My foundation is a spiritual contract with God, says Governor
He said the foundation is part of his commitment to contribute to the future of African children.
He revealed this while speaking during the visit of Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to the foundation in Owerri on Friday, November 10, 2017.
The governor said when he started the foundation decades ago, many people misunderstood his intentions that he was doing it for politics, but that it was part of his commitment to contribute to the future of African children.
He said, "When I started this foundation 20 years ago, it was like a miracle. This foundation started from Jos at a mosque. I would go to this mosque every Friday to help feed the indigent children, what you call the beggars.
"As we kept going there, the population kept rising. Then we decided that rather than giving just the food and support and cash, we could now build schools for them.
"Today, we're proud to have 10 Rochas Foundation Colleges across this nation with over 15,000 children, 75% of them are orphans, and that's a qualifiaction with which you can come to this school. In other words, when you don't have anybody who could help you.
"I recall my first Rochas Foundation school in Owerri, and in Kano Jos and the rest, many did not understand where I was coming from and most people misunderstood the entire intention because it was the first time hearing of somebody giving free education without counting the cost of returns. It was difficult to believe and no one believed me.
"People tried to associate this whole outing of mine 20 years ago to mean politics and some people could attribute it to a smart way of making an image for yourself, but they do not understand that Rochas Foundation is a spiritual contract between me and my creator when I swear that if God blesses me, I'll bless others; if he honours me, I'll honour others; if he educates me, I'll educate others because on my own I can do nothing but I can do all things through God who giveth me the strength.
"It was spiritual and contractual with God, and it was an oath I took remembering that I wouldn't have gone to school if the mercy of God never came upon my head.
"I was not an orphan but it was difficult to make ends meet with 12 children belonging to two poor parents whose total capital was not up to $10 in their business, so I know what it is to suffer, I know what it is to stay a whole day without food and I know what it is to stay wanting to go to school and help will not come from anywhere. That was my concern, and that was my oath that I took.
"So what I do today is not a dramatisation of afluence. Definitely I'm not the richest African; the richest foundation is a dramatisation of sacrifice for the less privileged and for those who wouldn't have gone to school.
"So today, we have decided to take five children every year from each of the African countries. Liberia has five today; next year, we expect another five from Liberia and many African countries."
Speaking after the governor, President Johnson-Sirleaf commended him for his wonderful initiative and sacrifice that'll most definitely rewrite the future of many African children.
After her speech, she was taken on a tour round the foundation to see where students have been learning.
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