Two hundred vulnerable youths across the 17 local government areas of Plateau State have secured scholarship to study the courses of their choice in a higher institution, Ecole Superieure Sainte Felicite University, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
The first batch of the elated beneficiaries, who have departed Jos, the state capital for their studies in the Francophone country, could not hide their joy as they were being bade farewell by their benefactor, a Jos-based charity organisation, Zazzaga Foundation.
The Founder of the Foundation, Dr. Saleh Abdullahi, said out of the 200 beneficiaries, 10 orphans were selected from each of the 17 Local Government Areas making 170, while the remaining 30 vulnerable ones were randomly selected across the state and the scholarship was for first degree with the programmes ranging from Arts, Social Sciences and Pure Sciences such as Medicine to other specialised science programmes.
His words: "The Foundation has already paid the tuition fees for the students, the gesture is aimed at assisting the orphans and vulnerable children to acquire western education that would empower them to be better and responsible people in the society rather than them to roam the streets hopelessly, and be used as merchants of violence."
One of the beneficiaries, 18-year-old Nanrit Dabit, who would be studying International Relations at the institution, said she heard about the opportunity through a family friend and upon applying, she was given the scholarship and commended Dr. Abdullahi for supporting children of the needy to realise their educational ambitions.
Another beneficiary, Umar Abdulbasid Maikano, 21, said he would be studying Computer Science, adding that the scholarship covered their tuition fees throughout their study, accommodation and other logistics and expressed joy that he would be studying outside the country under a scholarship, a luxury his parents would not have been able to afford.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Parents' Association of the Zazzaga Educational Scholarship, Emenike Isiwu, called on government at all levels to collaborate with the Foundation in any way they could so that education could be given a boost in the country.
It was gathered that the gesture cost the Foundation about N160 million.