When her husband left and never came back after her fifth child, Nkechi Uneze Kalu struggled to keep her family afloat with her meager income as part-time cleaner in a housing compound. To help put food on the table, she works as laundrywoman to some better-off families in Onitsha, a port and market town south of Nigeria.
Because they are so poor, day to day living for Nkechi and her five children has been so hard. It has been a constant worry about what to eat for the next meal. She was already resigned to the reality that she would never be able to afford to send her children to school – four in the elementary, the eldest in Grade Level 4.
We came to know about Nkechi and her hardship through her father who has been the gatekeeper at the Couples for Christ mission house compound where we stay. Right away, we sought her out to tell her about ANCOP’s CSP Program through ANCOP Canada. Nkechi was overjoyed, and she shared to us about feeling some of the heavy burden being lifted instantly from her shoulders.
Nkechi’s two daughters were enrolled in an elementary school as ANCOP scholars — first born Deborah Kaluin in Grade Level 4 and Ogochukwu in Grade Level 2. The ANCOP scholarship covers for the children’s tuition, books, uniform, and allowance for other school needs. This has a huge effect on the girls. Without the worries of not being able to go to school, they both do well in their studies.
To show appreciation of ANCOP’s support to them, both girls strive to keep up their good work in school. Deborah who is now in Junior Secondary is always #1, if not, #2 in her class, and Ogochukwu, now in Grade Level 5, is in the top 10. On her part, Nkechi actively participates in the affairs of her parish, St. Stephen’s Parish and in the formation activities of ANCOP and Couples for Christ.
For Nkechi, this is a window for a better future. She is confident that her children’s education is an opportunity to be uplifted from poverty. Nkechi hopes that someday she and her family will also be of help to others in need.
By Boy & Radel Guinto, Full-time Workers – CFC Nigeria