Maiduguri – A Borno-based humanitarian activist, Mr Zanna Mustapha, said on Sunday that he was sponsoring the education of 300 orphans as part of his contribution to the development of education in the state.
Mustapha, who, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), played key role in the release of 100 abducted Chibok school girls last year, stated this during an enrollment exercise at the Future Prowess Islamic Foundation School, in Maiduguri.
The activist, a lawyer by profession and also the proprietor of the school, said benefiting children were selected from families that lost either of their parents to insurgency or natural death.
He said that the children were enrolled into primary school to enable them acquire basic education.
The activist said that the pupils would be provided free education, instructional materials, uniforms, feeding and other support in the school.
Mustapha said that his gesture, with the support of International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), had helped the orphans a lot
“It is a comprehensive programme designed to support education of children and orphans in the state.
“We have enrolled 300 orphans in the school to provide them various services, including feeding, hostel accommodation among others to encourage the pupils put in their best in studies.
“At present, we have over 800 pupils in the school drawn from the 27 Local Government areas of the state,” he said.
Mustapha said that the foundation had set up a skills acquisition centre to train mothers of the affected children, to enable them learn trades and become self-reliant.
Mustapha called on wealthy individuals and organisations to support the foundation, to ensure successful implementation of its education support programme.
Alhaji Inuwa Kubo, the Commissioner of Education, disclosed at the occasion that the state government had embarked on construction of four mega schools projects to cater for the over 50, 000 children orphaned by the insurgency.
While commending the gesture, Kubo pledged the support of government to the foundation, to enhance its operations.
Quang Bui, UNHCR’S acting Head of Sub-office, Maiduguri, promised the support of his commission towards the education of children in the northeast region.
Bui said the commission accorded priority to the protection, education and well-being of children in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the school was established by Zanna Mustapha in 2007, with 36 pupils.