As part of it’s monthly activities, WaterLight Save Initiative donates text books and other items to more than 1000 Pupils of Adekunle Anglican Primary School in Makoko Community area of Lagos State.
While paying a visit to one of the most populated schools in the community which has about 1, 145 pupils, the founder of the WaterLight Save Initiative, Prince Ero Ibhafidon Moses expressed gratitude to be able to give back to the society the way he does as he admonish the children to make the best of his free gestures by reading their books.
In this interview with us, Ibhafidon talks about his goals as regards the WaterLight Save Initiative, how it all started, the challenges and his plans to take it a step further by setting up a mini health care centers in all government schools come 2019 amongst others:
Tell us about WaterLight Save Initiative:
Our initiative is broken into four; we have WaterLight education for every child, we have the primary health care, we have the empowering of the windows and youth empowerment. As part of the child education programs, we also partner with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons where we educate the girl child about the hazards of human trafficking and the precautive measures to take to avoid being trafficked.
Basically we’ve been doing this for close two decades now and we’ve been giving back to the society in our own little way. Even in the diaspora we have helped bring back some trafficked Nigerians who are now entrepreneurs.
Take the child education support for instance, some of these text books sold in schools today, loads of the pupils can’t afford it so we provide schools with these books free of charge so they can be in their library and available for the kids to read.
How do you get funded?:
Presently we don’t have any support from anywhere yet. Everything we do at the moment is done out of personal funding. Though we have personal assistance from Omotosho Foundation as partners because he believes in the initiative.
Why did you decide to visit Adekunle Anglican Primary School Yaba, out of others in Lagos?:
We came to this school because we discovered that they have more pupils than those we have visited in the past. So we thought it’s only wise that we reach a bigger audience and touch more lives. They have about 1,140 pupils and our prayers is that these books get to them and impact them positively because educated people make better choices in life.
How did it all start, at what point in your life did you decide to embark on this journey?:
It started since when I was a kid. I remember one time growing up, I was about 12 years then, we had some less privileged kids in our house who unfortunately for them my mum had finished sharing the food so d I decideto give one of them my own and my mum asked “where did you get your heart from?” So she gave me her own food to eat. I started sending children to school when my salary was five thousand naira. This is a passion. I’m not doing it to get accolades, it’s God that rewards.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Uhmm, if I had more money or better funding definitely I’ll do better. So yes I’m open for partnership with those who believe in this initiative.
Given our poor educational system in Nigeria, would you say the government downplays the role of education in the life of the Nigerian child?
Personally I don’t like blaming the government for things not properly done because we all have a role to play in this. From the teachers, parents, pupils and the society generally, we all have a role to play. Take America for instance, their free education programs are usually done by NGOs likes us. Hilary Clinton came up with an initiative for kids to go to school under her “No Child Left Behind” where the less privileged kids could also go to school for free. Now you will see Nigerian politicians sending their kids to these free schools in the U.S without knowing how it even came about. So we should not leave everything to the government rather we should also come up with ways to improve the society so that everyone can benefit from it in the long run.
Again , our activities are not limited to just giving out books alone because in January we are looking at starting a program where by every school we go we set up a mini health care center for them, like an advanced first aid center where by if there’s any accident or emergency they could rush in to get medical attention.
Say a word or two to your beneficiaries, school administrators and the parents:
To the school administrators I’d say they should ensure the books get to the last pupils in the school and for the parents, they should be aware that these things we provide are usually for free so they should encourage their kids to go to the library to read these books.