A US-based Nigerian medical practitioner, Dr Chukwuemeka Nwosu, has donated 134 pairs of cortina shoes to his Alma Mater, the Ezeleke Community Primary School, Amachara Umuopara, near Umuahia, the Abia capital.
Distributing the shoes to the pupils on Wednesday on the school premises, Nwosu said that he was moved to make the donation in order to contribute to the growth of education in his home state.
He said that the idea to embark on the philanthropic gesture came from his wife, Pauletta.
According to him, Pauletta was deeply touched to see many pupils of the school barefooted in a group pictures he took with them.
Nwosu, who was represented by his friend, Felix Onyegbule, a pastor, said: “Upon viewing the pictures I took with the students, my wife saw that most of them were not wearing shoes and came up with the idea to have shoes made for them.
“Initially, we planned on making the shoes for children without shoes but our son inspired us to change the plan to make them for every student from Primary 2 to 5 this time and work on the younger ones at a later date.
“He embraced the idea and took an amazing lead by setting up a challenge for his Honours Chemistry students to help raise money for the effort.
“We applaud Dr TerBush and Bullis students for all their help.”
Nwosu, who resides in Maryland, USA, said that they decided to make the shoes in Aba in order to contribute to the growth of the Abia economy.
He said: “We could have purchased the shoes in the US and ship them. However, as a part of our effort, we wanted to help the economy where we could and provide work for our people here.
“If there are local quality businesses, why not consider them for use? So after research and advice we decided to have the shoes made in Aba.”
He expressed gratitude to those who contributed to the realisation of the idea, including the former Headmistress of the school, Mrs Uwaoma.
He urged other well-meaning Nigerians “to use local entrepreneurs for their philanthropic drives,” saying that “it is a win, win situation.”
“It is written that if a man shall not work, he shall not eat. It is also written that what you do for the least of these little ones you have done for Me,” Nwosu said.
In their separate speeches, the Headmistresses of Schools 1 and 2, Messrs Juliana Ukaigwe and Otuomasirichi Nwoko, expressed deep appreciation to Nwosu for his philanthropy.
“We are exceedingly happy and grateful to him. This gesture shows that he knows that his people are suffering at home and decided to assist them.
“We appeal to other prominent people of the community to emulate him,” Nwaigwe said, adding that it was not Nwosu’s first support to the school.
Also, the Chairman and Vice Chairman, Parents Teachers’ Association of the school, Chief Frank Onuigbo and Ezenwa Nwoku, thanked Nwosu and his family for extending their humanitarian gesture back home.
Onuigbo, who said that he taught in the school, along with Nwosu’s mother, many decades ago, said that it was gratifying that he remembered to help the school that nurtured him.
“I call on other well-meaning Nigerians to assist in making public schools attractive,” he said.
Nwosu’s representative, who was later conducted round the school’s Library, said that plans were being made by Nwosu to also donate stationery and school uniforms to the school.
Meanwhile, Nigeria News Agency reports that the roof of one of the classroom blocks, which was reportedly blown off by rain storm, needs urgent repair in order to put the class back into use.
(Edited by Sam Oditah)
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