Investing in future generations through scholarship

A medical doctor/business entrepreneur, Dr Gideon Chidiebere Osi, is embarking on a scholarship scheme to indigent students of Ebonyi state, through his foundation. It has become a beacon of hope for the needy. AMARACHUKWU EGWU-AGHA reports.

Since the foundation was established in 2016, it has produced graduates and has given hundreds of scholarship to students, especially indigent ones.

Osi himself, a product of scholarship, had described education as one of the major ways of investing in society.

The scholarship scheme which has been functioning for seven years now has given to scholarship to 104 persons, so far in 2023. 

Catholic church priest, others benefit

Speaking during the 2023 award to 104 people which included 62 secondary school students, 38 university students and five priests of the Diocese of Abakaliki, Osi noted that education is the best way to invest in a child.

“Educate a child and prepare for a better future. You all know my background; you all know that if it were a physical fight, I wouldn’t be where I am. If it were for my parents to have trained me, it could not have been possible. Being a product of scholarship myself, I know that this is one of the ways I can give back to society.

“The lives of these children and the impact they will have on this community in the future are far better than any other source demanding these expenditures. 

Achievements so far

Speaking on the 2023 edition, Dr Osi said, “After the formation of this foundation in 2016, we have trained hundreds of people, some have graduated and are working already and some are here working with us. This year alone 12 persons will be graduating from the universities under our programme while we still have over a hundred that are still in school.

“We are not afraid of increasing the number because we know that God through his mercies will provide resources.”

Funds already available

He said, “This particular award is special and unique in its own because on the day my mother was buried, I announced to the church that all the monies contributed by friends worth over 60 million would all be dedicated to scholarship and I meant it.

“The funds for the training of these children have been put in the bank already; there would be nothing like storytelling along the line, we have planned their lives well and the bank is here to confirm the cheques that would be presented to you. We have a total of five priests of the Abakaliki Diocese that made the list for this year and they will be presented with cheques. Of course, in the secondary school category, we have a total of 62 and we have 38 students from the university that will benefit from this year’s scholarship.

We have a total of 104 beneficiaries for the 2023 scholarship awards ceremony. We know that God in His infinite mercy would make 2024 better than this one.

Ebonyi SSG eulogises foundation

Prof Grace Umezurike secretary to Ebonyi state government during the programne eulogised the founder of the foundation, emphasizing that education builds confidence in oneself. 

“I want to thank the founder of Gideon Joy and Life and Leadership Foundation for giving back to society, it baffled me when I got the list of beneficiaries. Just for the year 2023, you recorded 104 candidates which is amazing and very impressive.

You may not understand the level of the impact you are making in the society. You are raising an army for Nigeria as a nation for Ebonyi state and the whole world.

The greatest feat you can give to a nation is to train a child. Some people say education is no longer the key, but education is still the key as far as I am concerned because if you see a gari seller who is a graduate, you will see the swag with which she sells the gari; that is the impact of education. I want to tell you my dear brother, what you are doing today, remembering your past. When you said that you are a product of scholarship it touched me, how many of us remember where we came from? 

“On that note, I want to urge all the beneficiaries to please not take this privilege for granted.

“I desire that in a few years to come, I can imagine that when 104 people flag off such projects in their various areas, you will find out that Nigeria must have been duly covered.

Beyond Ebonyi state.

Senator Micheal Ama Nnachi, chairman of the occasion noted that the scholarship award extends to other states of the country.

“So we are here because Dr. Gideon Osi has awarded 104 students scholarships in various courses and various universities in Nigeria.

“But one unique thing is that I have looked at the list. It did not just stop in Ivo LGA of Ebonyi state, but has gone far beyond Igbo land. I have seen some people from Niger state, Bayelsa and other Northern states. Dr Osi is a great hero and that’s what our great son has come to show.

A beneficiary’s delight

Okoro Tochukwu, a graduate under the scheme said she graduated from the Department of Library and Information Science in Unizik and got her scholarship from second year up to her final year.