Thursday, 17 September 2015

We need Government Cooperation - STCC

We need Government Cooperation - STCC

The 2015 Annual Leadership Holiday Camp of Save the Children Campaign (STCC) held in August. It ended on a glorious note as new Camp King and Queen were crowned. High net worth individuals also graced the occasion. KENNETH JUDE, reports.

The annual leadership holiday camp organised by Save the Children Campaign may have come and gone but the memories it left behind lingers on. Those who made it to the camp will thank their stars they were part the fiesta. It was one week of undiluted fun, revelry, spiritual uplift, inspirational talks, intellectual discourses and lots more. 

Held at Science College in Ididep, Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the week featured exciting programmes that bordered on life and its essence. A galaxy of artistes were also on parade which further added spice and colour to the occasion. Guests trooped in to catch a glimpse of the whole dramatic but fun filled exercise. 
The legendary Mystery Search which began way back in 2007 in     Umuahia Camp, a tortuous but revealing journey that eventually produces the Camp King and Queen was as intriguing as always. It was emotion-laden, thrilling and spell-binding. One needed to be there to fully have a feel of what really transpired. The excitement is better experienced than imagined. 

The Camp went into wild ecstasy when renowned and firebrand cleric of the Catholic Church, Rev. Fr. Patrick Edet stormed the premises on day 4. His entry was as glamorous as it was spirit lifting. His presence brought a different aura to the arena. It was all fun and excitement at its best. Noting was in short supply. Talents were discovered while latent abilities were honed and moulded for a better future. Akwa Ibom State finest comedian, Sir James was on hand to do what he knows best even as wave making saxophonist, Davidwhyte sent the hall into frenzy with his effortless but brilliant performance. 

Speaking on the 2015 camp experience, the STCC Director, Dr. Ekom Akpan (JP) explained that it was a very rewarding and soul lifting exercise. “It’s been very rewarding and it’s always an experience that I look forward to. For the past seventeen years, this experience has continued. It’s getting better every year and since the day we started, we’ve been here and there have been much excitement and expectations. God has been with us and every programme has come out to be perfect even more than what we were planning.’’

Speaking on the motivating factor behind the consistency of the programme, he said the reaction and passionate participation from the children has always driven them to keep the spirit alive. “When we see the changes in the children, we know that this is something we cannot stop. It has gone along to fulfil the essence the Campaign was initially formed. Every year, you see the lives of the children transformed, talents being developed, children discover their destinies; it’s been very encouraging.’’

On the challenges faced in organising the Camps and her general programmes, he noted that the major challenge is funds and lack of sponsors. Hear him “one of the challenges we’ve always had is the issue of finance because we don’t have a permanent sponsor who will be there for us at all times. Whenever we have a programme, we reach out to people, companies and most times, they do come to our aid. But in this particular camp, we’ve received the least patronage and it’s only one person that donated substantially to this camp; none of the companies we met obliged us but I thank God the camp went on successfully. In as much as finances have always been our challenge, whatever programme we set out to do, we ensure it is done satisfactorily.’’

On the Campaign’s collaboration with the Government, he noted that they have always worked with them. “We do collaborate with Ministry of Education to run our programmes in each of the state that we are. This is because our programme is education-based.  On how supportive the government have been, he stated in categorical terms that the government have not been overly supportive as it should. He added that apart from their programmes being endorsed by the Government, they should also take more interest in the Campaign as it is a veritable platform to build the mental capacity of children and expand their scope of knowledge.

“I think it will be better if government collaborates with us and also look at taking up some bills by way of providing facilities and not necessarily giving us money. This is the kind of collaboration we will like to have with government. We have reached out to government in this regard before now but it has never really sailed through due to bureaucracy and all that.’’

Ahead of the next edition, he explained that it is going to be bigger, better and more impactful. The father of two thanked all the participants for their show of support and urged them to put to good use what they have learnt. He advised the public to always stand up to the needs of others, noting that affecting the life of another is the greatest gift one can offer humanity.
 He however decried the indifference showed by some churches towards the Campaign, adding that there is so much discrimination in the Church. He condemned the act and warned church leaders against turning the church into a political party but should do their utmost best to impact lives and key into ideals that better the lots of the young ones.

The highpoint of the Camp was the crowning of the new Camp King and Queen where Gideon Tom and Peace Ekom, both of whom are members of Uyo Sector emerged winners out of a pool of twenty equally agile and talented youths. It was a scene of high emotion and tears of joy as the out gone King and Queen, Eyoh Eyoh and Rosaline Asuquo passed on the baton to their successors. While expressing her feeling on being crowned Queen, talented and beautiful Peace, apparently carried away by the euphoria of her emergence, was short of words to express how she felt. “Am very happy and I can’t just stop smiling. It’s too good to be true, I am over excited. I’ll do my best to maintain the high standard of this office.’’

The King, Gideon Tom, while speaking on his emergence as Camp King noted that it is a reward for waiting on God for many years. “The feeling is that after 19 nineteen years of waiting for this honour from God and believing Him to crown me, He did it today and am happy. My friends really supported me and I thank them all.  When I came into the camp, I had expectations, and I said to myself that if I lose, it means I was not the winner but if I win, that means I was the winner.  I now look forward to accomplishing the mission statement of STCC to reach out to children out there through life changing programmes and build their intellectual capacity and groom them in the way of the Lord.’’

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