The hope of Internally Displaced People across the country may have risen following Access Bank Plc plans to extend support to them. This is in addition to numerous support given to the vulnerable children in the country. There are about five million displaced people worldwide but Nigeria has about one million of that population
.Infact, preparations have reached top gear for the Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield Polo Tournament which kicks off from next week at the Fifth Chukker Polo and Country Club, Kaduna.
Funds from the tournament, which will feature three levels of competition, would be channeled into UNICEF’s programme for orphans and vulnerable children running in several schools in Kaduna.
The first level, the UNICEF Cup holding May 25-31; the second and third levels, the Access Bank Cup and the Charity Shield would last from June 1-5, while the Guards, UK will hold in London on July 16, 2016.
At press briefing last Thursday at the Access Bank headquarters in Victoria Island, Lagos, Mr Victor Etuokwu, Executive Director, Personal Banking of the bank said the tournament would feature a lot of side attractions for the children.
He said the bank has been supporting the UNICEF OVC project for 10 years and has now extended the reach beyond vulnerable children to those affected by the insurgency in the northeast.
“We will continue to support the schools that we have been supporting. We will also extend our reach to some of the IDPs in the north. We welcome support from partners who will join us in the programme,” he said.
Director, Business Development, Fifth Chukker, Terri Brennam said the resort was happy to partner on the project because of its impact on the lives of the children.
Ms Brennam said 150 children from the UNICEF beneficiary schools would be hosted on children’s day during the tournament.
“We are inviting again approximately 150 children from the UNICEF supporting schools and as well as some from schools in Kaduna. It is going to be a daylong series of activities – everything from running horses; painting projects, sports projects; we have the baby polo pitch where the youngsters will learn the fundamentals of polo and we will serve lunch. UNICEF will give a small presentation to the children. After the lunch, some of the schools are putting up plays, musicals, their own interpretation of what the theme of this year’s children’s day about violence against children means.
Blessing Ejiofor, Communication Officer, Advocacy Media and External Relations, UNICEF, said the funds provided by Access Bank and Fifth Chukker partnership make it possible for the agency to improve facilities in the three beneficiary schools in Kaduna. She said they have been able to construct classrooms and perimeter fencing, furniture, textbooks, and teaching aides – all of which have improved learning outcomes in the schools.
Polo Captain for Fifth Chukker, Hassan Babangida, described the tournament as the most prestigious in Africa.