Nigeria: Many Thanks, 'Run Club, Abuja'

22 July 2021

In March this year, I shared briefly the story of how the idea to help some children within the vicinity of our house has become a cause for my wife (Amatala and Other 'Unforgotten' Children | THISDAYLIVE). My wife and I have benefitted immensely from the generousity of far too many friends. When about three weeks ago, my friend and younger brother, Buchi Onyegbule reached out to my wife on behalf of the 'Run Club, Abuja' (a fitness & lifestyle club) to inquire about what NFI School pressing need was, nobody had any idea of what he had in mind. To commemorate their first anniversary, members were organising a 15-day charity run/walk in collaboration with givingng, an affiliate of Sterling Bank to raise funds. The grand finale, 'Charity Half Marathon', a 21 kilometres run took place last Saturday after which a cheque of N2.2 million was presented to NFI. But the highlight was how members mingled with and hugged the children, in an experience they will never forget. I thank Buchi and members of the 'Run Club, Abuja' for their sacrifice and generousity of spirit. As I have kept telling people, we never set out to establish any formal structure. We just wanted to help 14 children within our vicinity who were roaming around. Now we have 55 in the 'school' and 121 others on 'waiting list' without any clue as to what to do about them.

Sadly, two of the indigent children placed in a boarding secondary school in Nasarawa State by NFI arrived on Monday to say kidnappers had written their school to expect them, making us to resolve they would not be going back as we explore other options. Gradually, the education space is being closed in our country by the sundry criminal cartels we now give some fanciful names--including those who have acquired the capacity to shoot down aircraft. And nobody seems to be doing anything about it!

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