Ebola Mars NGO’s Free Summer Program For Secondary School Students

By Mark Benson

The 5th edition of the Youth Rescue and Care Initiative (YORCI) 5-week free summer academic, vocational and life skills training program would have been concluded in grand style but for the outbreak of the Ebola Virus disease.

According to the Executive director of the Non Governmental organisation, Mrs Bisilola Asenuga, "plans were already in top gear for an all encompassing prize giving and talent fair day when the federal government issued a directive that all summer classes be suspended" She added that it was difficult suspending the program at the three centres (Lekki,Ooshodi&Festac) as the 1,020 students were already engrossed in different life enriching activities that the NGO had taken the children through.

According to Deborah Adeyanju an ss3 students who attended program at the Oshodi centre: "Before now,I was disrespectful, arrogant ,unfocused and always go late for appointments but thank God for the life skills training of the Rescue the scholars training program, I am now better with solving mathematical problems and am now able to extinguish fire through the practical fire training program given to us by the consultant'' .

Speaking further on the benefits of the program to the students, Mrs Asenuga said ''we invite resource persons to come enlighten them on issues that would help them in life. In the first week, we invited a medical doctor to come enlighten the children on Evd outbreak and issues relating to their health and in the second week we invited Boke Safety Initiative another NGO based in Lagos to come enlighten the children on fire management. All of these are some of the activities that made our programme engaging to the students.

She noted that the prize giving day is a date set aside to reward the moral and academic excellence of the children in the course of the program. She emphasised that that it was also a date for the children to exhibit their God-given talents.

On the measures that the NGO put in place to avoid the spread of Ebola, Asenuga said " we swung into action and provided all our centres with facilities to ensure that the students wash their hands before entering their classes in the morning and also got another resource person to come and teach the students how to make hand sanitizers for their use both at school and at home and now we are happy that the kids can at least contribute their quota to their families if they can be producing the sanitizers at home. We want to thank our corporate sponsors first registrars, Redeemed Christian church of God, province XI ,CSCS, vitafoam , stanbic IBTC stockbrokers and so on particularly Mr Bayo olugbemi for believing in the future of our leaders of tomorrow"

Youth Rescue and Care initiative was founded in 2010 with the vision to raise responsible, well informed and successful youths that can compete favorably in any environment. Since the inception of one of its programmes, Rescue the scholars in oshodi, the program has now sprawled to three centres in oshodi, festac and lekki.

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