By Ismail Auwal
Discourse Forum has granted full-tuition scholarships to over 10 indigent female students of tertiary institutions in Kano.
The Founder and Chairman, Huzaifa Dokaji, who is a Ph.D. Student at Stony Brook University in the United States, made the disclosure in an interview with SAHELIAN TIMES.
Dokaji, said the will to establish the indigent scholarship arose from personal experience after he nearly lost his Ph.D. scholarship due to difficulties he faced in securing funds to cover the cost of visa application, travel ticket, and other related expenses.
According to him, although the Forum is now focusing on Kano State, it envisions expanding the scope of the indigent scholarship program to other regions of northwestern Nigerian in the next 5 years.
“We choose to give the scholarship to indigent female students because they are the worst affected by illiteracy and lack of sponsorship.
“You see, men can go out and work to earn. But we have a culture that restricts young girls to their homes. They can engage in businesses sure, but they are at a disadvantage.”
He added that, “Men can go wherever and earn. We are yet to commit to investing money in education and empowering women. They are the mothers of past, present, and future generations. We need to educate and empower them. “
“The stronger and impactful our women are, the more likely they will raise giants for this society.” Dokaji said.
“Growing up, I noticed how women were suffering as mothers, daughters and wives. 200 years ago, Uthman Dan Fodio said people in this part of the world don’t like educating and empowering women.
“It is still relatively the same. I promised myself to do whatever I can to establish a scholarship that will help in reducing the menace of illiteracy among young girls when I can. I am glad I have found people willing to participate and support me.”
“We have offered 10 scholarships so far, and we are planning to give another 40 for the next phase”.
One of the beneficiaries Usaina Usman, who spoke to our reporter, said that she had lost hope in ever continuing her education when she won the scholarship. “All I had to do was prove I needed help and was willing to succeed in my studies, and my tuition was paid in full”, she explained.
Discourse Forum is a youth academic forum established in 2018 and has organized series of panel discussions on topical issues related to education and insecurity.
The forum said it is also working to provide uniforms and writing materials to children of the poor in public primary schools within Kano State.
According to the Chairman, it has since concluded plans to introduce a mentorship program for History undergraduate students in Kano.
The program will pair the students with senior graduate students or academics to help them cultivate excellent research and writing skills.