2 foreign charities sign pact to provide scholarships to Nigerians in private varsities

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By Ruth Oketunde

Two foreign charities have signed a memorandum of understanding to forge a partnership to offer scholarships to young Nigerians in some private universities in Nigeria.

The two charities are the UK-based IA-Foundation, which has been active in Nigeria and another charity, known as Values of Affordable Education (VOA), which is based in the U.S.

The charities are partnering to sponsor indigent students to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related courses, “based on merit and proven financial needs”.

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IA-Foundation, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday that the scholarship was to reduce dropout rate of students, eager to pursue tertiary education but constrained by funds.

“The scholarship will provide a university scholarship of up to five million naira for each beneficiary to cover tuition, accommodation, feeding and logistics throughout the four-year undergraduate study duration.

“Although students can be supported in other private universities in Nigeria, Babcook, Redeemers, Kings and Covenant universities are the preferred institutions,’’ she said.

Adeagbo said that the partnership with VOA was aimed at eliminating financial barriers to university education in Nigeria and ensuring that no child was left behind in acquiring education in the 21st century.

She restated that IA-Foundation was committed to strategic partnerships to ensure that the numerous challenges facing education in Nigeria were addressed, to build a better future.

“As a young charity with over 100 children in schools across nine states in Nigeria, we are happy that more children will be able to receive quality education in science and technology courses.

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Adeagbo expressed her optimism that the scholarship scheme would change the lives of beneficiaries for the better and improve their socio-economic conditions forever.

IA-Foundation has been active in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Delta and Nassarawa States, where the foundation has been playing crucial roles to tackle the problem of out-of-school children.

The UN agency UNICEF reports that some 20.2 million kids are out of school in Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation.

Also speaking, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VOA Foundation, Dr Victoria Adekoya, said that the partnership of the two charities would go a long way in creating opportunities for students from poor backgrounds to acquire quality education.

“At VOA Foundation, we are deeply passionate about promoting the uptake of STEM courses as a strategy to breeding future innovators, critical thinkers and problem-solvers in Nigeria.

“We are aware that there are very intelligent children with interest in pursuing STEM courses but who cannot afford to pay for university education even in the most affordable schools in the country.’’

Adekoya said that the partnership would make the two charities to identify qualified children and place them in private universities in Nigeria where they could receive quality training and complete their studies on schedule. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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