By Chioma Ndife
An International Non-Governmental Organization, ORA has donated goats to 12 academically distinguished pupils of Santa Maria Nursery and Primary School, Nibo, Awka South LGA of Anambra State to promote academic excellence among pupils.
The goat awards were given to pupils who took first position in Santa Maria School Nursery and Primary School, Nibo, a school controlled by the St. Theresa's parish, Catholic Diocese of Awka, Anambra state, and runs two campuses within St. Theresa's and St. Paul's, an out station of St. Theresa's Parish.
The goats which were donated on Monday, October 15, 2018 was in line with the commitment of ORA towards supporting schools and pupils to attain basic educational qualifications through the provision of Educational materials and awards that would yield funds to cater for the educational needs of the awardee.
Fides gathered that ORA Goats Awards of Excellence was attracted to Anambra State by the Parish Priest of All Saints Catholic Church, Awgbu, Rev. Fr. Innocent Nwafor during his stay at Gallspach Parish, Austria, as ORA has a branch in Austria. The NGO operates in Awgbu and Nibo Communities and has been operational for the past 4 years.
Presenting the awards to the academically distinguished pupils of Santa Maria Nursery/ Primary School, Nibo, the attractor of the award in Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Innocent Nwafor, said that the purpose of the goat award was to develop within the pupils, a sense of care and train their minds to become compassionate to the things round them. He noted that when the care sense is developed early in the pupils, they can effectively take care of themselves, parents and environment.
Fr. Nwafor also noted that the goat award was meant to aid the pupils' education as they are expected to train the goat to maturity and sell the off spring for the payment of their school fees. Through the awards according to Fr. Nwafor, the pupils are greatly motivated as there has been healthy academic competition among the pupils.
In his words, 'ORA is an international NGO that has a branch at Austria among other countries. It is a helping organization. The NGO is committed towards helping people attain their educational goals through the provision of anything that would keep yielding money all through the individual's stay in school.
The NGO has awarded scholarships to over 96 children and has been sponsoring goat awards every year academic for the past 4 years to pupils who show marks of excellence in academics and morals. Over 35 of such goats had been awarded to pupils at All Saints Nursery and Primary School, Awgbu, 12 awarded to best pupils at St. Michaels, Awgbu among others in different schools in the Awgbu Community,' he noted.
He explained that six months after the goat award presentation, the school monitoring team would go to the houses of the beneficiaries to know the condition of the goats and a report would be forwarded to the different individuals that sponsor the goats through ORA. He revealed that some of the goats awarded last year at Awgbu now have off springs, saying that the owners can either sell the offspring or keep them. He noted that the NGO forbids the beneficiaries of the goat awards from selling them off, noting that such defeats the purpose of the award.
Speaking to Fides, the School Manager of Santa Maria Nursery and Primary School, Nibo, Rev. Fr. James Amaefuna appreciated the ORA and Mrs. Anita BavBaz who has been consistent in ensuring that the fund made available for the goats awards gets to the beneficiaries in various countries where it operates. He expressed optimism that the essence of the programme which was to inculcate early among the pupils, how to care for living things, would be actualized within the school. He said that the pupils, through the programme would understand what it means to care and develop sense of duty.
He identified lack of purpose and sense of duty as the major cause of laziness among youths of the present generation.