10 July 2011

Nigeria: Group Sponsors 300 Underprivileged Citizens to Study in U.S.

No fewer than 300 Nigerian students, most of whom are indigent, would have the privilege of pursuing various academic aspirations in the United States' city of Oakdale, in California, courtesy of an initiative of the African Children Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF).

The organisation, which was established over 10 years ago by Noah Nuhu Dallaji, has successfully convinced the City of Oakdale to support young disadvantage Nigerians toward getting meaningful degrees in America.

The scholarship scheme is a fallout of benefits that will accrue from the a steady working and cordial relationship between Bauchi State and American City of Oakland. Both entities recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to establish a Sister city relationship.

Daggaji, the chief initiator of the project revealed that effort has reached an advanced stage to have the Mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan come to Bauchi to officially present the 300 Nigerians with their scholarships.

"Mayor Jean Quan being of foreign descent holds Africa in high esteem.

The Mayor is a Chinese/American politician and a member of the Democratic Party. She as the mayor of Oakland, California and has previously served as City Council member for Oakland's 4Th District. Upon inauguration on January 3, 2011, she became Oakland's first female mayor and the first Asian-American woman to head a major city in the United States," he said.

Quan is said to have increased collaboration with the Oakland Unified School District and the community, introducing a programme offering late-night youth services in the East and West Oakland areas in attempts to decrease violence with school-age youth. After a surge in violence in one particular area of the city, the Mayor, according to him, had walked the beat with police in the neighbourhood, encouraging residents to join a neighbourhood crime prevention council.

Dallaji is optimistic that in no time Bauchi would take the place of the most efficient city in Nigeria initiated with Oakland, saying it would be his greatest joy to see the Mayor come to Nigeria.

Asked how the students would be sourced, he explainde that half would come from Bauchi while the others from across Nigeria through a test that would be conducted with the best standard of integrity.

His words: "ACTDF was conceived by the founders as a non-political, non-religious and non-racial organisation, committed to issue of socio-cultural importance. It has accorded due recognition to individuals, organisations, and cooperate bodies of diverse socio-economic and developmental backgrounds, whose record of service to humanity are deemed both impeccable and exemplary."

He assured that the 300 scholarships to deserving Nigerian youths was a first call to life-changing steps for young underprivileged Nigerians and Africans.

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