Bright Elementary School, Oba. Idemil South LGA, Anambra State, Nigeria. That name probably doesn’t mean anything to you. To be honest, before November 2010, we had never heard of it.
Sometime in November, Millions4One project team was on the lookout for a school where they can implement one of their quarterly education support projects. The fact that there are thousands of schools whose students well deserve our support made the task more challenging.
After, a few conference calls and several calls to our volunteers in Nigeria, a school was chosen. The name of the school is Bright Elementary School. A school of 325 kids with hopes and aspirations.
Kids who, even with limited resources continue to study hard. We realized that providing these kids with exercise books and schools bags will go a long way in assisting them realize their dreams. It’s an understatement to say that the kids needed the support. We later found out the only help they had gotten in the past was 1 exercise book per student. Millions4One volunteers and donors decided to provide each student with 6 exercise books, 1 drawstring backpack, 1 pen, 1 pencil and 1 eraser. The 6 exercise books will cost us a total $1.01 if we decide to print it ourselves,less than the price of 1 bottled water at convenience store.
Date is December 11th 2010, new school year starts Jan 10th, 2011. So we have about 30 days to raise a total of $1500 needed for the project. Tick tack, the fundraising begins. One of the things we promote among the members of Millions4One is a sense of responsibility. We understand that we cannot wait until they, or that person finds a solution to a problem. We don’t just identify a problem; we strive to be an integral part of the solution. So, joined by 2 independent donors, M4One members came up with the total fund required for the project in a record 3 weeks.
With a mission on their mind and a deadline to meet, M4ONE project implementation team swung into action. Later on in December we learnt that the start of the new school year was moved to February 7th, 2011. This gave our US team and volunteers in Nigeria a little breather.
By end of the first week in January the bags were in Lagos, Nigeria; that gave us enough time to get it to Oba, Anambra State for the presentation to the kids.
By the second week in January, the bags were in Owerri, Imo State where one of our volunteers picked it up and transported it to Onitsha where the exercise books were printed. Talk about power of human network. By January 17th, all the schools supplies were in a secure location at Onitsha ready to be moved to Oba, Anambra State on February 8th – the day that we planned to present the school supplies to the students.
February 7th, 2011, we checked with our volunteers in Nigeria and they said everything was fine except that the person who was supposed to be in charge of the camera just cancelled due to a family emergency. Talk about last minute logistics challenge but we were able to get an extra hand to help with the photos.
February 8th, 2011. The exercise books, bags and other supplies were given to the students. It was priceless to see the joy on their faces.
Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces and feeling a sense of fulfillment we say to ourselves, donors and volunteers, we have to do this again.
Together, we can replicate this effort and meet the needs of more communities in Nigeria .Help keep the dreams and aspirations of more kids alive.