Olanipekun Advises Philanthropists to Help Poor Students
Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has charged governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists on the need to give special consideration to the education of children of the poor in order to prepare them for a better future.
Speaking during the 23rd edition of the annual Chief Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Scheme held in Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State, where 191 indigent secondary school pupils and undergraduates were awarded scholarships, Olanipekun urged corporate bodies and philanthropists to take the challenge of lifting the children of the needy so that they could in turn be able to support other people.
Advising the beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme to reflect on how to improve themselves and the society, he said, “You must have role models. Pick your role models. Pray that you want to surpass the role models. That was the situation with me. I had role models who I aspired to surpass. You must be focused, too”.
Prof. Gabriel Oyinloye of the Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, said philanthropy was imperative in Nigeria, in view of the high level of poverty and the existence of 13.2 million out-of-school children in the country.
Oyinloye, in his lecture themed: ‘Philanthropist Vision in Relation to Youth Education’, said, “The indigents need the assistance of philanthropists. They need to be rescued by benevolent individuals.
“If well planned for and financed, education will equip the recipients with the knowledge that will bring changes and transformation to the society. In a country where poverty is high and government can’t guarantee free education, philanthropists must come to the aid of the poor.”
The don, who also noted that payment of school fees and related expenses consumed a significant portion of the incomes of many families, described the Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Scheme as a mission that was set to lift some people out of poverty, wretchedness and a means of assisting them to actualise their dreams, ambitions and become self reliant.
“Today, WOSS is breaking a jinx that could have prevented some of the beneficiaries of this scholarship to accomplish their education and fulfill their ambition.
“I am convinced that the award will make a great impact not only on the lives of the recipients but on their families, nuclear and extended,” he said.
The Chairman, WOSS Board of Trustees, Mr. Stephen Omoyeni, said the scholarship, which began in 1997 to assist indigent students of Ikere origin, had since been extended to cover all parts of the state, with some non-Ekiti people benefitting.
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