On Thursday, not less 300 students drawn from 70 public senior secondary schools in Ijesaland received cheques to pay their 2020 West African Examination Council (WAEC) registration fees, courtesy of Asiwaju Yinka Fasuyi Foundation (AYFF) scholarship scheme.
Community leaders, parents and students unanimously confirmed that the scheme is drastically turning the land around.
The cheque presentation ceremony which was held at the Damol Event Centre, Ilesa, with Professor Isaac Adewole as chairman of the event, drew dignitaries including the royal fathers in the land led by His Imperial Majesty, Oba (Dr) Gabriel Adekunle Aromolaran II, (CFR) to witness the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Janet Babalola from Ipetu-Ile, who spoke on behalf of the parents, described the gesture as unprecedented which she said has touched many lives in the land.
According to her, the programme started three years ago, but never taught that it was a real programme, opened to everybody in the land without any bias but based on academic performance of your child in school. She said her family was happy when it was announced that her child has won the scholarship without knowing anybody in Ilesa.
She said: “We parents in Ijesaland, are indebted to Chief Yinka Fasuyi’s gesture. I am sure Asiwaju does not know the good things he is doing in the land yet, may be until later in life. His name has become a household in Ijesa communities. Asiwaju is building our children’s hope in education also establishing a legacy for them to emulate.
ANCOPPS Vice President, Julius Olawore of Erinmo Community Grammar School, Erinmo, described AYFF’s scholarship programme as a welcome development in the history of educational advancement in Ijesa land.
According to him, AYFF’s financial assistance came when many parents could not afford WAEC registration fees in the land due to the bad economic situation in the country.
He stated that AYFF’s scholarship scheme is generating academic competition and excellence among the students in each secondary schools in the six local government areas in Ijesaland, as every student is aspiring to win AYFF scholarship which is based on academic performance in the joint state mock examination conducted for all the senior secondary schools in Osun State by the state government.
“If we can have more of Asiwaju Fasuyi in the land to support indigents in their educational pursuits, the development would go a long way to promote education in the land.”
Miss Miracle Dickson, Senior Girl in Erinmo Community Grammar School, Erinmo who spoke on behalf of other recipients of the award thanked the benefactor for the scholarship.
According to her, many of their parents are struggling to send them to school but the unexpected emergence of the scholarship has been a blessing to all the recipients. “The knowledge of the scholarship is our studies is boosting reading culture,” she said.
Former Minister, Professor Isaac Adewole, described Chief Fasuyi as a visionary, strategic thinker and planner who has chosen to invest in the present and future of Nigeria without political agenda.
According to him, Chief Fasuyi deserves commendation for giving back to society, there by sowing the seed of prosperity, development and also promoting security.
While Professor Adewole appealed to other philanthropists in the land to take up this challenge, he commended chief Asiwaju’s effort to sustain the scholarship which started three years ago.
Speaking in the same vein on the occasion, Engr Olusola Ayeni, asserted that Fasuyi foundation’s vision to impact, or touch lives is the best option to offer society in its developmental process.
“Fasuyi Foundation’s focus was a right direction in the developmental process of Ijesa land and it must be sustained, while members of Ijesa communities should encourage him, we, his associate friends, will give him moral support,” he said.
Oba Aromlaran commended the continued efforts of Chief Yinka Fasuyi, towards education and economic empowerment development in the land.
While Oba Aromolaran entreated the recipients to face their studies, he enjoined them to go for self-employable professions at the tertiary institution level. According to him, the development would go a long way to reduce the rate of graduate unemployment in the country.
In his response, the founder of the foundation Chief Yinka Fasuyi, the Asiwaju of Ilesa reiterated the vision and mission of the foundation to foster unity among communities in Ijesaland, improve quality of education and promote excellence through scholarship, especially among the secondary schools in the land.
He said: “I am attributing AYFF success story to God. I am also indebted to our royal fathers in the land for their moral support towards the programmes since inception in 2017.
“AYFF mission has always been to impact lives. The scholarship scheme started with 100 students from 20 public secondary schools in Ijesaland in 2017. It was increased to 250 in 2018. This year the Lord has helped us to increase it to 300 students drawn from all the public secondary schools in Ijesaland. So far, 650 students have benefited from the scheme. We are believing God to increase it in subsequent years.
“However, by January next year, we are commencing an empowerment programme on skill development where 50 people from each local government areas in the land will be sponsored for lucrative self-employable businesses. Our objective remains to drive away poverty from the land, as much as we can. Over N10 million was committed to execute this year’s project.”