Children's Centre University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
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PROGRAMS

The Long Vacation program and other year round club activities are central to the Children's Centre concept. The guiding philosophy sees education as a broad and multi-faceted concept, involving much more than schooling or cognitive learning. Education should relate to all aspects of life and lead to realization of one's full potential. From the beginning the library was seen as part of a comprehensive facility fostering the full and well-rounded development of children and youth. Long vacation activities not only give pleasure, but also expand children's horizons and enrich their experience. The vacation period, rather than representing time to be occupied, offers a unique opportunity for growth, the gaining of skills, and exploration of areas not adequately covered in school. Through a variety of carefully planned activities, vacation can fulfill its promise as a period offering children unique opportunities for growth and development. Below is a portrait of the many activities offered by the Children's Centre.

Children's Day Celebration, 2009

In a recent special event the Children's Centre celebrated Children's Day in grand fashion on Saturday, May 30, 2009 in an occasion 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.

Long Vacation Program

Activity programs mounted during the August-September long vacation period, have been a feature of the Children's Centre almost from the beginning, the first taking place after Prince Albert Koripamo donated a bus in 1981. Active programs run by parent volunteers took place in the middle years of the 1980s, even before the Children's Centre had a permanent facility. Mothers led activities in cooking and sewing, art and science skills, excursions and caring for others, while fathers assisted with sports and car maintenance. From 1988 to 1991, when the school calendar changed, the program was moved to the December holiday period. In 1993 and following years National Youth Service Corps members posted to the Children's Centre took up responsibility for the programs, emphasizing creative and cultural arts. The 2000 program was carried out by youth volunteers who had grown up through the program. More recently, programs have been run through the cooperative efforts of committee members, youth volunteers, and corpers.

2009 Long Vacation Program

A very successful long vacation programme was held from August 17-31, 2009. This was organized by a sub-committee made up of Margaret Ngwuchukwu, Ngozi Osadebe, Ezinne Njoku and Amaka Ejikeme. One hundred and five children registered for activities organized by age for 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-15 years. Activities included excursions to the fire station and UNN pharmaceutical laboratory, talks by Ebele Maduewesi on human development and AIESEC members on HIV/AIDS, crafts such as sewing, hat making and toy making, computer training, baking, and many others. The programme culminated in a show for parents and exhibition of the children’s work.

2008 Long Vacation Program

Taking place from Aug. 18-Sept. 9, 2008, the program had 60 children who registered for N600 each. It was coordinated by Fidelia Asiegbu, assisted by Margaret Ngwuchukwu, Ngozi Osadebe, Faith Agbogo, AIESEC members, Children's Centre staff Rose Asogwa and Thomas Asogwa, and Albert Ekwe as photographer. Activities included computer appreciation with Faith Agbogo, story hour with Margaret Ngwuchukwu, bead-making with Chikodili Anioke, card-making with Uju of AIESEC, baking with Ezinne Njoku, and debate and talks on self-discovery with Charles Ugwu and Fabian Simon. Excurseions were made to the motherless babies home, Lion Water, and the Bottling Company at Ninth Mile Corner.

2007 Long Vacation Program

The 2007 Long Vacation Program took place from August 13 to September 14. The program was coordinated by committee member Fidelia Asiegbu, assisted by Ngozi Osadebe; 50 children registered for the program. Activities included cookery classes on preparing fishroll and meat pie; cardmaking and beadmaking; a health talk on HIV/AIDS and youth given by the Youth Friendly Centre; computer training in the Department of Library and Information Science; sports activities like football and table tennis; and excursions to the Motherless Babies Home, Lion Bread and Lion Water, and Coca Cola Bottling Company at 9 th Mile Corner. The closing ceremony took place on Saturday, September 14, 2007.

2006 Long Vacation Program

The 2006 Long Vacation Program took place from August 21 to September 16, with over 150 children participating. A sub-committee chaired by Alice Okore and made up of Chidren's Centre committee members and youth organizers planned the program. Activities included quiz and debate, computer training, cookery and stitch-n-stuff crafts (both taught by UWA patron Mrs. Ify Nebo), chorography, cardmaking, tie-and-dye, story hour, talk on HIV/AIDS and football matches. In addition to local excursions, the children visited the Nigerian Television Authority and Cosmo FM in Enugu.

Easter Vacation Program

This was initiated in 2006 and continued in 2007 by Goodhead Uchendu, a vet graduate who enjoyed Children's Centre programs as a child. The 2008 program was organized by the student organization AIESEC. The 1-2 week programs utilize a corps of volunteers to conduct activities in computer training; crafts like poster making, beadwork, crocheting and tie-dye; drama, dance and singing; sports like soccer and table tennis; and talks on such subjects as leadership and HIV/AIDS. Children go on excursions to local sites like the bakery and archeology museum and to Enugu to visit the media houses, the National Museum and airport. Programs conclude with a picnic, filmed by NTA Enugu in 2007, and closing show for the parents. More details can be found in newletters and annual reports and under descriptions of specific activities below.

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