I am humbled, happy and encouraged as President of LeAP to receive the Abiriba Emerging Leaders Award presented to The League of Abiriba Professionals – LeAP by the Enachioken in Council, for LeAP’s modest services being rendered for the development of Abiriba Kingdom.
The League of Abiriba Professionals (LeAP) is a non-profit community development organization duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. LeAP members are professionals in diverse fields of human endeavour who can trace their roots to Abiriba by birth or marriage.
Through the LeAP platform Abiriba professionals synergize with a view to adding value and improving the quality of life in Abiriba community and Abiriba people universally.
LeAP operates by committees and therefore every member is an active participant in fostering the developmental activities which have continued to positively impact Abiriba indigenes and the Nigerian society at large for the past eleven years.
Although LeAP has provided widespread interventions in Abiriba community spanning safety and security, power supply, employment opportunities, the association’s major focus areas are economic empowerment and educational development.
LeAP donated motorcycles and sundry support to the Abiriba Police Station to maintain safety and security in our community. Following the protracted absence of power supply LeAP was instrumental to restoring power supply in Abiriba.
Through the Annual LeAP Economic Empowerment Seminar Series, a highly sought after business development platform which holds alternately in Aba and Lagos for the past consecutive 8 years, LeAP has provided capacity building and skills development to the youthful Abiriba and Nigerian business community, directly impacting over 3000 entrepreneurs and Small and Medium Enterprises. Remarkably the latest seminar this year in Aba was on maximizing opportunities and trends in the textile and fashion industry.
With its quarterly Personal Improvement Lecture Series (PILS) LeAP has in 10 years provided professional knowledge development from A-list experts to over 2000 professionals.
LeAP promotes the much needed educational interventions in Abiriba Kingdom through its semi-independent platform, the LeAP Educational Trust Council, popularly called LeAP-ETC, with a Board of Trustees made up of renowned Abiriba educationists and business leaders.
Some years back Abiriba secondary schools were delisted as WAEC centres due to the inability to make the required payments and provide the required number of students to sit for WAEC examinations. LeAP through the LeAP-ETC intervened to recruit and pay auxiliary teachers in various key subjects and made the required payments for the return of Abiriba schools as WAEC centres. LeAP has sustained this project for over 8 years with millions of Naira and the result is evidenced in the excellent WAEC performances by our students, many of whom are now undergraduates.
LeAP-ETC was able to attract sponsorship to establish a Science Laboratory in Onarubi Secondary Technical School, adjudged the best equipped laboratory in Abia State by the Commissioner for Education who commissioned the lab.
Also, LeAP provided Science equipment in both Enuda High School and Egwuena Girls Secondary School helping to make learning easier for our students.
To encourage academic excellence, LeAP initiated the Mentorship scheme – this is a programme where every LeAP executive committee member and interested members are assigned mentees for coaching and guidance, and financial support if necessary. Every LeAP-mentor is expected to support his/her mentee in any way possible to ensure the student does not drop out of school. Gladly, many products of this scheme are now undergraduates.
Under the LeAP-ETC Educational Endowment scheme we have various individuals and families in Abiriba sponsoring some subject prizes. The subject is named after the sponsor and the money he/she donates helps to provide support to the best student in that subject and also fund educational projects in Abiriba. We have various individuals that have made commitments to the endowment funds.
LeAP holds the popular Annual Youth Seminar and Prize-Giving Day for the three public secondary schools in Abiriba. Under this initiative LeAP promotes the values of discipline, hard work, self-reliance and academic excellence.
LeAP has in 9 years donated over 5000 exercise books and over 5000 text books to the students.
Other parts of the programme include:
• Award of Certificates and Plaques to Deserving students and schools for their performance in Debates, Quiz Competitions and Essay Writings.
• Award of Certificates to Deserving Students in the LeAP-ETC Subject Awards
• Nomination and handing over of Mentees to their Mentors
• Recognition of Deserving Teachers for their service to the schools and community at large.
LeAP has facilitated fully funded scholarships for brilliant Abiriba graduates, four of whom have successfully graduated with Master’s degrees in Engineering in the United States of America.
Notably, beyond manpower development, LeAP has secured employment for over 100 people from Abiriba and elsewhere through its human empowerment initiative.
The proposed LeAP Skills Acquisition Centre in Abiriba is expected to accommodate three Workshops, One Administrative Block and One Multi-Purpose Hall.
These initiatives are meant to drive economic and social development of Abiriba and surrounding communities. The LeAP Skills Acquisition and Enterprise Centre is expected to help raise the next-generation craftsmen and women for the economic development of Abiriba, Abia State and Nigeria in general.
Notably, other communities in the South-East have adopted the LeAP Model for their community development, with our members happily providing the required support.
The operational philosophy of LeAP is Think-Develop. We invite you to join LeAP in advancing the Abiriba heritage of splendour.
Join the conversation at www.leapng.org
Oze Kalu Oze