at the same time. The Challenge Fund initiative in Enugu has made it possible for children like Asadu Emmanuel to have another chance to be at school fulfilling their dreams. "I think doctors are always in the best position to help people and that is why I hope to become one. I was helped and I hope to also help others even when they cannot afford it", says Asadu Emmanuel as he runs off to play with his classmates on the rowdy playground.