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Bishop Ezeokafor, HIFA collaborate to provide N10.4m in scholarships to 85 students in Anambra

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The Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, has awarded scholarships worth N10,445,000 to 85 indigent students across various denominations in Anambra State.

He gave the scholarship through the Justice, Development and Peace Caritas (JDPC), Awka Diocese in collaboration with the Help For All (HIFA) Initiative, Austria, a Non-Governmental Organization.

The scholarships were presented at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Awka, with the aim of empowering the students to acquire knowledge and skills that will benefit society as a whole.

Bishop Ezeokafor urged the beneficiaries to remain focused and work harder in their studies, saying that the fastest way they can achieve greatness and attain their full potentials is through access to quality education.

The Bishop noted that only the hardworking students would continue to enjoy the scholarship package while the unserious ones would no longer take part in it.

Represented by the Education Secretary of Catholic Diocese of Awka, Reverend Father Maximus Okonkwo, Bishop Ezeokafor charged the students to take their studies seriously, maintain good conduct and guard against distractions that would deny them the opportunity of enjoying the largesse.

Also speaking, the Director of JDPC, Awka Diocese and the Chairman Anambra State HIFA Board, Rev Fr Levi Ukor said they are in partnership with HIFA Austria, an Organization formed and funded by retired teachers in Austria.

“The sponsors are interested in your results, performance and reports from the school authority. These are the things that are encouraging the sponsors to increase the money instead of giving out the usual N121,000 to each student.

“The total money we are spending this year is N10,4,45,000 (Ten Million Four Hundred and Forty five thousand Naira). Last year we spent N7 million. So, it is not a small money. We want people to know that the Church is spending this huge amount of money on Education,” Fr Ukor said.

He further thanked Bishop Ezeokafor for seeing the need to help indigent children in securing their future through continuous education, an act that did not begin this year.

The Director of JDPC, however added that the NGO increased the fund from seven million of last year to ten million naira in recognition of the harsh economic realities in the country.

Fr Ukor cautioned parents to make judicious use of the fund and challenged the beneficiaries to always improve in their academic excellence as it is the only way to appreciate HIFA and the bishop.

He announced that some of the students whose academic records were impressive, were also rewarded with additional funds.

While the group thoroughly screened lucky winners before submitting their names to HIFA Austria for onward release of funds, it also engage in building and renovation of schools, hospitals, payment of hospital bills to the destitutes and also training them in many skills acquisition as well as provide transportation to ease the stress and hardship occasioned by lack of adequate vehicles and means of transportation.

Responding, some of the beneficiaries like Ibekwe Chioma from Amaenyi Secondary School, Awka; Kizito Ebele from Community Secondary, Obelendu; Lawrence Uchechukwu Chiekezie from St. Michael’s Comprehensive Secondary School, Nimo and Pamela Chikerem Onwuka from Fr. Tansi Memorial Secondary School Akpu, all appreciated the bishop for his kind gesture and promised to improve in their academics so as to be shining lights to others.

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