The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, and the Penlight Centre for New Media Innovations have pledged to sponsor the education and well-being of an 11-year-old physically challenged orphan, Fatima Yushau.
Recall that Arewa Agenda had reported how the young Fatima who is a primary school student in Kano State had to crawl to a long distance to attend classes under harsh conditions.
The report sparked public sympathy.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that various spirited individuals and groups have indicated interest to help the orphan get a good life.
So far, it was gathered, interventions have started flowing-in in the form of cash donations, books, bags, clothing and eight wheelchairs.
Speaking with Arewa Agenda, the management of Fatima’s school, DanShayi Primary School, Rimin Gardo, said UNICEF had sent its officials to confirm the story and access the girl for their own intervention.
“We are incredibly happy about what is happening to Fatima’s life right now,” an official at the school told the newspaper.
On its part, the Penlight Centre said it had kick-started a special fundraiser, in collaboration with the Arewa Agenda, to support Fatima’s life pursuit.
Speaking, the centre’s Executive Director, Jaafar Jaafar, who is also the Editor-in-Chief of DAILY NIGERIAN, said the fund so raised would be channelled towards the young Fatima’s education up to the university level.
He added that the Centre was making arrangements to bring the young Fatima to a specialist health centre for proper medical examination.
Mr Jaafar said: “We have so far realised about N800,000. A portion of the fund would be dedicated to taking care of her immediate needs such as food, healthcare, clothing and shelter.
“We are also mulling empowerment for her grandmother such that they could have a sustained income in the family.
“We will also employ a special lesson teacher who will be on a monthly stipend to be coaching her.
“Some of the funds will also go into her tuition and exam fees through all levels of her education up to the University,” Mr Jaafar explained.
Reacting to the development, the Founder of Africa Health Budget Network, AHBN, Dr. Aminu Magashi-Garba, expressed delight that a single story led to a very impactful outcome.
Mr Magashi-Garba, whose grant led the Arewa Agenda team into the investigation that discovered Fatima, is also the founder of the Community Health and Research Initiative, CHR.
He said: “This is great news, and we are glad to see how one story from the Arewa Agenda team for sustainable development sparked up unprecedented goodwill and support to education and healthcare of an orphan.”
While calling on Journalists to make concerted efforts towards this style of development Journalism, Mr Magashi-Garba also appealed to relevant stakeholders and organizations to always provide the support that would enable Journalists to perform optimally.
The Convener/Managing Editor, Arewa Agenda for Sustainable Development, Mohammad Dahiru-Lawal expressed happiness that the story did not only bring Fatima’s plight to the fore but also sparked a chain of goodwill reaction from prominent and well-meaning Nigerians.
“These interventions will not only secure her future but also benefit others with the similar situation within the community and we are working closely with the Penlight Centre led by Jaafar Jaafar and my mentor Alhaji Yushau Shuaib to achieve this.
“I hope this will also inspire others to make supporting disabled people around them a priority in one way or the other. As a development-oriented media action platform, we are open to partnerships from interested parties towards these goals,” he said.
Pending the publication of the full list of donors, some of the early responders include Beautiful Gates Handicapped People Centre, Kabiru Alhaji Haruna Gimba of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Hajiya Hadiza Umar of the National Information Technology Development Agency, and Muhuyi Magaji Rimin Gado of the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission.
Others are: Ibrahim Sunusi Ismail, Prof. Moses Ochonu, Modu Kachalla Bole, Jibril Mahmud, Hajiya Madina and friends, Garba Mohammad Sadiq, Abdullahi Aminu Mudi, Moses Ebe, and Mohammad Aminu Mohammad.