By ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
It was excitement galore on Wednesday as the team of Christ Embassy Church arrived Banono Community in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State to put smile on the faces of children and parents in the community.
Banono, is one the communities that were serially attacked by bandits in Kajuru LGA in recent past. Specifically, after the 2017 attack that left plenty people dead, on 9th April 2019, the Kaduna State Police Command confirmed another 21 people including children dead, 10 houses burnt and over 50 cattle rustle in an attack on the community.
This attack led to displacement of inhabitants of the community for months which mainly affected children of school age. On return to the community hope of quality education dimmed for the children as most parents could not afford to provide their wards with basis school materials and even decent meals and clothing.
But hope came alive for the entire community on Wednesday when a team from the Pastor Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International through the Innercity Mission for Children, of the Believers Loveworld Nation, otherwise known as Christ Embassy Church, arrived with different items to ameliorate the hardship the people are going through.
The ministry as part of her “Back to School Campaign 2019” to ensure indigent children affected with financial constraints, war, natural disasters and so on, receive free quality education globally, had selected Banono Community out of six others attacked by bandits in Kajuru LGA, to benefit from the programme which also led to the renovation of a block of two classrooms in their school.
Apart from the classrooms renovation, other items distributed to the community includes; School Uniforms, Bags, Sandals, Socks and complete writing materials. Parents and youths in the community also received bails of clothing, shoes, food items and cosmetics for women.
EDUCATION SECRETARY OF KAJURU LGA EXCITED BY CHRIST EMBASSY’S GESTURE
On receiving the school kits for 100 Pupils and keys to the renovated block of two classrooms of UBE Primary Sch, Banono by the Zonal Pastor, Christ Embassy, North West Zone 1 Pastor Marcel Obode at the school premises, Education Secretary, Kajuru LGA, Ishaku Simon, expressed surprise at the gesture by the ministry.
According to him “honestly, I’m highly excited in respect of what is happening here today. I just got a phone call in respect of this gesture demonstrated by Christ Embassy. We have to come over here to see for ourselves.
“We were surprised to see that a block if two classrooms was renovated. This will bring about a conducive learning atmosphere for our population for effective teaching and learning to take place.
“We also witness the distribution of school bags, sandals, uniforms, writing materials and other things they brought for the children and even their parents.
“This to us, is a proof that we still have organisations outside the government who are interested in making learning possible anywhere.”
VILLAGE HEAD COULDN’T HOLD HIS JOY
The Village Head, Mr John Makaddas, expressed joy and commended the church for coming to their aid, adding that the support would encourage all parents to send their children to school.
Makaddas said that the community suffered three attacks by gunmen; the first one in July 2017, another in July 2018 and the recent one in April 2019.
He explained that attacks displaced the over 5,000 people in the community, adding that houses were burnt along with children uniforms, books and other school kits.
He said that since the attacks, the children were attending school without uniforms and writing materials, while many others stopped going to school.
According to him, the support will go along way in helping the community members send their children back to school.
The village head also said that the community lacked basic amenities like communication network, electricity, access road, health facility and clean drinking water.
He called on the local government authority and the state government to come to the community’s aid.
PASTOR MARCEL SAYS THE TOKEN IS JUST THE BEGINNING
Surprised by the number of children in need of school kits and the enormous challenge being faced by the community, Pastor Marcel Obode, earlier in his remarks said what the Church brought was I token and pledge to return with more.
“We have only brought a token to this people after a need assessment was conducted. We have seen that the needs are enormous and what we have just done is just the beginning. After leaving here, we are going to see how we can assess what we have done.” He said.
According to him, “our original plan for this community was for 100 children at the beginning of the intervention. But as you can see, we have more than 100 children here and that means we may have to come back to take care of the remaining.
“We have a whole school kit carefully packaged for them. We know there were issues in this community sometimes ago and we believe that when we do something for the school, it cut across all decided.”
He added that the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation is doing a lot around the world, and the whole idea is to touch lives especially, those that seem to have been forgotten in the society.
The zonal Pastor therefore called on all well meaning individuals and organizations to also lend their helping hands in making sure that the lives of people going through such difficulties are touched, adding “we can only do a little but, if others too can do this, then, it will add much. We stand for peace and peaceful coexistence which is important for us as a people to move forward.