Hundreds of Imo teenagers and youths are being shown the way out of delinquency and crime by catching them young and showing them true way to career and success.
This task is being undertaken by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Wright Portfolio Foundation International (WPFI), which has discovered the attraction sports holds for the youth to create self-determination and value reorientation in them.
The 2017 exercise, which ended in Owerre-Nkworji in Nkwerre local council of Imo State on December 28, 2017, attracted huge crowds from youths, parents and tourists who watched exciting sporting contests and intellectual encounters.
The Wright Portfolio Foundation International now operating in Imo State is now at the forefront of the fight against youth restiveness in the country. The grand finale witnessed presentation of awards and scholarship offers that are expected to turn around lives and attract other youths into well-meaning ventures and walk away from delinquent ways and criminal activities.
Records show that teenagers in Imo and other nearby states are some of the most frequently apprehended suspects in crimes and violence. It is believed that the influence of the two biggest commercial cities (Onitsha in Anambra and Aba in Abia State) as well as the influence of two nearby oil cities (Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Warri in Delta State) has pulled teenagers away from stable growth and development. Most teenagers now want financial riches quickly instead of career-based professional pursuits.
Domiciled in Owerre-Nkworji in Nkwerre local council of Imo State, the NGO which does not receive any sponsorship or grant from either the federal or state government for its activities unlike other NGO’s operating in the Niger Delta Region, has however made it a duty to intervene hugely in the lives of hundreds of youths.
This information was revealed in an interview with our correspondent during the ceremony, which also featured free medical exercise.
The event also featured scholarship awards to qualified orphaned students and pupils who have passed creditably in their respective schools. According to the country executive director, Constance Nwokejiobi, who spoke to our correspondent, the qualified pupils and students in the primary and secondary schools would receive full scholarship while those in the higher institutions would go home with N100,000 each.
Apart from the scholarship programme, the NGO is into promoting youth sports such as table tennis and basketball. There is also free medical programme and community service, she said.
According to Nwokejiobi, the first edition was done in 2016, which promoted free youth networking and interaction. She stressed that it has created huge effect in the minds of the youths. This has manifesting in their positive behavioural attitude in the community.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Wright Portfolio Foundation International, Charles Nwokejiobi, said in his opening remarks that the foundation was established in memory of his late father and mother who were very important to his upbringing and for saving his life during the Nigeria civil war.
He said he has created huge impact in the lives of the youths, promoting peaceful co-existence.