By Philip Yatai
Kaduna – Master Jamilu Sa’ad, a physically challenged primary four pupil of Demonstration Primary School, Kawo, Kaduna, has said that pursuing education was far more important than begging for alms on the streets.
Sa’ad, 15, stated this on Friday in Kaduna, when he received a tricycle donated to him by Hope for Communities and Children Initiative, an NGO.
“I am an orphan and a cripple; I was brought to Kaduna to beg for alms.
“But, while on the streets, I kept envying children that go to school every morning.
“After a while, and against all odds, I decided to abandon begging to acquire education.
“I bought a tricycle with the little amount I raised from begging to ease my movement, but it got bad after a while and I could not fix it,” he said.
According to him, acquiring education was nearly impossible because of his situation.
“But with courage and resilience, I trudged on because I am optimistic that my life will be better if I acquire education.
“I thank the NGO for supporting me to achieve my dreams. I will study till I acquire at least a National Diploma.
“I want to assure all those who believe in me that I will not let them down,” he added.
Sa’ad narrated his encounter with the director of the NGO while crawling to school one day.
“I was crawling, as usual, to school when a good Samaritan pledged to obtain a tricycle for me to ease my troubles.
“Today, she has fulfilled her promise. I am so thrilled and grateful,” he said.
In her remarks, the Executive Director of the NGO, Hajiya Hadiza Umar, explained that the NGO provided the tricycle for Sa’ad to ease his movement to school and improve his capacity to socialise with his peers.
“I was deeply touched when I saw him crawling to get to school. I felt duty-bound to assist in my own little way to encourage him and others like him who are passionate to acquire education.
“If he is this zealous without help, he will do better when supported, no matter how little,” she reasoned.
Umar called on public-spirited individuals to collaborate with the relevant authorities to educate children with special needs, and enjoined stakeholders to assist the less privileged toward a better life.
She regretted that thousands of children were on the streets because they were physically challenged and had no one to help or encourage them to acquire education.
According to her, children with special needs are entitled to quality education to prepare them them to challenge for opportunities in the society.
Also speaking, the Executive Chairman, Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board, Malam Nasiru Umar, commended the NGO for the kind gesture.
Represented by Deputy Director, School Services Department, Malam Yahaya Khalid, the chairman said that the gesture would assist the beneficiary to pursue his dreams.
Umar appealed to other stakeholders to emulate the NGO’s quest for a better life for children with special needs.