Nigeria: A better education for the children of Awkuzu
For the past eight years, Emmanuel Nweke has worked as an IT consultant within Henkel’s Global Delivery Service in Düsseldorf, Germany. With the support of the MIT, in 2007 he established the “Awkuzu Children” project in Awkuzu, a small town in south east Nigeria. Nweke now spends the majority of his free time and annual vacation helping to give the children in his home country of Nigeria access to better education and healthcare.
“I know the area very well as my father came from there. Most people in Awkuzu live in oppressive poverty; many of the children are undernourished. They live in huts without clean water or sanitary facilities, and the HIV rate in the region is shockingly high,” reports Nweke. “The grant from the MIT initiative enabled us to acquire books for a school library and sports equipment for sports lessons, as well as workbooks for the schoolchildren. That was the first phase.” By working hard to spread the word in Germany, Emmanuel Nweke and his team were able to secure additional donations. Two schools have now been provided not only with desks, chairs and laptops, but also urgently needed sanitary facilities. “Enhancing the quality of education is very important to us, but in future we also want to help improve the nutrition and medical care available to the children in Awkuzu. Our project costs a lot of money and effort, but the children’s joy is ample repayment,” says Nweke.