SUMMER 2006 OUTREACH TO NIGERIA REPORT
|Photo of the
-Paul Ndukwe (Rev.) International Executive Director
(click photo to enlarge)
Here For a gallery of photos from the 2006
Our recent community development outreach was held in collaboration
with the Abia State University, (ABSU) Uturu, Nigeria. During the
outreach we carried out a two weeks workshop / seminar with 20
participants on Community/Primary Health Care for health educators,
medical practitioners and professionals, and for over 45 educators
and teachers of the University’s staff schools (high and primary). A
four days leadership and management seminars was also conducted for
98 senior administrative non-teaching staff of the same University.
The report coming to us from the Vice Chancellor of the University
indicates that many lives were touched and a great impact made among
the leadership – teaching and non-teaching staff of the University.
Listen to the following comments from various participants;
“Almost anything can be bought at a reduced price except lasting
satisfaction, which we have gotten during this seminar. Thanks!”
“You are someone who perfectly understands others, share their
problems, joy and sorrows. Someone who springs up hope in our deep
and pitiable predicament. Someone whose gently advice and material
encouragement can brighten a dark moment. A person on whom one can
confidently fall back without breaking one’s neck. Yes, you are that
someone to us”.
(Staff of ABSU Staff School & Clinic).
Another participant in a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of the
“I am overjoyed to join other members of ABSU community to
express my profound appreciation to you for initiating and carrying
out the just concluded two-week train-the-trainers seminar/workshop
for us by the Link International Ministries team from Canada. In
fact, I should say that our interactions with the wonderful team
members is so far, the best thing that has happened in the lives of
the non-teching staff of ABSU. I am glad that the seminar/workshop
has became an annual event.. Thank you very much. This participant
continued by saying, “In order to ensure that better knowledge and
skills of management procedures acquired by the administrative staff
of the University during the seminar/workshop are deep-rooted in the
ABSU non-teaching staff and applied in real life situations, may I
suggest that a follow-up measure be adopted as soon as possible by
establishing a unit within the University for administrative staff
Free Medical Treatment:
Before departing from Canada we received medicines and medications
from two Canadian based health organizations and from various drug
stores and doctors from the greater Vancouver and Victoria Areas
that we could use for free medical treatment. We were able to
conduct two Saturdays of free medical treatment for over 500 needy
young and old, boys and girls and men and women from all works of
life of Old Umuahia in the Umuahia South Local government areas of
Abia State. You can’t just interpret the joys on the faces of the
people as they received treatments and medicines from our medical
team members who worked with doctors and nurses drawn from the
Federal Health Centre, Umuahia. Before we left that area,
individuals were coming reporting healing from high blood pressure,
malaria, arthritis, aches and pains of all kinds, etc. What a joy it
is to be a part of this kind of ministry that brings joy to the
heart and smile back on the faces of the masses. To God alone is the
Free Medical Clinic
AIDS’ Orphans Sponsorship Program:
In the midst of our tight schedule, we were able to meet with the
AIDS orphans we sponsor on monthly bases and with those that are
still in need of sponsorship. What a joy that beams from their faces
when they came face-to-face for the first time with some sponsors
and received gifts from them. We could not hold back our tears.
Being a part of a mission of hope for the hopeless cannot be
overemphasized. We still need sponsors. Contact us should you decide
to be a sponsor. It is $50 (Cdn) a month.
School Kits For School Children:
The team were able to distribute school kits to over 500 Primary and
Secondary school children from various schools within the
communities we worked. Words cannot describe the joys on the faces
of the children and their teachers for receiving the kits.
University Environmental Assessment:
One of our team members Mr. Don St. Pierre, made a survey of the
environmental assessment of the University and discovered that there
is soil erosion. He submitted an interim report to the Vice
Chancellor making some recommendations on how the erosion could be
managed. In his concluding statement to the Vice-Chancellor, Mr. St.
“Environment is a holistic concept. It encompasses much more than
just the biological and landscaping component. The learning
environment also includes the conditions of the physical plant: The
buildings, services and facilities. A beautiful environment on the
outside will not compensate for a poor environment on the inside.
The long-term goal should encompass both aspects”.
He is presently following up his survey by consulting with
Canadian some Canadian engineers on what best to do to manage the
growing soil erosion within the University endowment land.
Diversity of the Team Members:
On our team for this summer outreach we have educators, nurses,
administrators, a scientist and students. Our ages ranges from 87
years old to 16 years old, each brought skills that complemented one
another’s and each one played a vital role that enabled us to
accomplish our targeted goal thereby making our mission an effective
and fulfilled mission.
We are in the process of putting together another team for summer
2007. Should you be interested on being a member of the team, please
contact our Canadian office immediately.
Paul Ndukwe (Rev.)
A NIGERIAN CLASSROOM
(EXCERPTS FROM MY TEACHING JOURNAL)
Lisa Teaching in the
This morning I went to meet the students I will be working with
at Wings of Faith School. Since they are still finishing up exams, I
don’t start the program until next week. First thing when I meet the
head mistress, I am told that they had forgotten to tell me that the
students would be on summer holidays halfway through the two weeks I
was to be teaching. I’m thinking,
“Ok – I guess I’ll fit two weeks into one! So much for planning!” However,
as she took me from class to class introducing me, she would ask the
students if they would like to come to school for an extra week for
a science lessons with Mrs. Lisa. Without hesitation every single
student enthusiastically raised their hands and agreed eagerly to
come! Now, not only will they be there on their break, but I also
have double the number of students I thought I’d have! This is not
First day of teaching – Tough crowd! I came in with piles of
creative, fun, get-to-know you games and activities hoping to get
the kids more comfortable with me. Silent, straight faces stared
back at me. Maybe there’s not usually a lot of student interaction
in the classroom. Needless to say, I scrapped my intro plans and
jumped straight into the first lesson! All in all, the biggest
lesson I learned today is that Nigerian education involves a great
deal of rote memorization.
Now that me and the students have gotten used to each others
differences, I can feel them warming up and becoming much more
comfortable trying new things. Today we did rock testing. This was
the first attempt at giving a more independent and demanding task. I
think once they got the hang of it they began to enjoy it! I know
the sticker incentives also have something to do with it!
Today was the best day of school so far! I was dropped off by the
bus and as soon as I stepped out the door, I was swarmed by my
students wanting to carry my boxes and hold my arm! This is the
picture of the dream I’ve had to teach in Africa since I was a
little girl. I really had to step outside of myself and thank God
for fulfilling this desire. How often do you really get to check off
one of the top three things on your ‘Life’s To Do’ list!
I’ve learned to find a balance between the rigidity of the schooling
here and the freedom of schooling in Canada; Enough discipline and
instruction to curb the chaos, with enough freedom to allow their
minds to think a little differently. After all, it is in these areas
of unfamiliarity and discomfort that we learn and grow best!