– Awards scholarship to 100 kids in Enugu
In the heart of Enugu, a city pulsating with life, hope, and resilience, the OneHopeChildren Foundation has emerged as a beacon of light for a hundred young minds, opening doors to education and shaping destinies.
Founded by Rev. Fr. Felix Ugwuozor, this Faith-based organization recently celebrated its 18th anniversary with a momentous announcement – the granting of scholarships to 100 students across primary and secondary schools in the state.
The foundation’s journey, as shared by Fr. Ugwuozor traces back 18 years to his own experiences. Having spent 16 years in the United States, he keenly observed the disparities in educational opportunities and felt a calling to make a difference, especially in the lives of children in Nigeria. OneHopeChildren Foundation was born from the vision to provide each child with the chance to a basic education and to nurture their hopes and dreams through innovative programs.
The scholarship announcement, made on December 21st 2023, at Ugwuaji community, Enugu South Local Government Area, was accompanied by a gathering of former and new beneficiaries of the scholarship and their parents. The event served as a testament to the foundation’s commitment to not only providing financial support but also fostering a community where success stories thrive.
Among the shining examples of the foundation’s impact is Henry Okike, a former beneficiary who, with the support of OneHopechildren Foundation, progressed through secondary school and ultimately graduated as a dental therapist; Kosy Amalu, another success story, who with a scholarship from OneHopeChildren Foundation went through secondary school and recently graduated and was inducted as a radiographer from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). Also, Lydia Aniugwu, a Mass Communication graduate residing in Abuja, attested to the transformative power of the foundation’s education initiatives. She recounted how she thought her education journey had come to an end at the death of her father but the intervention of OneHopeChildren Foundation provided her the opportunity to progress through junior to senior secondary school and eventually earned a diploma in Mass Communication, thanks to Foundation and its funders. The fourth testament came from miss Florence Obute who is under OneHopeChildren Foundation medical outreach.
The scholarship distribution was given to about 100 children who are eager to go to school and are intelligent but lack the financial means to go to school. Besides, the new 100 children scholarship awardees, there are about 112 children and young adults in the foundation’s scholarship scheme who are in their primary, secondary and university education levels. The event was highlighted by the gift of a post card to each of the scholarship recipients from John & Becky Jordan who are special friends of OneHopeChildren foundation.
The Fr. Ugwuozor’s narrative takes us back to the genesis of OneHopeChildren during which his childhood, shaped by the aftermath of the Nigerian Civil War, laid the foundation for his present anti-poverty campaign. His father’s dedication to hard work and Christian values, even in the face of adversity, left an indelible mark on him. The struggles of his family, compounded by his father’s illness, inspired a deep commitment to ensuring that no child faces similar challenges.
The foundation’s mission extends beyond education. It focuses also on achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) hence through the collaborative efforts with its friends in New Jersey the foundation has provided clean water boreholes to two communities of Awhum Udi Local Government Area, and Obukpa in Nsukka LGA; gives Taekwondo and youth empowerment programs annually, provides food outreach to widows and those on the margins twice in a year and medical outreach to children, elderly and homebound members of our communities. In the year 2022, the foundation celebrated Christmas with children at Saint Patrick’s Children’s Hospital in independence layout, and with the elderly at the Old People’s Home in Akwunanaw both in Enugu State of Nigeria. The vision of the foundation is rooted in values of service, excellence, integrity, growth, and teamwork. It is good to point out that OneHopeChildren foundation’s commitment is not just about providing financial aid; or other interventions. It is about instilling a sense of hope and empowerment in the hearts of these children and young adults minds.
As Fr. Felix Ugwuozor reflects on his parents’ enduring hope amid overwhelming difficulties, he sees the essence of OneHopeChildren Foundation. It is not just about scholarships; it’s about kindling a flame of hope that transcends generations. The foundation’s goal is not merely to fund scholarships but to inspire hope, build a positive mindset, establish a sustainable health management system, and create citadels of learning.
In a short appreciation speech, Fr. Ugwuozor, the founder of OneHopeChildren who is also a university professor at university of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) expressed his gratitude to the Almighty God, the author of all good things for sustaining the foundation over the years. He also expressed his gratitude to Msgr. Ron Rozniak, and the parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Ridgewood in New Jersey. He mentioned in particular Paul & Becky Simpson, James & Janice Mazzo, Martin Gutierrez & Kathy Hilburn, John & Becky Jordan, Adrian & Christina Jones, Joan Lalonde, David and Frances Romano, Elaine St Denis, John Edwards, Kristin Harvey, Ann Weaton & James Weaton, Micheal & Nina Conn, Ramon Hache and all the board members of the Ridgewood YMCA. Also mentioned are his friends from St. Elizabeth in Wyckoff, New Jersey and some part of New Jersey: Nanette & Sidney Harris, Sally, Mark, Laura, Philip and Sachiko Calandra, Tom Madigan, Lidia & Danilo Tramontazi, Dolores Caradori, Dr. Geraldine Gibbia, Gail & Micheal Devito, Angela & Paul Zapka, Dan & Laurie Kocher, Julia Plunket; Evan & Cynthia Polihrom, Luke Scoropanos, Liliana Silevi; Dan & Erin Kirchhoff, Mary Czubakowski; Margaret Petkuh, James & Ivette Santoro, James McDemotte Jr., Maria & John Jensen, Barbara Cheng Kiernan and many other friends not mentioned here for lack of space including members of the Wyckoff/Midland Park Rotary Club.
Fr. Felix expressed his gratitude to these friends for their solidarity and support to the foundation’s education scholarship programs and the foundation’s Agricultural-farm sustainable projects. It is evident that on 21st December 2023, OneHopeChildren Foundation stands as a testament to the transformative power of education and the unwavering belief that every child deserves a chance to dream, learn, and thrive.
The occasion had in attendance other priests Rev. Fr. Prof. Leonard Ilechukwu the Vice chancellor of Peaceland University Enugu, Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Aneke, the Director of Communications of Enugu Diocese, Fr. Victor Edeh, other priests, religious, concerned citizens of Enugu State and various Media houses.