ROTARY International has honoured the founder of Pro-Value Humanity Foundation, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo in recognition of his support for youth development and prioritising the interest of youths in his campaign for a better Nigeria.
At an event, ‘An evening with Dr. Obiora Okonkwo,’ in Abuja, Wednesday, a past District Governor of the club, Chief Nnoka Mbanefo, confered on Okonkwo the Rotary International Youth Leadership Icon Award and decorated him with the Rotary KickOutPolio Campaign badge.
Making the presentation at the Rotary Youth Leadership booth camp, in Abuja, Mbanefo noted the unrivalled nature of Okonkwo’s support for youth development, while lauding him for not shying away from the challenges of youth development in the country.
He disclosed that Rotary, ”had taken note of Okonkwo’s continued support for youth development and this has led to the sponsorship of 100 youths from Anambra State to attend the booth camp, where they received trainings in leadership and self-realization skills.”
An elated Okonkwo announced the award of 20 scholarships to indigent students, who will be nominated by District 9125 of Rotary International, to help youths acquire leadership skills.
He pledged to further support the youths by creating a better environment for their development as he reminded them that, ”you are the future of our country and for you to take advantage of that future, you must stay away from vices, aspire to become role models by your lifestyles and the choices that you make.”
Okonkwo advised them that, “no matter what you do, you must put God first, as many youths have gone astray by embracing vices.
Urging the youths not to be distracted, he told them that, ”I always tell youths in my village that the late Professor Chinua Achebe wrote ‘Things Fall Apart’ in his 20s. He wrote that book in the village using kerosene lamp. He had no internet, no cell phone or computer. Today you are equipped to achieve big things.”
The Chief Executive Officer of The Dome Entertainment Limited, told the 300 participants at the camp to ensure they return to their homes better than they came ”because no training is a waste. Nigeria’s youths cannot face the challenges of the future if they do not imbibe leadership skills.”
The business mogul tasked Rotary International to do more in reaching out to more youths especially as such trainings will help direct youths towards right career paths.
He said: ”Surrender yourselves to discipline, overlook every discomfort you experience because that is the sacrifice you have to make for your future. Remain focused and don’t let anything distract you while in camp.
“No training is ever enough so you must keep learning because without knowledge and skills, your future will be tough. You must acquire skills and knowledge in order to have a better future. Make the best of the opportunities that you have so that at the end, you will become the best of what you want to be.”