By Ike Uchechukwu
…Set to enrol 300 students in January
Rochas Foundation has kick started the establishment of schools in Cross River state with a view to providing free and quality education to less privileged children.
The move vanguard learned was in order to help less privileged children to secure a better future for themselves and their immediate society.
This was disclosed by the Deputy Chief of Staff, Rochas Foundation, Mrs Uloma Nwosu, at the ‘Mentors Interactive Cocktail’ held at the Transcorp Hotel, Calabar, yesterday in Calabar.
Mrs Nwosu in her address, said the Foundation which was established in 1998 has so far trained 25,000 children, produced 6,000 graduates, some of who are now in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Google.
She said the setting up of Rochas Foundation school in Calabar was part of the organization’s plan to take free education to the south south region and to also cater for the educational needs of street children.
She also revealed that the school which is sited at Ikot Ansa, would commence academic activities in January 2022, adding about 300 students would be enrolled for the second term.
Her words: “Rochas Foundation is a non governmental organization with 24 years of providing free quality education to the less privileged children in our society. Rochas Foundation believes every child counts and every child deserves an opportunity to have at least basic education.
“By God’s grace we’ve been able to have schools across 11 states in Nigeria – Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto, Oyo, Plateau, Adamawa, to mention but a few.
“We also have the Rochas Foundation College of Africa. Like my President (of Rochas Foundation), Owelle Rochas Okorocha would always say: ‘If there’s anything we can do in our time to help humanity let us do it now for we might not pass through this way again’, and that’s why we are in a hurry to change the course of our generation.
“We are in a hurry to make sure that every child is not left behind, and that every child has access to education; hence, with excitement we are announcing to you officially that Rochas Foundation is coming to the south south for the first time.
“In the south south, Cross River State is taking the lead and we are here in Calabar. I will also like to announce to you that Rochas Foundation school Cross River is built and ready to take off in January for the second term.
“We are taking off with 300 students from the street who have no hope of going to school; 300 children who thought their lives were over, but finally there’s a beacon of hope for these children.”
On what the mentorship programme was all about, Mrs Nwosu said: “All these years the Rochas Foundation has been doing all it has done without any help, international or local grants.
” The Rochas Foundation runs these schools through set of businesses such as real estate and hospitality. 24 years later, we have 25,000 children trained at Rochas Foundation and 6,000 graduates. We have lawyers, doctors, engineers.
“These are children who have been left or abandoned. We have some of our graduates in the MIT and working in Google. We have a lot of success stories. And it is God in heaven who has helped us thus far.
“We have gathered you here to please tell your story. We need mentors. One of the challenges the Rochas Foundation has is that because of the quality of education that we give to children, we have people who are privileged and yet come to the schools on the guise that they are not able to afford education for themselves.
“Hence, the need to launch what we called the mentorship programme for the first time in the history of Rochas Foundation, and of course we are kicking off with Cross River.
On her part ,the Director of Schools at Rochas Foundation, Rev (Dr) Carol Ochemba, appealed for help to ensure that only the right children benefit from the Rochas Foundation’s free education.
She said the Foundation’s school in Calabar was in need of qualified teachers who would not only teach but also serve as role model, adding that about 700 applications have so far been received and screened.
She also explained that the Rochas Foundation College of West Africa has students from other African countries studying in Owerri, Imo State.