How did the idea of EduTrust Foundation come to be?
The idea of EduTrust Foundation began way back in 2014; I was having a discussion with a few of my friends, prior to the 2015 general election. It started as a discussion about the state of National development in Nigeria and what future they envisioned for Nigeria while looking at it from both parties contesting for the election. We contemplated on if they could help in the transformation of Nigeria or not.
“EDUTRUST FOUNDATION SERVES AS A CATALYST TO DRIVE SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION. IT WAS A NON-POLITICAL QUEST FOR SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION IN NIGERIA”.
After rubbing minds and sharing our ideas, we realized that the government was never going to do everything that we expect them to do. We came to the conclusion that if we really want to drive development in Nigeria, we also have to become major players in the development of Nigeria. It was noted that not everything should be left to the government to do because the work may become too much and may lead to complaints when the government is underperforming.
At some points, I called a meeting with a few friends and we tasked ourselves to look at Nigeria and decide what major factor positively impact and cause could change to all other sectors in Nigeria.
We then looked into the major factor that would drive long term development in Nigeria and shift the mind set of millions of people in Nigeria so that people would be encouraged and want to stand up for something. This factor would encourage Nigerians and empower them to create solutions for themselves.
It was at that discussion that we realized that a critical factor was needed to set up a vehicle to drive social transformation.
What is the street to school project and what brought about it?
The street 2 school project was an initiative that started in 2019. The situation of some school children in Nigeria has been posing a huge challenge for Nigeria. The situation of children that have carved out an existence for themselves outside of the formal school setting is critical. It is critical because those who exists outside of the formal educational setting are most likely to become “left out”, finding it hard to fit in and navigate in the “system”. This is because; there are certain expectations required in order to secure certain opportunities. These expectations include the basic and the necessary education to a certain level. There is an exception though to exceptionally creative individuals.”
Very importantly, my colleagues and I understood that getting the street children back into school would solve a major problem of child Labour, trafficking and abuse in all its forms. These are issues in which many go unrecorded and unattended to on a regular basis. Such children who face these challenges have lesser opportunities available to them as compared to those privileged to get a formal education. Children who are left in the street without proper education have a higher chance of growing up to become gang members and create more insecurity.
Therefore, in order to tackle the issue of insecurity and youth unemployment, these children cannot be left on the street. They must be part of the plan.
Though the Nigerian government is doing its part, they cannot do it all. There are certain areas they might not be able to adequately touch. All Nigerians need to come together to tackle it. The management and team of EduTrust Foundation are calling out to everyone all over the world, friends, colleagues and associates to support the street 2 school projects so they can achieve their goals of getting the children off the street for a better future.
How can people support this project?
A fundraising campaign has begun for the street 2 school projects. People can support by either donating via their Nigerian Bank Account or via the gofundme platform.
In addition to donation, to support this initiative, the publicity done by individuals about the EduTrust Foundation would help inform more people about the program as well as support them which would thereby enable them reach more children.
Volunteering as a team member is also a way to support this project. EduTrust Foundation plans to reach the Government, more corporate partners, private individuals, NGOs and every individual that has a stake in education.
To volunteer, kindly visit the EduTrust Foundation website (edutrust.org.ng) and find all our contact details there as well as our social media details for more information.
ABOUT MR OKEY UZOECHINA
Mr Okey Uzoechina is a man who is very passionate about teaching, creating things and impacting knowledge. This zeal of his started from a younger age. While he was in primary school, during holiday periods, Mr Okey and a few of his friends conducted what they called “mock teaching”. They took turns to teach using a black board and a chalk while acting out to be a teacher. This started as a playful act but eventually led to something great. Little did they know that one of their teachers took cognizance of this act and eventually realized the potential in what they were doing.
This very teacher called them together and assisted them to give the idea a proper structure. What began as a playful act of copying their teachers and how they teach developed into a holiday lesson where parents in the neighborhood bring their children in to be taught.
Eventually, parents started paying for this service and it began a source of revenue for the purchase of a few stationaries needed for teaching.
Parents were delighted to bring in their children as it was something new to their neighborhood and an adequate use of their holiday.
This made him assured that he has a calling for teaching. After graduating from Law school in 2005, Mr Okey did not go immediately into practicing law, he utilized his teaching skills.
In his opinion, education is something that goes beyond the four walls of a classroom. It is not always just when a teacher is in front addressing an entire class that education takes place. Teaching and learning can take place in many such as; online platforms and digital learning. He stated that other creative platforms are emerging. According to him, we are at the “creative edge” of education and teaching.
Asides his love for teaching, Mr Okey is a lawyer and writer. He has deep love for poetry. For over 11 years, he worked in the international development sector. He has worked with many partners such as; ECOWAS, UN and African Union.
In 2019, he resigned his position in ECOWAS to focus on EduTrust Foundation.