Yola, Adamawa, Nigeria (PRWEB) November 25, 2015
In the wake of the latest terrorist bombing in northern Nigeria, which killed 38 people and wounded close to 100, the American University of Nigeria (AUN) announced a scholarship fundraising effort for the victims as well as those of earlier attacks.
The bombings, believed to be the work of the terrorist group Boko Haram, have killed and wounded thousands of people, many of them children, during the past two years. The latest bombing occurred at an open air market crowded with shoppers buying fruit and vegetables for the evening meal.
“The most effective response to this and similar atrocities is to provide the innocent survivors with the very thing the terrorists hate: education,” said Dr. Margee Ensign, AUN president.
The number of people eligible for the scholarships is very large but impossible to accurately estimate, AUN officials said. Scholarships will be offered first to victims most significantly affected by terrorist attacks. These include people directly injured and the children of parents killed or disabled by the terrorists.
Scholarships funds will be raised for beneficiaries to attend AUN’s primary and secondary schools known as the AUN Academy, as well as the university’s undergraduate and graduate level programs.
AUN has a privately funded scholarship program for the students who escaped from their Boko Haram kidnappers after being taken from their school in Chibok in April 2014. Twenty-three of these young women are currently on full scholarships, with many receiving remedial instruction until they are ready to enroll in the university.
Education is an antidote to terrorism
This scholarship program for the Chibok students has been funded by gifts from generous donors all over the world, including two substantial donations from American and Nigerian philanthropists, which have allowed AUN to pledge to support the students until they graduate.
“These scholarships have a double benefit,” said Ensign, an American, who has led the American-style university since 2010. “Not only do they profoundly improve the lives of victims and their families, who otherwise face lives of poverty, but their formal education contributes to the communities they are determined to rebuild and helps create jobs and a quality of life that will eventually rid us of the terrorists for good.”
The scholarship program will be managed by the AUN Foundation, a U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit, and 100 percent of donated funds go towards the direct costs of the students’ education including housing, meals, tuition, and extra curricular activities. Founded in the American higher education tradition of community service, AUN operates food programs for internally displaced people, job training for disadvantaged youth, literacy programs for locals delivered by radio and traveling tutors, and business startup help for women entrepreneurs. Its highly regarded academic programs will soon include a college of law.
AUN and the AUN Academy boast over 1500 students from kindergarten to graduate school. Students come from Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda and the United States, and are taught by an international faculty and staff representing 37 countries. When funded, scholarships will range from $1,500 per year for primary grades to $14,600 for undergraduate and graduate programs.
Donations can be made directly to the AUN Foundation at http://www.aunf.org. All donors will receive the AUN newsletter and periodic updates on the scholarship program and the students benefiting from it.
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About American University of Nigeria
The American University of Nigeria was established in 2003 by Nigeria’s former Vice President, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar. Conceived as Africa’s first Development University, its mission is to promote service learning and to educate leaders who will be prepared to tackle the development issues of Nigeria and Africa. The university offers an American-style education modeled after the curriculum of American universities, using the latest in Internet technology and e-learning resources.