Nekede, Nigeria. According to the United Nations, the formative early years of a child’s life demand a nurturing environment and attentive care. Early childhood, which spans the period up to 8 years of age, is critical for cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Optimal brain development requires a stimulating environment, adequate nutrients, and social interaction with attentive caregivers.
Aware of these facts, SOMI Team of East Nigeria Province in collaboration with our missionaries at the St Paul Church in Nekede, Owerri, Imo State organized a free holiday education program for indigent children of Nekede and adjacent communities from July 29 to September 4, 2019. The program was blessed with a huge turnout of children starting from the very first day till the last day of the program. Over 600 children registered for the program; with over 500 children on attendance each day.
The program was centered purely on inculcating good moral values in the life of the children and admonishing them to live the life of virtue. It was also focused on building the moral psyche of the children as to curb immoral excesses in the society. And to achieve the aim of the program, the children were taught the life of St Anthony Mary Claret. They were also given teachings on prayer, the dangers of greed, lies, pornography, the dignity of work, respect for elders and a host of other teachings. The also had time for academic quiz competition.
The program brought together both the Catholics and other Christians. Interestingly, many parents brought testimonies, on the positive changes seen in the life of their children.