By Ebele Orakpo
Morgan Smart Development Foundation (MSDF), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to the empowerment of rural and urban poor women and youths in Nigeria for poverty reduction, employment generation and sustainable socio-economic development, recently held a five-day summer camp for its scholars from Monday 20th August to Friday 25th August, 2012.
The summer camp which took place at the MSDF Secretariat in Warri, was attended by 30 students (all beneficiaries of scholarship from the foundation) from select secondary schools in Warri, Delta State, staff of the foundation and facilitators. The scholarship fund was endowed by Dr. Evelyn Omawumi Urhobo, the Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, as part of her corporate social responsibility aimed at helping bright but financially handicapped students, to enable them acquire quality education and succeed in life.
According to the organisers; “The annual programme is meant to help the scholars spend the long vacation meaningfully by engaging them in extracurricular activities in non-classroom environment. This is to expose them to real life experiences they normally don’t acquire in the classroom and are mentored positively.“
The first four days of this year’s summer camp involved lectures presented by practitioners on relevant fields of study, professions and skills acquisition on guidance/counseling, mentoring and role modeling, negative practices and their effects, cultism, computer networking/communication and sensitization on HIV AIDS, malaria, personal hygiene and religious talk. They were also taken through practical bead, chinchin and hat-making, and cake- baking.
One of the high points of the summer camp was the excursion to Falcorp Mangrove Park, Ijala Ikenren, Warri, during which participants were conducted round the park the Park’s guide. Thjey were shown the rich heritage, artifacts, animals and scenes in the park. They visited the Hall of Fame, the Royal Museum, Mangrove trail, Mini Zoo, Okran tree, Phytomedicinal garden, the mysterious Arc of Ebelina tree which was claimed to be150 years old, Moss keeper and Atikpa Gallery.