•Targets 6000 beneficiaries
The Africare, a non-profit organisation will take its 2019 Power Forward Malaria Awareness Programme to 30 schools in Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja as part of activities to mark the World Malaria Day (WMD) on April 25, 2019.
The Officer in charge, Africare Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Adah, made this known during the 5th Annual stakeholders meeting of Power Forward, a programme implemented in FCT in partnership with National Basketball Association (NBA) and supported by ExxonMobil.
Adah noted that the Power Forward programme which is in its sixth year, will be holding free malaria test for the first time in secondary schools, enlightenment on the importance of testing.
He however, regretted that most people take drugs without confirming their ailment which according to him has led to the abuse of malaria drugs.
Adah added that those who test positive will be given malaria medicine, and insecticide treated net will also be distributed.
He explained that the beneficiary schools are the 10 core schools in the Power Forward project which include Model Secondary School, Maitama; Rahinna Model Schools, Jikwoyi; Raberto Schools, Wuse II; Divine Mercy Secondary School, Asokoro; Glisten International School, Jahi; Total Child Model School, Dutse; Government Secondary School (GSS) Karu; GSS Zone 3; GSS Garki and GSS Airport.
Adah further informed that 2019 Power Forward project is targeting to reach another 300 beneficiaries, using the platform of basketball to teach life skills as it has done in the previous years.
Head of Division Co-Curricular, FCT Secondary Education Board Goroh Alhamdu also noted that the Power Forward project through its basketball programme has impacted so much in schools and has brought about great change in the behaviour of the students.
According to Alhamdu, “it has increased the attendance of students in schools, because of Power Forward, many students have learnt to come to school, and it has helped a lot in reducing vices in the school.
“Secondly, majority of the students participating in Power Forward have broadened their horizon, they participate in quiz competitions, they are selected as perfect in schools. Power Forward has impacted positively on the students, and also improved their hygiene. The students spear head the cleaning of the school environment and in the academics.”
He added: “Infrastructurally, Power Forward has done a great job in schools, it has reduced the work of Secondary Education Board. However, I wish other government agencies tows the line of Power Forward.
The parent of a beneficiary, Mrs Gloria Nwachukwu, who spoke to journalist s said her son Ebubechukwu Nwachukwu, a student Raberto International School Wuse 2 is one of the beneficiaries of students that went to south Africa through the programme.
Nwachukwu while expressing her gratitude said the Power Forward project brought out the hidden talents in her son.
She said: ” We want to appreciate ExxonMobil, Africare, and NBA (the Power Forward partners), they’ve really done so much for my son. They’ve brought those hidden talent in my son, my son is so confident now and intelligent, he doesn’t need someone to remind him when to read, power forward has done so much for him and he is a role model to other students.
“I want to encourage parents to support their children, to be part of this programme because my child and I have benefitted so much”.
Also speaking, a representative of the NBA, Mr. Tunde Adekola, stressed the need for the project to be expanded to more schools.
“We have 30 schools on the project, we look to bringing in more pupils, the project is important building good leaders,” he said.
Power Forward is a youth life skills and public health capacity development programme which uses basketball as convening platform to deploy its objectives. Since its inception in August 2013, it has reached 1,500 adolescents/ young people, with over 70,000 people benefiting from its public health inventions.