Chioma in her graduation gown
Ahead of our Summer Programme which kicks off tomorrow, 5th August, for the FLA Kids, we got to chat with one of the children who has been sponsored through our programme and has now completed her secondary schooling. Chioma has always stood out in her intelligence and character, as one of the leaders of Tomorrow! She's an outspoken, bold and bright young lady, who has participated in several of our debates and taken initiative whenever we've organised events. She's an aspiring lawyer, and she's very grateful to her sponsors, Shiv Lila Polymers Ltd, who have supported her since April 2015 to keep pursuing her dreams.
Below is our chat via WhatsApp. It has been slightly editted for more clarity and focus.
Chioma: Good afternoon, ma.
Ufuoma: Hey, dear. Congrats on completing your secondary schooling!!!
Chioma: Thank you very much, ma.
Ufuoma: So... How are you today?
Chioma: I'm very good, ma.
Ufuoma: Do you remember when you first learnt about Fair Life Africa?
Chioma: Of course I do. I heard it from my mum that through my school I would be sponsored by an organization.
When I got the news I remember feeling so lucky. Those things that hindered my education had come as a discouragement to everything I had planned for my self and everything I had hoped to achieve had all been wiped away. By that name "Fair Life Africa", I was instantly motivated and everything just seemed to fall in place and it made me feel special and safe.
Ufuoma: Yeah, I believe your school referred your family to us in 2014. Do you know the challenge you were facing as a family at the time? Care to talk about it?
Chioma: It's basically financial issues... We are a big family, along the line I think because of unfortunate circumstances my parents couldn't keep up with our basics.
Ufuoma: You said you had dreams and plans for your future that seemed dashed until FLA came along to revive them... What are these dreams/plans?
Chioma: Being able to have an effect in productive change in regards to things around me. Being a lawyer also, to be able to determine the importance of the truth... There's nothing more effective than dealing with the law.
Ufuoma: Have you always wanted to be a lawyer?
Chioma: In my heart, yes. People will always give their opinions on what they think is best for you, though.
Ufuoma: Okay, but you know what you want. That has been clear with you. What would you say the greatest thing you gained from your school is?
Chioma: Yes it has. The greatest thing I gained from my school should be how we were never encouraged to relax. We were always reminded that immediately you get past a stage you should fight harder with the next one.
Ufuoma: Hmmm.... That's interesting. So, you found that strategic or motivating towards success?
Chioma: Very! I feel even to the point where you think you would like to get to, when you finally arrive, move higher than just that.
Ufuoma: Keep aspiring for greatness! So, how do you feel now that you've completed Secondary School?
Chioma: To be honest. A little tense and there's need for perfection. I keep giving myself these talks to help me focus and grow in order to meet my aim.
Ufuoma: You don't feel relieved, happy or excited?
Chioma: I do feel relieved... So relieved!
Ufuoma: Lol! One down or two down, two to go...? Do you plan to do a Masters or PHD? Or just to get a degree?
Chioma: I do plan to do my masters. I have always!!
Ufuoma: What type of Law do you want to specialise in?
Chioma: Corporate law.
Chioma: I find that if I'm really good at it I can make lots of money. And then I have always been intrigued at the confidence and strategy that one has to bring to be the best! I'm also very persuasive.
Ufuoma: Cool. So, do you know Shiv Lila Polymers are your sponsors?
Chioma: I didn't. I hope they know how grateful I am.
Ufuoma: Okay. If you could meet one of their representatives, what would you like to say to them?
Chioma: I would say that I am highly appreciative. And I know how much faith they'd put in into helping me and I would like to assure them how I wouldn't joke with the opportunity. I am grateful and I say a big thank you. They have impacted my life a great deal and I plan on making an impact to the world with their generosity.
Ufuoma: Awesome! So, our summer programme is coming up next week. Are you excited?
Chioma: I'm not because I wouldn't be able to attend, ma. Aunty Ifeoma mentioned it to me but I started an internship job and I wouldn't be able to make it
Ufuoma: Oh no :( But great about the internship! Where is that?
Chioma: It's at Lekki Phase 1. They are a retail company.
Ufuoma: Okay... Not related to law then...
Chioma: No... I tried though. But with my little or no experience partaking that yet, I was advised to engage in anything else I could gain from.
Ufuoma: Okay, cool! Only a few more questions... How have you found the FLA Summer Programmes? Is there a particular year that you felt was most impactful?
Chioma: They have been wonderful. The year we talked about inequality and how females should be regarded equally as males. We got to share different views and we felt people connecting.
Ufuoma: That's great.
Chioma: We also had to help with cleaning the environment as a way of giving back. That made me really happy.
Ufuoma: :) Okay, our theme this year is “Leaders of Tomorrow, Today!” What do you think of that, and of the activities we've scheduled for the other FLA Kids?
Chioma: I think it's great. The encouragement and support is just so awesome and they're so lucky. Wish I could be a part of it too.
Ufuoma: Yeah! You're one of those who shows a lot of leadership potential. I was looking forward to your participation.
Chioma: That means so much Thank you, ma.
Ufuoma: Okay, final question. What would you like to say to other children who are in situations like your family was when FLA came to assist...? And to your fellow FLA Kids who have been given this chance at a better life?
Chioma: To the kids in the same situation I was... I would say, " Don't be to quick to let go of those dreams and ambitions. I promise if you we fight together we'll make it." And to my fellow FLA kids... "Let's do this!!!!! We've always be determined and with this encouragement and love, let's all work hard and become great so we could give back and make every one proud!"
Thank you very much ma. FLA has done more good than words could say... I'm so grateful for it all
Ufuoma: Thanks, dear! And I appreciate this time you've given for our interview tonight. Good luck with your internship! Do keep us posted.
Chioma: I will, I promise! You are highly welcome ma.
We are so grateful to everyone who has come alongside us to invest in these leaders of tomorrow! Thanks for your faithfulness and generosity in giving. And thanks for all the other ways you have shown your support to our initiative! Do check out our post about the Summer Programme to see what we've got lined up and how you can assist: CLICK HERE. God bless you all!
Oh, happy day!!!
When we first met Chioma in 2014
All grown now... Chioma at Christmas 2018!