Ijebu-Ode – No fewer than 850 barefooted primary school pupils in Ijebu area of Ogun have benefitted from a free sandal distribution programme by an NGO, Encouragement Initiative (EI).
The Executive Director of EI, Mr Rotimi Akinlesi, in Ijebu-Ode on Tuesday said that the exercise was borne out of “concern for hundreds of pupils who go to public schools barefooted.
“These children go to school without sandals because their parents cannot afford one for them.”
The executive director said more than 504 children across five local government areas in the state benefited from the programme in 2010, while 346 got their sandals from January till date.
“When we started the programme in 2010, we never knew the task was enormous and great.
“We never knew that there were so many children going to school barefooted or wearing bathroom slippers,” he said.
Akinlesi said it was amazing that many of such children never wore a pair of sandals “until we gave them one.
“The level of poverty around is high but we are glad that we are touching the lives of these kids.”
The executive director listed the benefiting schools to include the Obafemi Awolowo Primary School, Ikenne; Our Saviour Anglican Primary School, Ijebu-Ode and the AUD Primary School, Ode-Remo.
“Our target is to reach out to 3,000 kids who go to school barefooted with sandals before the end of the year,” he added. (NAN)