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At the closing ceremony of the 2006 long vacation program Prof. 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 Prof. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.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.
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!
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.
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.
Children’s Day Celebration
Sandor Peri Memorial Art Prize of 500 Pounds
The Children’s Centre has received the 2010 Sandor Peri Memorial Art Prize of 500 pounds sterling (N119,750.00) for creation of art work in the playground. Sandor Peri, the University architect from 1975-1987, graciously donated the design for the Children’s Centre Madam Hulder Iwuanyanwu Building in 1980. The prize was instituted by his wife Liz and friends in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts following his death in 2007 as a way of continuing his legacy to the arts. We are very grateful to Liz Peri for this generous donation.
Donations during Children’s Centre Silver Jubilee Celebration
Obong Rita Akpan,Hon.Min.of Women Affairs N50,000
Dr. (Mrs.) Uche Azikiwe Developing football field for N50,000
Chief (Dr.) F. Odimegwu N50,000+ 20 cartons of drinks
Chief (Dr.) E.C.Iwuanyanwu N50,000 (for cutting of cake)
Dr. & Dr.(Mrs.) Uwakwem N20,000
Nancy Street 2 M-bags of books
Traverse Area District Library 2 M-bags of books
Indianapolis Public Library 2 M-bags of books
Peris Maduka $50
Una Okonkwo Osili $25
Barbara Nowinsky $30
Keith Acker & Julie Bradley $40
Earlene Young $25
Christian Endeavours $200
Johnetta and Sandra Young $100
Bibiana Ukaegbu $100 For the library
Elisabeth Odenigbo (CCL) $400 For library books
Ike Anya 100 pounds