ONICHA EDUCATION FOUNDATION (OEF)

Presents a virtual Community interaction titled:

“Functional Education of Ndi Onicha as the Bedrock for Sustainable Community Development”.

Subtopics and features.
1. How to access local and overseas undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships. 
2. Achieving academic excellence and effective personal development.
3. Navigating self-sponsorship through combining schooling and entrepreneurship. 
4. How to build network of valuable friends as a student.
5. Effective job search and career options after graduation.
6. How to avoid bad decisions as a student.

Date: Saturday 28 August,  2021.
Time: 10 am to 12 noon.

Join using Zoom.
https://zoom.us/j/6842053354
Meeting ID: 684 205 3354
Passcode: 387262

Physical viewing centres:
1. Onicha Technical School,  Enuagu.
2. Presbyterian Church of Nigeria,  Egunkwo, Onicha.

Keynote Adress:
Dr Wilberforce Oti, Lecturer, Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

Guest Speakers:
1. Dr Maxwell Omabe
2. Professor Anthony Okorie Ani
3. Professor Steve Egbo
4. Bar C. N. Oji
5. Dr Eni Oko
6. Dr David Okoroafor
7. Miss Chidinma Nwankwo.

Panelists:
Dr Nathaniel Obasi
Dr Ejike Chukwu
Engr Benison C. Ovoke
Dr Kenneth Omabe
Engr Chukwuma Ogbonnaya
Engr Ikechukwu Onwe
Engr Chigozie Uneke
Engr Humphery Okereke
Bar C. N. Eke

Programme Schedule:
10:00 to 10:05 Opening and welcome.
10:05 to 10:20 Keynote Address
10:20 to 11:40 Guest speakers
11:40 to 11:55 Panel discussions
11:55 to 12:00 Closing

Attendance is open to everyone and free of charge to attend. We appreciate if this can be shared widely particularly with Onicha people.

For more information,  email: onichaedufoundation@gmail.com.

To understand how OEF is thinking about contributing towards educational development in Onicha, please read the following abstract from our strategy document.

ABSTRACT FROM THE STRATEGY  DOCUMENT FOR ONICHA EDUCATION FOUNDATION (OEF). 

1.0 BACKGROUND: Onicha-Igboeze is in Onicha Local Government Area, Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Over the years, the community has produced many sons and daughters that have shown brilliance in different fields of human endeavours.  A careful examination of the previous generations and the current older generation appear to suggest that education is a critical enabler in their reaching their full potential. Globally, it is no coincidence that nations with high educational development index are also wealthy and competitive nations. 

There was a remarkable resurgence of commitment towards educational development through personal efforts in 1990s and 2000s in the community. This reality is behind the motivation to create OEF as captured in a Facebook conversation between Engr Benison C. Ovoke and Dr Kenneth Omabe in May 2020. Currently, it appears that there is no forward looking focus on educational development in Onicha-Igboeze, resulting in some young people embarking on antisocial activities. Some who for some reasons prefer to exert efforts towards legitimate activities cut short their educational development to embark on street trading at different parts of Nigeria. Very few of them create sustainable businesses afterall, while many continue to struggle; and unfortunately transfer the struggle to their children who are still Onicha-Igboeze children. This has to change now!

To reverse the current downward trend and  create a better future for the community, there is a need to create a sustainable culture of using “education as a tool”. By this, it does not mean that everyone in Onicha should be a civil or public servant. It does mean that a culture of excellence acquired through education and training should be the framework upon which they should conceive and build their careers. Acquiring quality education helps to improve numeracy, literacy, complex thinking skills, social skills, life skills, and capacity to engage in diverse activities that could bring fulfilment in one’s life.

Consequently, Onicha Education  Foundation (OEF) seeks to create a sustainable system that will urgently mobilise communal and extracommunal actions  to transform the talents and human resources in Onicha to enable them live out their full potentials and impact the world around them starting from Onicha-Igboeze community. The Foundation intends to create customised formal organisational systems, procedures, programmes, instruments, that would be self-sustaining, collaborative and trans-generational in nature.

The strategy document is a comprehensive document that show how we are thinking about the organization. The creation of the current document shall be done collaboratively with everyone. All voices must, and should always be heard on how we should design and run OEF.

2.0 PHILOSOPHY: We must change ourselves first to cause changes in others; and the real change happens inside out. We strongly believe that education should not be a luxury and that the best of it should be made available so that our people can develop and contribute meaningfully to the development of ONICHA community, and to humanity at large.

3.0 VISION: To give every child from Onicha-Igboeze the opportunity to reach their full potential through inspiration, education and training.

4.0 MISSION: Mobilise Onicha-Igboeze sons and daughters from all works of life to collaborate in building a progressive community in which everyone is fulfilled.

5.0 CORE VALUES: Oneness, Networking, Integrity, Collaborative, Humility, Actions, Interdependence, Gratitude, Believe, Organized, Excellence, Zeal, Equity (ONICHA-IGBOEZE).

6.0 OBJECTIVES: 
1) Create systems for educational, career and training support.
2) Support the education and training of the less privileged in the community.
3) Use the platform to engage individuals, governments, NGOs and other entities for positive
educational development outcomes for Onicha-Igboeze people.
4) Create support systems for mentorships at primary, secondary, undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
5) Create a trans-generational system of community support system in form of a registered foundation.
6. Create a platform for networking amongst Onicha people for personal and community development.
7. Carry out projects that improve the  quality of  education and general public good of the community.

7.0 MEMBERSHIP
a) OEF members must come from Onicha.
b) Honourary membership needs to be approved by the BoT.
c) All intending members should complete membership form.

8.0 PROGRAMMES /COMMITTEES

1. Scholarship programme: Primary, Secondary, Undergraduate and Postgraduate awards.

2. Book sharing programme (BSP): This programme targets collecting books, calculators, computers, materials used by students and making them available to others through a BSP. Primary and secondary schools to dedicate space and an officer to manage their book sharing programme. A school can be dedicated to collect undergraduate and advanced materials. The rationale for the programme is that everyone can not afford quality texts but there are people who no longer need their used textbooks. New books can also be introduced into the system and recovered after use. Action plan requires creating the programme modalities which will include how a school can qualify to participate, how they can lend and recover materials, etc.

3. Mentoring Programme: OEF will develop standard modules and get volunteer undergraduates to teach them and use the opportunity to inspire students to aspire to go to university. There will also be modules appropriate for primary and nursery school level. This program will be developed further to state who qualifies to deliver the modules and how the modules will be created and printed. This will be designed to provide public engagement and volunteering opportunities for Onicha-Igboeze undergraduates.

4. Seminars/Workshops: OEF will organise at least a seminar/workshop around different themes, annually. Guest speakers may be invited or members can make presentations.

5. Postgraduate mentoring Programme (PMP): This will focus on supporting graduates with resources and career advice so that they can deploy their educational training to get competitive jobs, further scholarships, specialist trainings or get extra skills to become entrepreneurs. We will also provide a system that will give reference letter to individuals known by the foundation, probably by their volunteering activities or membership. There may also be opportunities to support them with coaching in aptitude testing, CV/Resume, application letter and appropriate evidence for job applications.

6.0 Annual lecture series (ALS). This will focus on Educational development themes.

7.0 Project committee:
If finances are available, we should carry out physical infrastructure development programs in schools in Onicha. Such projects as renovation of dilapidated blocks in Onicha Model Technical School should be our spring board and project committee can best manage that for us. Other examples include mopping up resources to sink boreholes in schools, buying computers, solar panels for sustainable power generation, etc. This committee will pilot such programs and advise OEF from time to time. 

8.0 Scholarship committee:  will be responsible for sourcing scholarship opportunities ( local and overseas) and exploring the best application approach that will increase the chances of a successful outcome and make same available to Onicha people who are qualified and may be interested.  They can also provide quality  information on job or migration opportunities to our people.  They will be involved in mentorship and grooming of our people for advanced degrees. 

9.0 Professional services collaborations:

We will work with professionals in our community to create systems and processes that can benefit our community. We plan to establish a periodic free medical outreaches in collaboration with Onicha general hospital. A committee will be set to develop possible ways we can facilitate an opportunity for medical experts from ONICHA to treat Onicha people free of charge, periodically. Some identified cases that need higher intervention can be referred to federal teaching hospital. 

9.0 INSTRUMENTS
1. Students loan: This will allow indigenes to borrow money for fees and living expenses while studying. They will repay the principal without interest as soon as they can. Undergraduates, Masters and PhD students can borrow. This instrument intends to remove the barrier of funding for those who are motivated to go to school. At the same time, we have an opportunity to recycle the funds to help more people. The instrument has to be created so that the qualification for the loan, repayment plan, etc can be stated.

2. Apprenticeship guarantee instrument:
This instrument will support those who prefer to learn skills or undertake apprenticeship post-secondary school instead of going to university. It will include supporting them to negotiate apprenticeship agreement and possibly support them to buy startup equipment. We will monitor their progress and ensure that they are discharged as agreed in the guarantee instrument.

10.0 LEADERSHIP CULTURE
Servant leadership will be promoted in OEF. Our actions and efforts will be geared towards using our skills and resources to make the community better. This is done by serving to show examples of good services. The best interest of the community is placed first in all Organizational design, programmes and projects. 

11. MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE
We have BoT, Management, Committees, Units, Special projects and programme Leads. BoT set the Strategic direction of the organization and uphold the core values. The management will develop management Systems based on the best practices. Management runs the organization based on the strategy document. Members will have opportunity to deliberate on new proposals and policies before their implementations. 

12.0 SUSTAINABILITY PLAN : OEF will be registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), which means that it does not depend on any single individual, hence it can last forever. Also, running it with management best practices means that challenges, successes and plans would be documented and lessons learned transferred trans-generationally. The leadership would also undergo natural succession across the generations. The objectives and scope of the foundation would be focused on education and training to avoid derailing or diluting the vision of the foundation but this does not exclude other complementary activities. 

13.0 PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENTS: The effectiveness and efficiency of the foundation would be measured based on its ability to: 
1. Create awareness of education and training in the community
2. Award scholarship and train the less privileged.
3. Help link those who prefer to learn skills ( or undertake apprenticeship) to competent trainers and prevent 
providers of the training from taking advantage of them.
4. Build schemes for entrepreneurship and innovations. 
5. Link up and support indigenes to explore their preferred career path/opportunities.
6. Excellent feedback from the public and beneficiaries.

14.0 POLITICAL NEUTRALITY STATEMENT
OEF is not a political organization and it is not affiliated with or sympathetic to any political party. However, we encourage Onicha-Igboeze people to participate in politics at all levels. All decisions are based on merits and equity and not politics, we will design all processes to reflect fairness and transparency.

15.0 PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGY
1. Members are encouraged to introduce Onicha people to OEF.
2. A page document will be created to summarize the objectives, goals and approaches. We can use it to interface with the prospective members and the public.
3. We will use technology, social media and social events to interface with the public.

16.0 FUNDING SOURCES
a) Privileged individuals from within and outside Onicha-Igboeze who support the vision.
b) Government- DC, LGA, State, National or international
c) NGOs
d) Corporate bodies

17.0 ANNUAL EVENTS

1. Alpha-Beta Award (talented children).
Alpha-Beta award is a prestigious award to be given to students with A’s and B’s or 70% in all their subjects for the 3 terms in secondary schools or 2 semesters in the university. The award would be given as part of the event in the annual/biennial lecture series which will be delivered by one of the sons or daughters of  Onicha-Igboeze or invited guest speakers. The aim the award is to refocus our children from just coming first in class to scoring minimum of 70% in all their subjects. This award is not just for people living at home, it includes every child from Onicha-Igboeze irrespective of background and city of residence across the globe. Application for award can be made on the Foundation website. The Annual Lecture Series (ALS) will serve as a get-together for the community to reflect on education and training as bedrock for sustainable development.

18.0 BANKING AND FINANCE
1. The organization will maintain best accounting practices which will enable it procduce annual accounts/reports.
2. Finance committee to propose banking operations that will protect the fund of the foundation and remove opportunities for financial abuses.
3. Annual auditing will take place following the end of financial year.
4. Foundation will invest in financial instruments/investments such as fixed deposit, Treasury bill, commercial papers, bonds, etc.
5. The foundation will create Sustainable investment fund (SIF) which will provide financial sustainability for the foundation. For every donation receive by the organization, regardless the size, a first line charge of 20% will be taken and saved perpetually. Money in SIF account cannot be spent on anything whatsoever but interests and earnings from SIF can be transferred to fund operations. We will make this clause irrevocable in perpetuity to create a sustainable financial reserve for our future generations to fund the objectives of OEF.
6. Jobs created by OEF including the ones done by members and non-members will be paid at market rate. While we will use in-house skills to carryout our activities, there are situations where we may need to pay for services or create jobs to improve the realiabity of the services by OEF. Such exceptional circumstances will be negotiated and approved in the General committee meeting.

19.0 EMPOWERMENT INSTRUMENTS
1. Scholarship guarantee instruments
2. Training guarantee instruments
3. Mentoring Programme
4. Referral and referencing schemes.

20.0 DECISION MAKING APPROACH
1. Decisions should be made collaboratively and consultatively.
2. At all level, simple majority should be accepted for any decisions to be made. Each member regardless of the position they hold has a single vote on any matter.
3. Each position in the organization will be empowered to make decision on behalf of OEF. 
4. Timelines should be developed for different decision making process to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks.
5. The BoT will ensure that all decisions taken at any level will achieve the aims and objective of the organization and also promote best practices. 
6. No veto power is given to any position as members and instituted Committees and units should be free to discharge duties in accordance with OEF policies and procedures. This is to protect each position from interference. All positions are servants and the leadership style promote consultations instead of interference. The BoT will define best interests of the OEF and ensure that everyone is carried along and has the opportunity to contribute their ideas, efforts and resources. Where policies and procedures are creating inefficiencies, the management and the BoT will address it using the most effective approach.

21.0 OEF BOARD OF DIRECTORS 
Dr Nathaniel Obasi
Dr Ejike Chukwu
Engr Benison C. Ovoke
Dr Kenneth Omabe
Engr Chukwuma Ogbonnaya
Engr Ikechukwu Onwe
Engr Chigozie Uneke
Engr Humphery Okereke
Bar C. N. Eke

22. DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS 
Members, donors and organisations that wish to support OEF can use the following OEF joint account details:

Chukwuma Ogbonnaya and Kenneth Omabe Nwobini and Benison Chukwu Nwovoke, Fidelity Bank Plc,  6140017419.

23. 0 SUMMARY
OEF could be a sustainable and innovative organization that can transform our community faster than imaginable if properly implemented. There are good spirited individuals and organizations, locally and internationally, who wants to support indigent people but prefer to do that through an organization like OEF. There is no doubt that we are about to found an unprecedented project that will continue to serve our people long after we have gone. Because we shall live by our core values, OEF will soon become a template for community educational development organization and will win awards and attract recognitions for it’s sustainability and impacts.

Our strategy document is a living document; this means that it will be updated continuously to reflect best practices in the organization. It will include unit and committee reports/plans, programme designs, operations procedures and instrument design.

We welcome your feedback,  donations, suggestions, enquiries and so no.

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