BY KAYODE AJIBOYE.
“Charity”, as the age-long sage goes, “begins at home” but on the Boxing Day of 2015, an innovative dimension was added to the axiom as Valery Charity Foundation (VCF) ensured that charity in deed, began with the child by gathering no fewer than sixty children at the Children’s Section of Saint John The Evangelist Catholic Church, Sogunle Parish, Oshodi, Lagos for the sole purpose of making them catch fun with singing, dance competition and ensuring that every child was a winner as each returned home with valuable gifts including high quality Ankara stuff, T-shirts, packs of pencils, spaghetti and other quick-cook noodles which are usually highly cherished and savoured by children.
Tagged “Santa cause “, the event is chiefly aimed at celebrating Christmas annually with children in the spirit of giving in order to ensure that children whose parents could not afford the rather expensive family social outings usually associated with the Christmas season are also given the opportunity to feel belonging and beloved in their society by enhancing them a feel of warmth and love through valuable gifts which is the reason for the season.
According to the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Valery Charity Foundation, Miss Valery Chidimma Nwuka, the ultimate goal of VCF is to institute a solid scholarship scheme for the sponsoring education of the less privileged children in Nigeria who are intellectually gifted but whose parents can not afford to foot the bills of their educational advancement.
According to teenage-Nwuka, there are a lot of brilliant children out there whose parents could not afford to sponsor and get them fulfilled in their academic ambitions. Such less privileged children, if left unsupported, would never be fulfilled nor happy in life. So, somebody somewhere, must rise to the help of children in this category so that they do not become wasted human resources or destitute in the future. “This is the ultimate goal of Valery Charity Foundation”; Miss Nwuka enthused. The seventeen – year- old A’ Levels student of Haileybury College, England and an alumnus of prestigious schools such as Greensprings School, Loyola Jesuit College and Greenwood House School all in Nigeria is a prospective student of Economics and Politics in the university. Though she looks tenderly slim, the teenager no doubt, conveys a huge ambition to better the lot of fellow youths who are considered to be on the lower side of privilege occasioned by inadequate economic power.
“Naturally, I love to see things done in the proper way; wishing that our country is run as a sane society, which I believe is not the exclusive responsibility of the government. Every one of us as citizens has a role to play towards ensuring that our society gets better for the happiness of the generality.
“However, the government should not relent in discharging its responsibility to the citizens. Like in the case of the new budget, I don’t believe in the cutting of allocation to education sector. Rather, it should have been on the increase so that there would be nothing like cash crunch in the sector because the future of any society lies in the quality of education made accessible to its citizens which is dominated by the youth, especially in the Nigerian case.
“The academic curriculum of Nigeria is superb. It is fantastic. All that we need to do is ensure focused and judicious execution of the curriculum to the ultimate benefit of students and the nation as a whole”; she opined.
When challenged on why she is studying in the United Kingdom despite being so convinced that Nigeria’s educational curriculum was as good as she described it, Nwuka justified that having started her educational pursuit in Nigeria; obtaining her West African Senior School Certificate (WASSC), she couldn’t find anything wrong proceeding to England for further studies since by God’s, her parents could afford to pick the bills.
Naturally gifted with a strong passion for gifting and lending a helping hand to the needy as well as sacrificing her time and energy for volunteer- public and social services towards ensuring a more sane Nigerian society, ‘Chidimma’ as she is popularly called by friends and family members, could not help pestering her parents, Mr. Vitalis and Mrs. Uche Nwuka to help source extra fund on her behalf towards executing and fulfilling her burning desire to impact positively on the life of other children considered less privileged in the society; not withstanding the fact that she too, is a full dependant back home at her age.
“From my childhood, I have always loved to lend a helping hand to anybody around me in my own little way but I got the inspiration to start this foundation when I was fifteen years old. Now, I am 17, and it is coming to reality. My ultimate goal for the foundation is to float a full-fledged scholarship scheme for the benefit of the brilliant but less-privileged children out there”; she envisioned.
Testifying to Chidimma’s nature of compassion and generosity, her father, Mr. Vitalis Nwuka described her as a girl with the burning passion and desire to impact positively on the life of other children. Her mother, Mrs. Uche Nwuka, buttressed that the spirit of charity runs in the family because she and her husband (as Chidimma’s parents) are passionate givers who could part with virtually anything for the happiness of other people in need. “But Chidimma as a person has always had this burning passion in her to make others happy by volunteering what belongs to her as sacrifice. She would always insist on seeing things done properly. When we used to take her to school as a child, if along the way, she saw any child in any abnormal condition, she would complain and groan with passion for that child, and beg us to see how we could help or if she observed traffic situation occasioned by abnormal driving, she would frown and vow to normalize such situation when she grows up.
“When we discovered that her passion for giving was beyond the ordinary and she kept urging us (the parents) to give her money and materials in order for her to give other children considered less privileged, we had to admonish her to cultivate the habit of saving from her own little pocket money so she could start investing in her passion for charity.
“While we assured her of our support, we also advised her to talk to other family friends and sell the idea to them so they could also give her a helping hand since her dream project is no doubt going to be capital-intensive.
“Based on our advice, Chidimma reached out to some family friends including Mabel Ndagi, Ruth Lolo Kadafa, Anya Osuji, Nwadiuto Iheakanwa, Arinze Uzochukwu and Ifeoma Uz’Okpala and many others who all responded positively. That is why we are witnessing this worthwhile beginning to the glory of God”; Mrs. Nwuka appreciated.
There is no doubt that if Valery Charity Foundation and other organisations with Chidimma’s kind of vision are given the necessary support, the will become a much happier place to dwell for all, especially the usually deprived have-nots of the society.