US Firms Donate To AUN’s Feed And Read Programme For Girls

By Winifred Ogbebo

— Apr 7, 2016 3:37 am

The Feed  and  Read  ProgramME  for Girls, a literacy scheme of the American University  of  Nigeria (AUN) for disadvantaged young girls in the Yola-Jimeta community, recently received a boost from Vicki Marsha Uniforms, a California-based school uniforms company.

The university said in a statement that it took delivery of the school uniforms, worth $48,000 in wholesale value, at the Yola campus.  The clothing had been freighted free of charge by FedEx international couriers. FedEx’s in-kind donation is valued at $11,000.

“We appreciate being included in this incredible effort to help fellow humans and to make our world a better place for those so in need,” said Mrs. Diane Cologne, whose husband, Tim, co-owns the Huntington Beach-based clothier.

The donated items include new high-quality trousers, short pants, skirts, sweaters, shirts and dresses.  The uniforms will be available for use in other AUN programmes.

AUN President, Margee Ensign said of the donation:  “This generous gift from the other side of the world will make such a huge difference to the children we are seeking to educate here in Nigeria.  All of us, and particularly the girls and their families, are enormously grateful to the Colognes.”

The new literacy programme was launched on February 11 with a financial donation by the Irish government.  It targets at-risk, out-of-school girls and orphans between ages of 6 to 17. Some of the beneficiaries were orphaned by the Boko Haram insurgency.

AUN’s Feed and Read programme, which kicked off with 70 girls, has seen the number already double. The programme’s Coordinator, Executive Director of AUN Schools Mrs.  Nkem Uzowulu, reported that the number increases daily as parents are encouraged by their children’s improved performance and tell their neighbours about it.

The  literacy programme  provides  basic literacy  and  numeracy skills  to  the  girls,  with  a  feeding component  that  provides one meal  per day  cooked  by  local  vendors.   Besides education, the programme has a local economic impact as it is a source of livelihood for community women serving as volunteers or facilitators in the programme, as well as for the food vendors.