St. Patrick’s calls on parishioners to give back to God with their time, talent, and treasure. This is the message of stewardship.
Kingsley Tochukwu Amatanweze is a parishioner who hails originally from Nigeria and is part of a project supported by St. Patrick’s and its parishioners.
The initiative is an effort known as “ADSS-2006 Educational Trust,” and involves supporting Kingsley’s own high school by meeting their financial needs and inspiring students who may be facing difficulties. The initiative comes from Kingsley and others from his graduating class.
“Our aim of embarking on this project is to offer hope and clarity of purpose to students of the school who may be facing challenges, discouragements, and distractions,” he says. “The school is a co-education public school attended mostly by children of low-income families.”
There were just over 2,200 enrolled students during the 2022-2023 academic session, but as a public school, it is unfortunately underfunded. It is also lacking in the 21st century’s model teaching and learning facilities such as computers, audio-visual aids, and modern laboratory equipment. The students themselves are also struggling with peer distractions and discouragement from their challenging backgrounds and environment.
“The immediate society is confronted with the challenges of social vices and get-rich-quick syndrome which have driven some of the young ones into crimes,” Kingsley says. “Education and academic pursuits are not given due recognition, and the children don’t really get to appreciate the nobility and greatness they could achieve via excellent academic journeys.”
Kingsley and his classmates came up with the idea to establish a reward system to motivate and encourage students who would be recognized at the end of the school year for their achievements.
“With this, we will also be making a bold statement that excellence, in any field of life, is a culture that should be practiced and encouraged,” he says.
The reward system was implemented for the first time last July and was welcomed by the school, teachers, and the entire community. Kingsley says there were surrounding communities who wished to send their children to the school upon hearing of the incentives.
“We want them to know that they can also become great by taking their academics seriously and shunning social vices,” he says.
Donations made to the project would help sustain the reward system as an annual effort, as well as provide improvements to the school’s facilities. For example, there are currently a mere 10 desktop computers available for the more than 2,000 students on campus. Donations would also be put towards the revitalization of their computer laboratories and purchasing new computers for the students.
Finally, the cash prizes also help to pay the school fees of students from indigent homes and provide incentives for teachers who make outstanding efforts in teaching and towards the school’s extracurricular activities.
This project is connected to stewardship and to our faith in a few ways. According to Kingsley, it provides “hope to the children of the poor,” by “creating an enabling environment for them to reach their full potential and succeed”.” He also says that each time the alumni speak directly with the students, they call the students to godliness and faith-filled lives.
“We admonish them to stay away from reckless lifestyles and to embrace hard work, integrity, and excellence in all they do,” he says. “This has always remained our message to them and we will also increase the avenue with which we pass this message to them so it can be more frequent and resonate well with them. We also let them understand and value the place of God in their lives.”
Parishioners who wish to make a donation may contact Kingsley Amatanweze by emailing him at email@example.com.