Nestled on the rocky hills of Abuja sits a town called Mpape, an underdeveloped satellite settlement, heavily populated by the native Gbagi tribe.
Due to exorbitant house rental prices many low income earners, often uneducated farmers, opt to live in the more affordable underdeveloped communities where education is highly undervalued. Although they do enrol their children in public school, since they are either free or highly subsidised, there is often little or no supervision and teachers are so stretched that it’s hard to spend a decent amount of time with them.
It is this very environment the Youth Empowerment Foundation discovered at Junior Secondary School Mpape. Determined to make a difference, Goal was implemented at the school and produced excellent results. On introducing the programme they faced a few constraints but these were soon overcome. The principle, Mrs Kuburat Yabasi, believed Goal to be hugely beneficial to the school; “The children are getting better by the day in terms of their leadership characters. They organise themselves to hold meetings, develop programs and ideas among themselves”.
As part of the intervention programme the Goal champions implemented their ‘service learning project’ which focuses on academic excellence, peer pressure and HIV/AIDS and girl child education. The programme was a huge success and attended by over 100 participants! In his closing remarks, the vice Principal, Mr. Crown Olagoke, stated: “In the history of JSS Mpape, and since my transfer to this school over five years ago, students have never organised and coordinated a programme on their own without the input of teachers or adults, and with this I know Goal indeed has a goal”.
Photo: Goal girls graduating from the school