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Events of 2009-2010

Events of 2008-2009

Events of 2007-2008

Events of 2005-2006

 

Events of 2009-2010

50th Anniversary celebrated with party and football match

Children of the university community celebrated the joint 50th Anniversary of the nation and the University on October 8-9, 2010 with a party and football match. A party for over 3,000 children was organized by the University Women’s Association under the leadership of UWA Patron, Barr. (Mrs.) Nwanneka Okolo. Held at the stadium, the party featured songs and recitation by the Children’s Centre singing group, traditional dances by Model I and Agu Achara primary schools, and entertainment by super hero and cartoon characters. The party climaxed with all the children joining their mothers and other guests in a joyous circle dance.

The second day featured a football match between the newly-formed Children’s Centre Cubs and Shining Stars of Umeano Quarters. The Shining Stars won the match 2-0 and became first winners of a trophy donated by our patron. The Centre resolved to make football matches regular events and to fully develop the child-sized football field at the Centre premises for this purpose. Already, the field is heavily patronized by both children and adults.

 

Long vacation program, 2010

Children enjoyed a holiday program full of activities tailored for various age groups. One hundred and forty-nine children aged 1 to 15 years participated in this year’s program, with 61 in the younger age groups registering for N500 and 88 in the older age groups registering for N800. The program was organized by a committee comprising of Margaret Ngwuchukwu, Harry of AIESEC and Elizabeth Babarinde, ably supported by committee Vice-Chair Terri Emezi and assisted by AIESEC members and staff of the Department of Library and Information Science as resource persons.
 

 

Activities for younger children (1-3 and 4-6 years) included play and story hour, art, and a variety of pre-reading and mathematical skills. Young people in the older age groups (7-9 and 10-15 years) engaged in a variety of crafts such as soap making, soya milk making, crocheting and beadwork, computer training, cookery, life skills in health, science and technology, sports and personal development. Children also visited local places of interest such as the zoo, space center and surrounding hills, Lion water, and motherless babies home. Our thanks to all those who helped provide a most successful program.

 

Youth book club inaugurated to promote reading

This session saw introduction of a book club for youth, initiated by Children’s Centre Committee Secretary Ngozi Osadebe as a way of promoting reading. The first works discussed were two novels, The Great Ponds by Elechi Amadi and The Joy of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta, and the drama Wedlock of the Gods by Zulu Sofala.

AIESEC trains youth on entrepreneurship and HIV/AIDS

Our university student partners, AIESEC, assisted young people by mounting programs on entrepreneurial skills and HIV/AIDS during the 2010 long vacation period. The YES program was an extension of a four-week African Young Entrepreneurs (YES) program at the Children’s Centre in July-August 2009, a project aimed at developing their entrepreneurial skills and encouraging self-reliance and innovation. The ASK program addresses the problem of HIV/AIDS prevention among young people.

National art competition won by local pupil

John Cross Omeke, a 13-year old pupil of Model Primary School II, Nsukka, won first prize in the ‘Mirror the Master’ national art competition organized by Kambani Arts with financial support from Access Bank. Children from Nsukka, Osogbo, Benin and Zaria participated in the initiative that ran from October 2009 to April 2010. Organized by former UNN staff child Chima Ezeilo, the initiative aimed at inspiring young artists to develop their talents. The Nsukka competition, organized with assistance from the Children’s Centre, took place from January 18-20, 2010 at Central School I. Winners were John Cross Omeke (center), 1st prize; Oluchuku Okorie of University Primary School (left), 2nd prize; and Ifeanyi Agbo of Township Primary School I (right), 3rd prize. John went on to win the national competition in Lagos and a trip to London. The Children’s Centre congratulates all the young artists and commends Chima and Kambani Arts for this admirable initiative. For more information on Kambani Arts and the competition click here.


Judith D. C. Osuala Collection on Women and Development

The Children’s Centre recently opened a memorial collection on Women and Development in honour of our late member, Prof. Judith D. C. Osuala. Judy suggested the idea of the collection and offered her materials as a beginning shortly before her death. A professor of adult education and community development, Judy left an extensive collection of journals, reports and conference papers on women’s studies, education, health, and sustainable development. The Children's Centre thanks her family for this valuable addition to our collection.


Outreach to Primary Schools, 2010

The Children’s Centre continued its outreach to primary schools in the Nsukka area with a series of in-school workshops with teachers. The purpose was to alert them to the many uses they could make of library resources in teaching and learning. Over 500 additional books provided by PULA and the Traverse Area District Library were distributed to performing schools in May and June 2010. In addition the Centre persuaded one school, Community Primary School, Onuiyi, that has a UBE collection of 1,000 books but no library accommodation, to unpack the books and distribute them to teachers. The books have been catalogued and children are happily borrowing from their classroom teachers.

The Centre ventured beyond Nsukka to visit three schools in the neighbouring community of Nkpologu. One of the three, Central School, had set aside a space for the library, which we helped organize with a number of new textbooks received from the government. Because of their interest and enthusiasm, we returned in May 2010 with one hundred story and information books to begin developing their library. The next step is a workshop with all the teachers on use of the library.


Women’s Book Club considers new African fiction
Discussion at the book club continued in 2010 with four new works of African fiction. The first was Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (published in Nigeria by Farafina ), a novel vividly depicting university life at Nsukka in the 1960s and the Nigerian Civil War. Next was Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan, a powerful collection of five short stories featuring children in very harrowing circumstances: prostitution and dehumanizing poverty, victims of human trafficking, the destructive power of inter-religious violence, genocide striking at the heart of the family. Tropical Fish, a set of short stories by Ugandan author Doreen Baingana (published by Cassava Republic of Nigeria), takes three sisters through differing experiences of adolescence and young adulthood. Nights of the Creaking Bed, a collection of 14 short stories by Toni Kan of Nigeria (Cassava Republic), portrays a number of grim realities—corruption, religious intolerance, infidelity, betrayal, parental indifference, the grinding effects of poverty. See Book Reviews


Children’s Christmas Party, 2009

The Children’s Centre field was the venue of a party hosted for children by the wife of the Vice-Chancellor, Barr. (Mrs.) Nwanneka Okolo to celebrate the Christmas season. Events included a dramatization of the Christmas story, songs and miming, dancing with Teddy Bear, and distribution of food and presents.

 

UWA Receives New Patron

Members of the University Women’s Association (UWA) received their new patron, Barr. (Mrs.) Nwanneka Okolo, the wife of the Vice-Chancellor, at the Children’s Centre on Friday November 20, 2009. Children from the University Staff School recounted the Children’s Centre’s history in song, while the Children’s Centre drama group dramatized problems caused by the recent disengagement of casual workers. Terri Emezi, representing the interim president Ebele Maduewesi, presented the contributions of UWA and the Children’s Centre to university life and highlighted current concerns. The Chair of the Children’s Centre Committee, Virginia Dike then showed the Patron around the facility. Responding Mrs. Okolo affirmed her commitment to UWA and the Children’s Centre project and pledged to do all in her power to assist.


Long Vacation Program 2009
A very successful vacation program was held
the last two weeks in August. Children registered in four age groups, from toddlers to teenagers. Activities included crafts such as toy and hat making, computer training, play activities for the young ones, sewing, baking, and drama. Younger children went on a very exciting excursion to the fire department, where firemen demonstrated their work and advised on fire safety. The older group had an equally interesting tour of the pharmaceutical lab on campus. The program was organized by committee members Margaret Ngwuchukwu, Ngozi Osadebe, Ezinne Njoku and Amaka Ejikeme, with the able assistance of student members of AIESEC.

Our Motto: “By Reading We Learn, by Knowledge We Serve.”

Joanne Ezeilo, a longtime friend and former member, met with children to develop a motto for the Children's Centre during her visit in May. The above motto summing up the Children's Centre mission was presented to the community during the May 30 th Children's Day Celebration. Our thanks go to Joanne for initiating this activity and the children for contributing their ideas.

 

 

Children's Day Celebration, 2009

The Children's Centre celebrated this year's Children's Day in grand fashion on Saturday, May 30 th in an event that brought together a multitude of children from 15 primary schools and friends and well-wishers from the community and beyond. The theme of the celebration was: The Nigerian Child in the Next Ten Years. Schoolchildren presented cultural dances, drama, miming, essays, poems and creative arts to the enthusiastic assembly. They also competed in a quiz organized by the student organization AIESEC. Another highlight was the appearance of Mickey Mouse to dance with the children. The event was organized under the leadership of Grace Anyanwu and Ngozi Osadebe, assisted by Amaka Ejikeme, Fidelia Asiegbu, Ezinne Njoku and Stella Nwadinobi. The ever able Mr. Gozie Arazu acted as master of ceremonies for the occasion.

We thank the many donors who contributed in cash or in kind to the success of the event. They include: Engr. T. N. Osadebe, Director of Works Services, UNN; Bonez Nig. Ltd. (N50,000); University of Nigeria Micro Finance Bank (N40,000); Enyap & Sons Nig.; Hillson Nig.; Jives Table Water; University of Nigeria General Ltd.; Chioma Bakeries; Lion Table Water; Coca Cola Bottling Company; United Bank for Africa (UBA); Igwe and Lolo Mamah; Lolo Okwor; Dr.(Mrs.) I. Echezona; Ecaison Pure Water; Chitis Bakeries; Prof. Uche Agwagah; Mr. & Mrs. Umeano (Estate Officer); Prof. & Dr. (Mrs.) Anyanwu; Prof. & Mrs. Nwadike; Sir & Lady Idoko; Mr. Ferdinand Asogwa; Dr. Sam Chukwu (Samsee); AIESEC students; and all staff of Children's Centre.

 

 

Events of 2008-2009

Mrs. Ify Nebo, UWA Patron sent off

Monday, June 1 marked a bittersweet occasion as the women bade a fond farewell to UWA Patron and wife of the out-going Vice-Chancellor, Mrs. Ify Nebo. Members appreciated the many forms of support received from their patron, from teaching baking and crafts during vacation programmes and participating in Centre events, to keeping our needs and requests ever before the Vice-Chancellor and seeing them through to a favorable conclusion. They also expressed admiration for the humanitarian role Ify Nebo has played, for instance in her work for prisoners. Mrs. Teresa Mbakamma and children from. the University Staff School presented a special rendition of the Children's Centre anthem in her honor. On her part, Mrs. Nebo shared her experiences in developing entrepreneurial skills in home crafts. As a remembrance she gave the Centre one of her stitch-n-stuff works portraying Noah's ark .

Children's Centre acquires artwork by Ify Nebo

Stitch and Stuff artwork by UWA Patron Ify Nebo featured in an exhibition at the National Commission on Museums and Monuments, Enugu February 14-20, 2009. Committee members visited the exhibition and acquired a piece illustrating the nursery rhyme “Hey, diddle diddle!” for the library.

 

 

Women's book club takes up themes of motherhood and race relations

The February meeting of the book club discussed Ann Crittendon's Price of Motherhood , a critique of policies negatively affecting mothers in the United States and comparison to practices elsewhere. Members went on to discuss comparable dilemmas in Nigeria and explore possible steps enabling mothers and parents generally both take care of their families and work effectively outside the home. The novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee , an examination of race relations in the American South during the 1930s, was the topic of the March discussion. Members considered the depiction of parent-child relationships and small town society, the racial inequalities prevalent at that time, and the changing situation in the United States signified by the election of Barack Obama.

Pavilion rebuilt at new playground

The Children's Centre pavilion, originally built at the old playground in 1980 and decorated with sculptures by the students of El Anatsui, has been re-constructed at the permanent playground site. It is named in loving memory of Uju Ubagu (1983-2006), whose memorial fund supplied 630 pounds sterling for the re-construction. The sculptures were rescued from the old site just as bulldozers moved in to start construction for the NUGA games. The new pavilion, which features a thatched roof and brightly-painted dwarf wall, is fast becoming a favorite spot for relaxation and story hour activities.

Children share Amadi's Snowman via the Internet

Saturday storyhour in November gave children the opportunity to share Amadi's Snowman , a picture book  about an Igbo boy who discovers the value of reading, with children around the world .  Amadi's Snowman is written by Katia Novet Saint-Lot, who spent many years in Enugu, Nigeria, and illustrated by Dimitrea Tokunbo.  Members of Children's Centre and children from Central School I in Nsukka discussed the book, shared favorite books and experiences with reading with children in India , the United States and other countries.  They also exchanged pictures and answered questions about their life in their respective countries.  More information on the virtual tour is available at www.papertigers.org/wordpress/tag/katia-novet-saint-lot

Chief (Dr.) E. C. Iwuanyanwu donates 18-seater bus

September 2008 saw the arrival of a new bus for the Children's Centre. It was purchased from the 2 million naira donated by Chief (Dr.) E. C. Iwuanyanwu following the Children's Centre 25 th Anniversary. Already the bus has been put to good use for long vacation excursions, school visits, and trips to Enugu for the 2008 book fair and other purposes. We are very grateful to our ever-generous donor for this most valuable gift!

 

Virtual UN Water Summit

The Children's Centre recently participated with schools around the world in an online global water summit introduced to us by former member Ogonna Agu. From January to May children from the United States, Nigeria, Sweden, India and other countries studied issues relating to water by communicating online, sending digital photos, accessing video clips, calculating water usage, and sharing ideas and experiences. The project culminated in a global summit on May 9, 2008 during which the Children's Centre gave a powerpoint presentation on the problem of water scarcity in the Nsukka community.

 

Merrileas Nursery raises funds for Children's Centre

Children of the Merrileas Nursery of Parkside School, England recently raised fundsfor Children's Centre by designing and making their own Christmas cards. Proceeds of the sales came to 317 pounds sterling. The Children's Centre is very grateful to the children for this laudable effort.

 

PULA donates 2,000 books to school libraries

In the first half of 2008 the Children's Centre distributed 2,000 books donated by People United for Libraries in Africa (PULA) to 8 primary schools in the Nsukka area. These included books shipped from the United States and those purchased locally from publishers in Nigeria. A team from Children's Centre held on-the-spot cataloguing sessions to help the schools organize their collections. Recipients included Central School I, Township II, Model School 2 (pictured here) and Agu Achara in Nsukka and schools in the rural communities of Obimo, Nguru, and Nru.

 

CCL helps schools develop library hour programs

In an encouraging step, the Enugu State Ministry of Education recently approved library hour as part of the primary school timetable. In response the Children's Centre organized a one-day workshop on planning library periods. On January 16, 2008 thirty-five teacher librarians and head teachers from 22 schools in Nsukka Local Government Area met to consider the use of library use instruction, story hour and project work in furthering the aims of education. Resource persons included Prof. Virginia Dike and Dr. Ogo Amucheazi of the Children's Centre Committee, Dr. Nancy Achebe of the University of Nigeria and Dr. Nwana of Nnamdi Azikiwe University , Awka. The Centre also demonstrates the use of library periods during class visits from neighboring schools, like that of Onuiyi pictured here.

Events of 2007-2008

CCL Mini-Library goes to Abuja

Materials from the Children's Centre Library supported a workshop exploring the role of school libraries in the basic education programme. The workshop, organized by UNN's Department of Library and Information Science for the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC), attracted participants from all over the federation to Abuja from September 18-22, 2007. The Children's Centre supplied extensive book and bulletin board displays to support sessions on resources for learning, project work and reading promotion.

Prison Library at Awka starts examination classes

Inmates at Awka Prison have begun preparing for standard examinations at junior secondary and primary school level. Classes are based in the library started as an outreach program of the Children's Centre. At present 8 inmates are preparing for the junior secondary school exams and 8 others are preparing for primary school equivalency exams. There is a long waiting list, but only this number can presently be accommodated in the small space available.

 

NTA films reading picnic

The Nigerian Television Authority visited the Children's Centre on May 19, 2007 to film a reading picnic. This took place through the good offices of Tony Alum, a reading consultant (see www.ivoryreader.org ) and graduate of the Department of Library and Information Science. The program features an interview about the Children's Centre, scenes of children reading in the library, an outdoor story hour for younger children, older children reading and playing table tennis outside, and a discussion on reading.

 

Easter vacation program 2007

Over 100 children enjoyed an action-packed program of activities from April 10th to 14th this year, featuring drama, music, dance, computer training, tie-and-dye, beadwork, films, sports, debate, and more. The program was conducted by a team of university student volunteers and youth corpers under the direction of Goodhead Uchendu, who initiated the program last year. A highlight was Friday, when UWA patron Mrs. Ify Nebo came to teach the older girls how to crotchet hand towels. At the closing ceremony on Saturday children entertained their parents with drama on good behavior and HIV/AIDS, choir singing, miming, and a football match attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Chinedu Nebo and Mrs. Nebo.

Dr. Uche Azikiwe commissions football field

At the closing ceremony of the 2006 long vacation program Dr. Uche Azikiwe commissioned the Chukwudi Tobenna Douglas Azikiwe Children's Field, named in loving memory of her late grandson. The field was developed with a donation of N50,000 given by Dr. Azikiwe during the Silver Jubilee celebration. Following the cutting of the ribbon and ceremonial kick-off, the two best neighborhood teams from the vacation program --the Azikiwe team (in green) and Nebo team (in blue)-played the final match.  The Centre thanks our good friend Uche Azikiwe for this generous gift. Thanks also goes to D. O. Dike of the Department of Health and Physical Education for his technical assistance in developing the field.

Gift from Chief (Dr.) E. C. Iwuanyanwu walls Children's Centre

With part of the 2 million naira given by our ever generous donor Chief Iwuanyanwu, the committee has completed walling of the compound. This will allow for fuller playground/sports development. The remaining money will be used to purchase an 18-seater bus for excursions, outreach, and other activities. We are ever grateful to Chief Iwuanyanwu for his generosity to the Children's Centre!

Women's reading club inaugurated through generosity of PULA

This session saw the take-off of a women's reading club made possible by the donation of books by PULA. Titles discussed so far include four tales of growing up in Nigeria--Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala, Graceland by Chris Abani, Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie, and Slavegirl by Buchi Emecheta. Remaining books for the year include the classic novels Pride and Prejudice and To Kill a Mockingbird and a nonfiction title, The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittendon.

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Events of 2005-2006

Prof. Willhelmina Kalu recognized for her contributions

The foundation chair of the Children's Centre, Willi Kalu, who now resides in the United States, was sent off in July 2006. Willi's contributions began at the very founding of the Children's Centre, when she was Secretary of UWA; she then served as Chair of the Children's Centre Committee for most years from its founding until 2002. Using her background in educational psychology and special education, Willi began the playground committee in 1979, initiated the International Year of the Child Festival of 1979 and International Youth Year Workshop of 1985, the Children's Centre Theatre, Motherless Babies Project, and Psycho-Educational Testing Services (PETS). She also contributed to the development of long vacation activity programs, the library, and the Ecumenical Religious Activities Program (ERAP). We wish her every success in her new endeavors, confident that she will continue to build on her work for the welfare of children and youth.

Easter vacation program

April 2006 saw the mounting of the first ever Easter vacation program, with 126 children registering for two weeks of computer training, dance, drama, excursions, art activities, debate and creative writing, sports and a picnic. The program was organized by Goodhead Uchendu, a university student, with assistance from his friends, librarian Margaret Ajogwu, members of the Children's Centre Committee, and staff of the Department of Library and Information Science. The grand finale was a performance for parents.

Help from the University School Old Friends in Lagos

Former campus children now living and working in Lagos have come together to assist the Children's Centre. Following a meeting with Virginia Dike, hosted by Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu in September 2005, Kelechi Ekezie donated two computers and a printer, while his brother Ken Ekezie has pledged a computer and CDs; Osita Ike sent a set of science encyclopedia and other books. Lemeke Mere, a member residing abroad, donated the sum of N10,000. In July2006 Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu and Chijioke Onuora came together to plan work on the playground.

Ada Udechukwu donates computer and office furniture

The former secretary of the library committee, Ada Udechukwu, gave the sum of N30,000 for furniture during a visit to Nsukka in January 2006. The money was used to build three tables and a printer stand for the computer laboratory and a custom-built cabinet to house the office files.  The Centre is very grateful for Ada's continuing support of the Children's Centre.

 

Visits by schools expanded

January 2006 saw the extension of cooperation between the library and the staff primary school.  First graders were visited in their classrooms for story hour, while second graders visited the library twice a week for library orientation. In 2007 the program was extended to include Community Primary School, Onuiyi. The children are introduced to the various types of pleasurable and informative library materials and taught the proper care of books. 

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Excursions! Excursions!

The 2005 long vacation program featured an extensive schedule of excursions, including two visits to the Enugu state capitol. Two busloads of children visited the airport, National Museum, a television house and FM station in Enugu. Visits in and around Nsukka included the zoo, archeaology museum, motherless babies home, and a religious retreat center. Transport was made available by Ify Nebo, the patron of UWA, and the University Librarian, E. Ikegbune.

 

UWA receives her patron, Mrs. Ify Nebo

Members of the University Women's Association welcomed their new patron, the wife of the Vice-Chancellor, Mrs. Ify Nebo in February 2005. At a reception held in her honor, the patron was given a guided tour of the Children's Centre and introduced to its programs and plans. Mrs. Nebo, a religious counselor with extensive experience in children's work and domestic arts, expressed delight in the Association's activities and pledged her support and active participation. Since that time she has provided welcome support to playground development, vacation activities, and the prison library project.

Ify Nebo is shown at the reception with Virginia Dike (L) and Nwanneka Nwala (R).

Alcove Donated in Memory of Prof. (Mrs.) Edith Ihekweazu

As their contribution to the Children's Centre Silver Jubilee, the children of the late Prof. (Mrs.) Edith Ihekweazu have donated an alcove for the African Children's Literature Research Collection. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Ada Ozoemena and Edozie Ihekweazu presented this in memory of their mother, who was an active contributor to the Children's Centre and strong proponent of African literature during her lifetime. The donation includes bookshelves, table and chairs, and Hausa leatherwork pouffes. The family has also undertaken to build up the collection with an annual gift for book purchases, beginning with N20,000 received from Ada Ozoemena in June 2006.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, a medical doctor now resident in England , made the presentation at a reception held during his visit to Nigeria in May 2005. During the occasion Chikwe spoke on the positive role the Children's Centre played in his generation's growing up, and members shared memories of Edith and her contributions to the project.

Edith Ihekweazu was part of the Children's Centre from the very beginning, attending the library opening in October 1978. She was foundation member of the Children's Centre Committee and Playground Committee, as well as Treasurer of UWA during the project's formative years. Edith also contributed to the academic life of the University as a scholar in languages and literature and her first Nigerian female professor.

The African Children's Literature Research Collection developed from the committee's practice of acquiring a second copy of every African children's book they could find. As a result, the library houses a valuable collection of Nigerian and other African children's books, consulted by numerous scholars and students over the years.

Parkside School in UK donates computers

Students and staff of the Parkside School in the United Kingdom raised 931 pounds sterling for the Children's Centre in response to the Silver Jubilee appeal. The mover behind the fundraising drive was art teacher Sue Ubagu, who conducted vacation art activities for the Children's Centre in the 1980s, when she was resident in Nsukka. The money is being used to initiate computerization of the Centre, providing computer equipment for library use and a desktop publishing unit for producing reading and learning materials with local content.

 

PULA donates to school and prison libraries
(see Outreach , Schools and Prison Library)

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