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Six Years of Schooling in Kaduna State

Six years ago, GCC took a group of 100 students from various IDP camps in Maiduguri to various secondary schools in Kaduna State to study. For the next 6 years, GCC assumed the responsibility of their parents, sponsors, friends and everything as none of them had been to Kaduna before and they were between 10-12 yrs old. Yesterday I was in tears as we joyfully returned these young women to Maiduguri successful SSS3 students to be reunited with their families. The little girls are now mostly my height and taller and are no longer the giggly girls that pulled my head tie and veil to get attention. They were young ladies politely hugging me and taking selfies. Amazing! We couldn't do this without those who supported us with scholarship funds, and donations to buy their everyday needs. Mal Nasiru El Rufai graciously asked Kaduna State Ministry of Education to give the 100 slots of admissions we needed. My friend and sister Nuratu Batagarawa would always find time to see them over the holidays and brought along goodies- biscuits and coke and toiletteries. Mal Shehu Makarfi was the male guardian angel hovering round them to make sure all is well. The closes people in the lives of these girls are our GCC Kaduna Staff and in particular Ummulkhair Usman who knows every girl, her character, behaviour, parents and all relations for the many orphans among them. She is their best friend, loved and I guess hated because she is also their disciplinarian. Christie and Halima were their sisters from another mother while Yusuf and Kaumi would every end of session and sometimes twice a year would take the girls back to Maiduguri for holidays on a bus from Kaduna just like I spotted Yusuf yesterday in a corner smiling exhausted and taking photographs. I am so proud and grateful to my GCC family as they are not staff. The work they do is not a job, it is our contribution back to our communities that made us who we are. We are grateful to God Almighty for the opportunity to serve humanity. With our school now established in Maiduguri, our girls don't need to travel to other states to study. We take them straight from the camps and board them in our academy.

HOW SPONSORED GIRL BECOMES BEST GRADUATING STUDENT

Seventeen-year Badiya Mu’azu Yahaya made her sponsors, Girl Child Concern, GCC, a non-governmental organization, proud when she emerged her school’s best graduating student. GCC sponsored the girl through her secondary education in Kaduna, along with 99 others. She is one of the 15 who graduated, and GCC in collaboration with Unicorns commemorated International Day of the Girl Child, 2021 by receiving them.

The event which held at Government Girls College, Maiduguri, was dubbed ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation,’ to celebrate the achievements of the girls and make digital accomplishment a mark of motivation for them.

Dr. Mairo Mandara, the NGO’s chairperson, said its programme, Keeping Girls in Schools, KGIS, is giving opportunities to young girls in Borno to study in different parts of the country in a bid to eradicate illiteracy, especially among internally displaced persons.

She said this year’s celebration focuses on the importance of girl child education especially in innovation and technology.

'Six years ago, GCC took a group of 100 students from various IDP camps in Maiduguri to various secondary schools in Kaduna, they were 10 to 12 years by that time, they came back few days ago to Borno for the first time to resume back their lives,’ she said.

'One of them was best graduating students in Government Girls, Kawo,’ Dr. Mairo said, referring to Ms Badiya, adding that there is ‘another one in Government Girls Giwa and about ten of them were best in some of their subjects’.

She explained that this shows that all of them have potentials, 'the only difference between them and my daughters is opportunity and now that we have given them the opportunity we feel if you give Borno ten years you will not recognise Borno.’

Ms. Badiya told our repoter that the secret of becoming the best is the kind of mentorship she receives from her parents and GCC.

'The opportunity of sending me to school by this organization, gave me the strength to study hard, I cannot sit for two hour without reading my books.

'Now that am a graduate, thanks to God, I appreciate it.

‘I now want to go to the University of Maiduguri to study but before getting the admission I will make myself busy with things that we learnt during our stay in school,’ she said.

Hajiya Falmata Babagana, wife of the Governor of Borno and her entourage, joined the event, to commemorate the day.

'When girls and women are educated, the whole economy develops, so offering girls a sound education is a primary step in developing her family, community and a primary step in developing future generations,’ Haj. Falmata said.

Badiya Mu'azu Yahaya
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