Promises 20 slots next year

By Sam Otti

Rotarians put smiles on the faces of the poor at this year’s District Educational and Welfare Endowment Fund (DEWEF) scholarship awards. Nine indigent undergraduates, drawn from Lagos and Ogun states, smiled home with N100,000 worth of scholarship that would run throughout their undergraduate programme, courtesy of Rotary, District 9110, Nigeria.

Presenting the award at a colourful ceremony, held recently at the Rotary Centre, Ladoke Akintola Street, GRA, Ikeja, the Chairman, DEWEF, who was also the Past District Governor, Adeniji Raji, said investment in people’s lives yields the greatest interest.

He said the scholarship was meant for brilliant but indigent students, who are into undergraduate programmes within Lagos and Ogun states. According to him, only those in 200 level are qualified to apply for sponsorship which would cover their courses of study, ranging from three to five years.

Adeniji said the association has sustained the scholarship, since the first set was awarded in 2009. He noted that 10 students that benefitted from the scholarship had graduated, with some of them finishing in First Class division. Also, 13 existing students that won the award in past years had their offer renewed. According to him, the Board of Trustees of the association would soon increase the slot to 20 annually.

The Chairman commended the founder of the initiative, who was also a Past District Governor (PDG), Adekunle Kukoyi, for his foresight in establishing the endowment in 1992.

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Adeniji, a successful engineer by profession, recounted his humble beginning, marked by deprivation and need during his early days. “I lost my father when I was in Class 2 in high school. My mother was a petty trader, so the rest you can imagine. By dint of hardwork and God’s grace, here I am today. So, your life is in your hands. You can make your life great.

“Remember that you should participate in the lives of other people because your help may become crucial for the success of another person. The more you give, the more you receive is very true in life”, he advised.

Also speaking, the District Governor, Otunba Bola Onabadejo, said Nigeria has the resources to make education free for all citizens, but noted that corruption has been the undermining factor. He said Rotary would continue to put smiles on the faces of people living in intolerable conditions.

One of the recipients, Johnson Gloria Onyinyechi, studying Maths Education at the University of Lagos and who made 4.8 in the second semester vowed not   to take the scholarship with levity. “Rather I will try to make the best out of it.”

Another student, Agbaje Ahmed Ayobami, reading Medicine and Surgery also at UNILAG said the award would ease the burden on his parents, and promised to be a worthy ambassador of the club. His mother, Mrs Agbaje, shed tears of joy in an interview with Campus Sun, describing the award as an answer to her prayers for support.

An old beneficiary, Wahab Mustapha Olanilekan, recalled how he couldn’t pay his school fees during his first year at the University of Lagos until he found respite in a scholarship offered to him by the Rotary Club, Gbagada.

He said Rotary has enabled him to continue with his education, and thus erasing in his heart the fear of eviction over non-payment of tuition fees. With his last semester result of 4.71, he looks forward to finishing with First Class.