Imo State, Nigeria, Dec 31, 2011: Ten students, comprising 5 boys and 5 girls were the recipients of the 2011 Eze Cletus and Ugoeze Dorothy Oparaoji Memorial Education Foundation (ECUDOMEF) scholarship. The scholarship is to help them pay for their West African School Certificate (WASC) Exams and Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB) examinations. The students who were selected after a keenly contested scholarship examination are as follows, Mirian Nwadike (Umuokazi), Eucharia Ogu (Umuowasi), Odestral Anyanwu (Umuodu) Mary-Ann Anuwuru (Umuokazi), Josephine Njoku (Umuowasi), Flavian Nkwocha (Umunnanwe), Chibunna Amadi (Umuodu), Justine Ndugbu (Umuofor), Francis Igbo (Ako-na-Ojibo), and Emmanuel Ogbonna (Umunnawe).
The Scholarship Award event which took place at the St. Jude Catholic Church and the Women auditorium, in Amuzi, Mbaise, in Imo State, Nigeria, also recognized 21 students runner-ups in the examination. Each received alongside the winners, gifts of a mathematical set, note book, pens, pencils and ruler. In addition, every other student who attended the program went away with some gift that could be put to school use. The number of scholarship recipients and monetary amount of the awards represented an increase of about 60% and 50% respectively, compared to last year’s. The event was grand, well attended and attracted family, friends, and supporters of the recipients and ECUDOMEF. In attendance, were the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Her Excellency Prof. (Mrs) Viola Onwuliri and husband Prof. Celestine O.E. Onwuliri, Prof. Edward Oparaoji and his wife Dr (Mrs) Ndidi Oparaoji, Dr (Mrs) Genevieve Nwigwe, Mrs. Amaka Oparaoji, Air Commodore Peter Gbujie, His Royal Highness (HRH) Eze Chidume, Chairman Mbaise Council of Traditional rulers, HRH Eze Amaefule, Immediate Past Chairman Mbaise Council of Traditional rulers and Prof and Dr (Mrs) Ignatius Onyeocha. Others in attendance were the officiating priest Rev Fr. Simon Nwachukwu, the parish priest Rev. Fr. Paul Ohaeri, other clergy, educational administrators and volunteers. Speaking during the occasion, the Chairman, board of trustees of ECUDOMEF and former Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Prof. Celestine O. E. Onwuliri commended the winners and all who competed for the scholarship. He said “to the ten of you, I want to, on behalf of ECUDOMEF, commend you for your determination and effort applied, in successfully going through the selection process. As you would expect, receiving this award while acknowledging your potential, also places expectations on you. Like most of your predecessors we expect you to go on to the University, graduate then return to contribute your quota to the community.” He also said “…..to those who did not make the list, don’t be too disappointed, don’t relent in continuing to drive for excellence. If it weren’t for our limited resources more of you would have been selected.”
In her comment the co-founder of ECUDOMEF Dr (Mrs) Ndid Oparaoji, expressed gratitude to donors, parents and volunteers whose support made this years event the best so far. She also said “ we are grateful to all our donors, volunteers, and most importantly our catechist Sir. Isaac Izunwanne , you have sustained us all these year, we have made progress and touched lots of lives, but there is a lot more to be done. We appeal for more contributions and support.” Responding on behalf of the award recipients Chibunna Amadi and Odestral Anyanwu expressed gratitude to the Oparaoji royal family, ECUDOMEF and their parents. Miss Odestral Anyanwu said “I have no words to express our immense gratitude for what you have done for us by this scholarship, may God reward the Oparaoji family many folds, and continue to guide the growth of ECUDOMEF. We promise you that we will not disappoint you, we will not relent until we graduate from University, then join in your effort to help the less privileged.” Chibunna Amadi said “I second all what Odestral said, and want to add our appreciation for our parents whose encouragement and support spurred us to apply for the scholarship to start with”. Following the awards presentation, the recipients and their parents received special prayer and blessing from the officiating priest Rev. Fr Simon Nwachukwu.