The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the government of the People’s Republic of China, a global diplomatic framework for integration and growth is 10 years old.
This platform introduced by President Xi Jinping is being celebrated for its impact.
As activities continue to herald this window of global integration for economic growth, peace, and shared benefits for humanity, the China Global Television Network (CGTN) initiated a documentary series – Rising with Pride, for this objective.
CGTN documentaries tell the success stories of this framework in many countries that are members of BRI from Africa to Asia and to South America.
Nigeria has been one of the major beneficiaries of the framework. Apart from the economic impacts manifest in many completed projects and sectors of the economy, there have been human impacts.
One of them is the China Nigeria Friendship School, Igbesa, Ogun State built by Chinese companies of the Ogun Guangdong Free Trade Zone located in that community.
The standard of this school is a dream to the poor rural community and affords children of ordinary citizens the opportunity to attend good quality school their families would ordinarily not afford.
The success story of this school with about 700 children at the nursery and primary levels is the far-reaching corporate social responsibility of the Free Trade Zone operators – the Chinese investors.
The CGTN documentary celebrates the school’s head teacher’s dedication from inception until she retired 12 years later. CGTN found the management, dedication, and professionalism of Mrs. Akinboade Yetunde extraordinary and made her the pivot of the story to encourage merit in service.
Even after Akinboade retired from service in June, she still found time to visit the school at the beginning of the new school year to keep in touch with two indigent students to know how she would assist them and ensure they don’t drop out of school. The two kids, Jeremiah and Solomon were so encouraged to see their old head teacher come just for them. Before she left, she interacted with the new head teacher, Mrs. Ajo, and tasked her to keep her abreast with the welfare of those two children. Ajo herself is also a pioneer teacher of the school and knows the story of its growth and grooming of kids. This school in the past has produced over 450 graduates most of whom are in tertiary institutions now. Interestingly, Akinboade has a WhatsApp group she created to keep track of these past students and follow up on their growth and progress.
Beyond this school, the FTZ built a 10km double-lane road fitted with solar streetlights and provided the school and community with water boreholes.
Early this year, the Chinese Consulate in Lagos built a cafeteria and another block of classrooms for the school as further support.
Picture: Mrs Akinboade Yetunde, China Nigeria Friendship School, Igbesa, Ogun State