1 GAME donates books, balls to Calabar schools
The 1 GAME campaign on Monday donated close to One Thousand Exercise Books as well as soccer balls and writing materials to three primary schools in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The beneficiaries are Presbyterian Church of Nigeria Primary School, Akim, Government Primary School, Ekorinim and Government Primary School, State Housing Estate.
Founder of 1 GAME, Philip Obaji told journalists who were present at the occasion, that the donation which formed part of the 1 GAME: Goal against Violence programme was aimed at encouraging vulnerable children to enroll and stay at school as well promote football and fair play in primary schools.
He said, “It is important to encourage our children particularly those who come from very poor backgrounds. Our action today is aimed at encouraging vulnerable children to enroll, learn and remain in school as we have discovered that a child who completes basic education is three times less likely to be involved in violence.
“We are not just bothered about how our children would fare academically, but also concerned about their physical wellbeing and the need to have them involved in recreational activities, that is why we decided to donate soccer balls as well to these schools.”
Virtually all the beneficiaries were of the opinion that the support from the non-profit organization was worth emulating.
The Head Master Government Primary School, State Housing Estate, Deacon William Anam said the donation will go a long way as, “We will continue to teach football and deliver quality education,” he pointed.
Obaji said the 1 GAME campaign is working on visible financial commitments to promote school football and bring quality education to remote areas in Nigeria.
Comparatively, the Head Mistress of Government Primary School, Ekorinim, Mrs. Aruk Bassey Nkeruwem said receiving cartons of exercise books, writing materials and soccer ball from 1 GAME has shown that some organizations still see education and sports as their priority.
“Donating books, writing materials and soccer balls to us is a wonderful initiative. This has shown that more organizations like 1 GAME now take educational and sporting issues as one of their priority,” she said.
1 GAME unveils ‘Education defeats Violence’ programme
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Aminu Maigari, Cross River State Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham, several members of the Cross River State Executive Council, the Obong of Calabar, Chairmen of all the Eighteen Local Government Councils and Chairmen of Educational Boards in the State have all spoken on the need to curb violence and ignorance in the country as the 1 GAME campaign unveiled its much talked about ‘Education defeats Violence’ programme on Monday.
In an event that took place in Calabar, the Cross RiverState capital, Maigari in a pre-recorded message advocated for respect in the fight against violence, saying: “The 1 GAME campaign is a voluntary organization that decides to educate Nigerians on how to develop and conduct themselves and must be respected by everyone.”
Deputy Governor, Cobham in another recorded message called on the entire public to join in the fight against violence by uniting strongly with the 1 GAME campaign as it seeks to create a platform for children in Nigeria to gain a better future. Obong of Calabar and ruler of the Efik Kingdom, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V in his message, clamoured for a collective effort in the fight against violence and a better future for Nigerian children.
In other key messages, Chairman of the Forum of Local Government Council Chairmen in Cross River State, Emil Inyang called on disadvantaged parents to send their vulnerable children to school by saying that apart from being less violent, a girl who completes basic education is three times less likely to contract HIV, while the Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Joseph Ebam who made a similar call added that a child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to survive pass the age of 5 years.
1 GAME founder, Philip Obaji while speaking said the ‘Education defeats Violence’ programme became necessary because the organization discovered that most people who were involved in all sorts of violent acts including sports were illiterates who lacked basic education, and so it became necessary to deal with the basic problem of violence which he described as “lack of education.”
“We did a baseline survey in three states and discovered that 90% of those who will pick up arms to fight anywhere are illiterates without basic education at least,” he said.
“What 1 GAME is doing through the ‘Education defeats Violence’ programme is to ensure that vulnerable children of school age have access to school and acquire basic education at least. As we all know, a child who completes basic education is three times less likely to be involved in violence and hoodlum acts.
“So far, we have been campaigning seriously in the media, using renowned individuals and school pupils from impossible backgrounds to inspire vulnerable children by urging them to embrace basic education. In August, we shall embark on a door to door campaign here in Cross River to ensure that every child in the State is in school and learning.
“This is the biggest campaign out of here. You can see that everyone in the state is involved. From the government to the traditional leaders, down to the women and youth leaders in every community. But it will not just be a thing for Cross River State alone. 1 GAME is a movement for Nigeria and Nigerians. Later in the year, we shall take the programme to other parts of the country particularly in the North where surveys are already taking place in two states,” he added.
A short film on the 1 GAME: Education defeats Violence programme can be viewed through this link: http://youtu.be/sjr-UHGFYsY