KUDOS & TESTIMONIES
The VOICE OF INWELLE CENTRE SUPPORTER OF THE YEAR MR. IFEANYI ONAH, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, ENUGU, NIGERIA
PROVIDING STRUCTRUED OPPORTUNITIES
In the three years (2007 to date) that I have known Professor Christiana Okechukwu as the founder and Director of Inwelle Study and Resource Centre , she has provided hopeful opportunities for many Nigerian youths through a systematically conducted skill acquisition trainings since the inception of the Centre. Her well developed visions are backed up by actions bringing them to realities. Her determination to salvage the youths from ravaging social and economic challenges has brought her to bear in the success story of many Nigerian youths. Personally, she is seen as a model who hardly believes in failure in whatever course she takes up in the interest of the people. Her manner of approach to mission considered impossible and her success recorded at each instance have so many Nigerian youths believe in themselves. She has employed her creative ingenuity to introduce and train young girls and boys in life changing, inspiring, and survival alternatives., using life transforming training workshops and seminars which include “Nigerian Women and the Struggle for Visibility” in 2007, “Youth Education and Democracy” in 2008, “Preventing and Coping with Teenage Pregnancy in the 21st century Nigeria”, Computer literacy for teachers and students, Participatory Academic Boot Camp, etc. in 2009.
Although she is based in the United States of America, she is more popular than home-based philanthropists, having touched the lives of so many families positively through the training of many youths in vocational skills. Prof Okechukwu has established a functional resource centre with the volume of books and ICT equipment that surpasses many seen in higher institutions in the city. This resource centre has provided gateway to many Nigerian youths some of whom have graduated and many others in the universities across the country. Professor Okechukwu’s ethical personality speaks volume. She seems to have spent the greater part of her academic life researching on the best form of reshaping a staggered society. Having identified the youths as endangered species and her prompted rapid response approach have provided a spring board towards breeding a generation of people that can think “others” first before “self”. While others invest in materialism, she spends all her resources on humanity. I see a true Nigerianness in her. Professor Christiana Okechukwu has exhibited her people-orientedness and total dedication to salvage humanity in carrying out her yearly Boot Camp for youths.
Right Caption: My general impression is that the Inwelle Resource and Study Centre is one of the positive and immediate responses to face up to the challenges of the growing malaise in Nigeria’s education system today. ….
Such a centre as IRSC helps to prevent the indigent youth from becoming an adult without adequate inculcation of a proper sense of responsibility and positive societal values.
I had the opportunity and privilege to visit the Inwelle Study and Resource Centre Enugu in August 2008. I was able to interview one of the instructors and a participant of the computer training course in session during my visit. My two interviewees gave their personal appraisal of the centre and the benefits they have derived from its training courses. I was particularly impressed by the number of computers in the computer room where the lesson was going on. Every participant had a computer to work on and follow the instructions of the teacher while the lesson was in progress. There were other computers waiting to be installed in the adjoining computer rooms.
Then I toured the different sections of the well equipped library and marvelled at the abundance of books which were neatly arranged on the many book stands that adorned the quiet reading rooms.
At the same time construction work was in progress downstairs and Dr. Christiana Okechukwu, the CEO of the resource centre was very busy supervising a worker who was laying floor tiles in the garage and installing the railings of the stairway that led upstairs. The atmosphere was just typical of the urgency of the mission which motivated the founder of the centre. You got the impression that something was going on everywhere you turned to look. Even the Rotweilers in their cages seemed poised to get into action to assist the security guards.My general impression is that the Inwelle Resource and Study Centre is one of the positive and immediate responses to face up to the challenges of the growing malaise in Nigeria’s education system today. The unrestrained proliferation of very expensive “private schools” for upper and middle class families has left the indigent youth drifting along with other unprivileged peers in the lacklustre dumping grounds known as public schools where state governments do nothing but ensure a massive turnout of half-baked illiterates every year. Such a centre as IRSC helps to prevent the indigent youth from becoming an adult without adequate inculcation of a proper sense of responsibility and positive societal values. One outstanding and unique attribute of the centre is that it offers FREE remedial and other training courses to its beneficiaries through well structured sponsorships. Again the centre prepares the youth through participatory learning and intensive vocational courses to qualify them for middle manpower jobs which will enable them earn some money while pursuing higher academic objectives.
Such centres as IRSC should be given public recognition and encouraged by state governments through subventions and through the provision of some academic infrastructure.
Selah Writes: First of, Inwelle Centre is situated away from the center of town, so it gives a bit of a rural feel and invites the youths to concentrate on the “Inwelle World” during their stay. Also, the size of the compound and the unique construction of the buildings, which resemble a medieval castle, have a great air of age and wisdom to them. Of course, there are constant power interruptions, but this doesn’t stop learning…though it may require a quick relocation outside during the day, or candles at night.
The Boot Camp youths are all very energetic, enthusiastic and fun, and generally stay on task very well – of course, Prof never hesitates to bring people back in line! Also, Inwelle Centre has BOOKS! Thousands of them, lining nearly all the rooms. Overall, it’s an amazing accomplishment to have set up the Centre from scratch, literally from an empty piece of land, and Prof. Christiana Okechukwu’s vision, energy and creativity will continue to drive Inwelle Centre to greater heights – thanks for the opportunity to come and teach and experience Inwelle.