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PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
MINUTES OF LAST MEETING (2007)
NEWS - N-LINK
Selfless Service, NLink and the Nation
In his acceptance speech for the D. Sc honorary degree of the University of Nigeria Nsukka our own Engr. Dr. Ernest Anene Ndukwe spoke of selfless service and its introduction as a subject into school curricula nation wide. In essence he advocated that "Service without seeking for reward", be introduced into the psyche of our country. How apt! N Link applauds. This indeed is what N Link protagonists stand for and have worked for in words and deed over the years. NLink has produced selfless people whose services to humanity have been noticeable and outstanding.
Selflessness involves sacrifice of personal interests for the benefit of the greater community. Those who practise selflessness have a place of honour, love and respect in the hearts of their fellowmen and their communities and in N Link. -
On the other hand, the selfish, who only mind their own interests and choose to ignore the needs and interests of others including relatives and those at their doorsteps, reap opprobrium and outright hatred or hostility. Selfishness is a wicked perversion which was legislated against in the Golden rule and the greatest law of Judeo-Christian civilization namely "Love your neighbour as yourself and treat others as you would wish to be treated"
Those who do not care about other peoples' feelings or interests, but exclusively and meticulously mind their own are antisocial, and not their brother's keepers!.
Honour To Whom Honour Is Due
Honour means "High public esteem, credit, fame or glory", A man of honour is, in an exemplary sense, a person of high exemplary standard of conduct, of worth and of respect as judged by others!
People are therefore honoured for their public worth, respect and exemplary achievements, high and above that of the average others in society.
The words "exemplary, high above others, as judged by others" are all worth emphasizing, because our theatre of activity is the public. Public opinion therefore judges our actions and in-actions. Honour therefore has to do with people and the public.
Prof. Chuka Nwokolo receiving a clinical excellence GOLD award of the UK National Health Service in October 2007, was commended for "sustaining dedicated contribution over and above any contractual requirement", "by his peers who assessed and honoured him".
Every person likes to be given credit for what he has done right, for any of his positive actions for his own good and of others. This in essence is why people are honoured. From the nuclear to the larger families, from kindred through villages, towns, local government areas, states, the nation and transnationally, people get honoured recognized, appreciated and glorified for one reason or other for their positive actions.
Goodness is rewarded in one's lifetime by praise and honour. Evil and negative actions "live after" their performers. For Shakespeare in Julius Caesar avers that "The evil that men do lives after them, The good is often interred in their graves". Thus, long after evil men die, their evil deeds and anti-social actions are still remembered (and condemned).
It is not surprising therefore, that good people rejoice when they are honoured, for it shows that they are people of worth, people of example and people of achievement, high and above average. They are leaders among the good people of society.
Striving For Honour
Striving for true honour is noble and should be encouraged in the young and old alike. Striving produces that burning ambition and determination for perfection on the part of the one striving. Perfection results from strong personal discipline, desire and effort to be positive, hardworking, selfless and good natured, in order to be appreciated.
"Trying to please” and diligence in all one's endeavour leads to perfection. Selflessness and desire, to serve without asking for any reward are all signs of greatness which Christ spoke about when he said that the greatest of all his followers were the ones who bent down to serve others. To such people are true honours bestowed and these honours are true and worthy honours, recipients of which should justly rejoice and be proud.
This pride is not the type described elsewhere as one of the seven deadly sins! Instead it is a feeling of fulfillment for a job well done.
NLINK And Honours
The Bible tells us to honour our parents so that we live long on earth. The widest interpretation of this includes honouring all to whom honour is due, including our parents who are our teachers and mentors from birth, our other mentors and teachers and all those whose examples, achievements and lives have brought inspiration to us.
Believing that charity begins at home N Link had always attached great importance to honouring our parents, mentors and heroes. We have encouraged pursuit of excellence and very high standard of public conduct, morality and propriety. It cannot be said that the public has failed to take notice of N Link members, for great honours have been bestowed on our immediate ancestors as well as ourselves in appreciation of worth. N Link itself has bestowed honours when appropriate.
HIGHEST UNIVERSITY ACCOLADE
On 1/3/08 in a very colourful ceremony, the University of Nigeria, Nsukka awarded. its highest science honorary degree - Doctor of Science (D.Sc) to our own N Link son Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, who two years earlier also bagged another highest honorary degree in Technology viz Doctor of Technology (D. Tech) from Federal University of Technology, Owerri. His big uncle and mentor, Prof. Chukwuedu Nwokolo had also in 1984 and 1988 received the D.Sc award from the Universities of Maiduguri and Ibadan respectively. N Link is full of pride and congratulates this emerging star and others.
OTHER HONOURS AND AWARDS
Our own Prof. Chuka Nwokolo, another star received a Clinical Excellence GOLD award in Oct. 2007 in recognition of his "sustained and dedicated contribution to the British National Health Service, over and above his contractual requirement"
Similarly, this year our own Dr. Azu Ndukwe, erstwhile State House Physician to the last four vice presidents of the country was honoured with the national honour of OON, while Prof. Ebele Maduewesi received a Merit Award from the Teacher Training College, Katsina followed by a traditional title of "Obata Ife Adi" by Eze Igbo in Katsina.
Also among NLink members who have been traditionally recognized by the Obi of Oraifite, Igwe Dr. Daniel Udoji on their merit for meritorious services to the country and beyond are, Prof. C. Nwokolo, Dr. Azu Ndukwe, Hon. Justice Ifeyi C. Nzeako, Prof. Ebele Maduewesi, Engr. Dr. Ernest Ndukwe. NLink congratulates all who have received awards, honour and recognition and urge them to continue to be examples to others in hardwork and worthiness. They have done the NLink proud.
SPECIAL CITATION FOR THE AWARD OF DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF SCIENCE (HONORIS CAUSA) FOR
ENGR. ERNEST CHUKWUKA-ANENE NDUKWE
Engr. Ernest Chukwuka-Anene Ndukwe was born in Oraifite, in Anambra state on September 2, 1948 to the family of Mr. Clement Nnadi Ndukwe(of blessed memory) and Mrs. Adaora Ndukwe. His father, the late Papa Clement Ndukwe retired from the Nigerian Railways in senior management and was also a keen sports Administrator. His mother Mrs Adaora Ndukwe is a nurse and retired as Matron of Parklane Hospital, Enugu.
Even from an early age the young Ernest showed signs that he was cut for the engineering profession. He was reported to have started fiddling with gadgets in the home from as early as 5 years old. He therefore left no one in doubt as to what profession he was to end up with.
He had his elementary school at Ladi-Lak Institute, Yaba and secondary school education at the Union Secondary School, Enugu. He was very active in school activities and in his final year was appointed a prefect and school disciplinarian. He was also President of the school's dramatic society. In school, he was very good in mathematics and the sciences and bagged the West African School Certificate in 1966 with distinction. His educational career was however disrupted between 1966 and early 1970 owing to the Nigerian Civil war. The young Ernest Ndukwe was however not to be deterred and early in 1970 he was admitted to Federal School of Science, Lagos from where he applied for admission to some Nigerian Universities and was offered places by three Universities. By some act of fate and the direction of God, Ernest Ndukwe settled for a course in Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Ife and graduated in 1975 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Engineering.
During his time at the University of Ife, his leadership qualities were again manifest with him being the President of the HISOC CIRCLE, the premier social club in the University and also the Electronics and Electrical Engineering Society. After graduation, Ernest was posted to Lagos for his NYSC and was sent to the Nigerian Railway Corporation for his primary assignment.
After his NYSC in 1976, Engr. Ndukwe turned down a higher paid job with Lever Brothers as a Trainee Manager to accept employment offer from a smaller company, Radio Communications Nigeria Ltd as an Engineer. He had his career in focus and was not to be lured by immediate financial benefits.
He worked for only a few months and was selected to attend a course in Satellite Communications with Harris Corporation Training facilities in Melbourne, Florida, USA. He so distinguished himself in this course that he was retained by Harris Corporation as an instructor to help teach the next batch of trainees that were coming for the same course. He was also awarded an advanced course certificate at the end of a second program in October 1977.
On return to Nigeria, Engineer Ndukwe rose rapidly in the organisation to the post of Assistant Engineering Manager by 1980.
He left RCN for an Electrical Engineering firm, Sodik-Asea in early 1980. He was there only for a few months when he got an offer to join a multinational communications company, GEC (Telecommunications) Nigeria Ltd in January 1981 as Engineering Manager, following a very intensive and competitive selection process. He was to discover later that he was the first qualified Nigerian Engineer to be employed by the Company that was then mostly populated by expatriate engineers and managers. Here again Engineer Ndukwe distinguished himself and served variously as Engineering Manager, Marketing Manager and General Manager.
He was elected to the Board of the Company in 1988 as Commercial Director and was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Company in 1989. Again he was to be the first Nigerian managing director of the company.
During his tenure as Managing Director, Engr Ndukwe was very active in the telecommunications industry generally and contributed variously as a speaker and resource person on issues concernmg.the Telecom Industry in Nigeria. He was a strong advocate for liberalisation and opening up of the telecom industry for competition.
Perhaps his greatest attribute is that of being forthright and firm about his beliefs and position on issues of national interest. He was president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) for several years and nurtured the organisation to be recognized as the body for Telecommunications Industry practitioners in Nigeria.
One of the outstanding legacies of his tenure as ATCON President was the creation and nurturing to maturity of the NICOMM exhibitions one of the largest annual telecommunications exhibitions in West Africa.
Engr Ndukwe was appointed on the 18th of February 2000 as Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications -Commission. Since his appointment, the Nigerian Telecommunications industry has witnessed unprecedented transformation leading to what is now commonly referred as Nigeria's Telecommunications Revolution.
Engr Ndukwe brought to the position a wealth of experience spanning over 25 years of professional achievement in the private sector. He has been dutifully carrying out his public office with passion and with the same attributes of hard work, firmness and integrity.
Engr Ndukwe presided over Africa's first Digital Mobile Licence auction in January 2001. The auction was internationally acknowledged as transparent and professionally executed. The Nigerian Communications Commission since the tenure of Engr Ndukwe has been transformed to an efficient and high performing public institution where openness and transparency are extolled as virtue.
Engr Ndukwe is a past Chairman of Administrative Council of African Telecommunications Union (ATU) as well as the past Chairman of the West African Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA), an organization which he helped pioneer.
Engr Ndukwe has represented Nigeria at various international events and is a regular resource person at international conferences including International Telecommunications Union (ITU) orgnanised fora and events. He is currently a Vice Chairman of Telecom Development Advisory Group (TDAG) of the ITU.
Engr Ndukwe, on special invitation, has served as adviser to a few countries in Africa on Telecom Policy and Regulation.
The Nigerian Communications Commission over which he presides has been severally voted the best Regulatory agency in Africa.
Engr Ndukwe is a Fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE) and Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management (FNIM) and Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Engineering. He is also holds a Doctor of Technology degree (Honoris Causa) from the Federal University of Owerri.
He is author of several papers on Telecommunications Regulation and Sector Policy.
At the end of his first term as the CEO of the NCC, Engr Ndukwe was reappointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate in 2005 for another term of five years.
Nigeria's Telecom Sector has witnessed remarkable growth since his appointment in 2000 and has moved up from the bottom of the ladder to the top ten fastest growing mobile subscriber-base countries in the world. By December 2007, the nation's subscriber base had grown to 42 million connected lines from about 0.4 million in December 2000. Engr Ndukwe claims that the greatest legacy of his tenor has been the democratization of communications access in Nigeria and making the benefits and impact of ICT available to the masses especially the poor and the most traditionally disenfranchised groups.
The NCC under Engr Ndukwe has also been passionate about human capacity development in the industry which has led to the birth of the Digital Bridge Institute, an International Centre for Telecommunications and Information Technology Studies.
Engr. Ndukwe has been honoured by several organizations for his professional achievements including:
Distinguished Excellence Award by Nigeria IT Professionals in the Americas for outstanding contribution towards the improvement of the Communications Industry in Nigeria;
Distinguished Merit Award by the Nigerian Society of Engineers;
Distinguished Leadership Award by Leadership Watch organization for the transparent and professional handling of the digital mobile Licensing Auction;
Lagos Business School Alumni Association Award for outstanding contributions to the Telecommunications Industry; Distinguished Alumnus Award by Obafemi Awolowo University Alumni Association; Nigerian Achievers Award 2003 for outstanding contribution to the Communications industry; Man of the Year Award 2002 and 2006 by Nigerian Information Technology and Telecom Awards (NIITA) for exemplary courage in presiding over the organisation of the most transparent auction exercise in Africa; Director Development Award, for Enterprise by the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2003 etc
Pillar of Information Technology award by the College of Medicine, UNN, 2004
Digital Peers International Award of Excellence in recognition of his immense contribution to the development of ICT, 2005
Award of Excellence by City People Media Group, February 2007
2006 Best Regulator of the year award by Thisday Newspapers, February 2007
Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, May 10, 2007.
Man of the Year Award 2007 by the National Daily Newspaper for his outstanding leadership role in the telecom industry.
Engr Ndukwe is a recipient of Nigeria s National Honours and decorated with the rank of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic, OFR. He is happily married to his wife Mrs Ndalaku Ndukwe and they are blessed with Children.
ARRIVAL AND GARDEN PARTY, CHORUSES, etc
*to be concluded at Oraifite
Morning session – Easter Service
After Service – Subject to confirmation
Evening session – Entertainments, Qs or As
Talks, Ifem Ebewuna Otu and final Banquet II
HIGHLIGHTS OF 2007 MEETING
HOSTESS: Auntie( Lady) P. Nwokolo
We had our customary “ifem-‘e-bewu-n’otu” and retired for the evening.
Members started to depart as early as 6:30 to their various destinations.
NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD - WHERE WE'VE BEEN (2008)
Emma Nwokolo and family: doing well
Owen Nwokolo and family: doing well
Azuka Nwokolo and family wrote:-The family has continued to grow from strength to strength and has performed well in many aspects since the last N-Link festival. The family continues to enjoy the serene atmosphere in its Asaba. residence. I must confess that the Good Lord has been very faithful to us and has continued to shower His blessings on the family, He has in uncountable ways demonstrated to us that He is God indeed by allowing The Light of His Face to shine on us. While visiting us with supreme health, He has also given us some fiscal upliftment and thus has put quality food on our table. We are quite grateful for all these and we give all glory to Him. Our prayer is that He continues to show Himself to all members of N-Link and beyond in the magnificent ways He has done to us. Wishing everybody happy celebration for this 2008 festival. You are welcome!
Tony Anyakora and family: doing well
Okey Nwokolo and family: doing well
Ogo (Teddy) Nwokolo and family: doing well
Chike Nwegbe and family: doing well
Joe Umeh and family: doing well
Onuora Nwokolo and family: doing well
Ifeanyi Nwokolo and family: doing well
Ifeanyi Okoye and family: Ifeanyi is doing well, Febechukwu is studying for wassce and jamb. Jachimike is a 3rd year medical student. Chinwe was promoted to assistant chief education officer.
Uncle (Prof.) and Auntie Njide Nwokolo: They are in Enugu and make their annual pilgrimage to see their children in America. They are doing well.
Chuka Nwokolo and family wrote:- It has been a busy year for our family. Idu is spending the 3rd year of her modern language course teaching English in a primary school in Barcelona. Her Spanish should be near perfect when she returns. She will then go to Brussels for 4 months to work as an intern in a company to polish her French. She returns to Durham later this year to complete her final year. Munachiso spent the first month of this year doing her elective in St Vincent’s University Hospital in Melbourne Australia. She was picked up from the airport by Ikenna (junior) and his wife Zione. She was well looked after by members of the Nlink, including Uncle Ikenna, Auntie Elaine and Amaeze.
We are grateful to them. She spent a month in Kathmandu in Nepal working in hospitals there. She is back in London to finish her medical course in June 2008. She already has a job offer as a junior doctor in Kings College Hospital, London. Nwabueze has been promoted and now chairs the important Equality and Diversity Committee in the Council of the Law Society of England and Wales. She has been a Council member for the last 2 years. This role calls her away to London often. Fortunately it is only 75 minutes by train. She is also a very active member of the U.K National Congress of the Methodist church. Chuka has just finished a 5 year term as the Treasurer of the British Society of Gastroenterology and is now devoting more time leading his research group at Warwick Medical School.
Much of the research is directed at understanding how the gastrointestinal tract works at the molecular and cellular level. Some of the publications from this research can be seen if one logs onto the “pubmed” website and types in Nwokolo C. Other papers by Nwokolos can also be seen on the site including the first Professor C Nwokolo, Dr Emma Nwokolo and Dr Nneka Nwokolo.
Last year we visited Auntie Mercy at Amaechi’s home and also met up with Ngozi Iloka. Nneka and Amaechi Nwokolo, Nwabueze and Chuka also represented the Nlink at the anniversary of Chinelo’s marriage to Simon.
It was a very enjoyable party in London. The highlight of our year was spending New Year eve with NLINK members from the USA and Nigeria and celebrating with them, our 25th wedding anniversary which occurred on the 18th of December 2007.
Ngozi Nwokolo and family: doing well
Buzz Meyerson and family: Logan, Chad, Nnaemezugolum a bouncing baby boy (see pix) was born on the 4th of May 2007. We thank God for his blessing.
Mezie Nwokolo and family: Eziafa is moving up at Chevron, Nmesomachi just passed her exam into (class7)JS1, Nulia is in Primary 1 and Nodebenna is in reception1.
Tochukwu Nwangwu and family: Family is doing well.
Chuma Ojukwu and family: doing well.
Eduboy Nwokolo and family: Russell Chiedu Nnaemezugo, was born on the 7th September 2007(see pix). Praise the Lord.
Auntie Kez Ndukwe (Mother of Faith): Azumdialo is doing well in Orai.
Azu Ndukwe and family: Azu the indefatigable personal physician to four vice presidents, retired (but not tired). He was honoured with a well deserved OON. The Mims, Children and Grand Children are all doing well.
Annie Ndukwe and family: Annie bagged a Doctor of Science(D.sc), from University of Nigeria(UNN). NLink was well represented at the impressive UNN Convocation for this award. Ndali and the Children are all doing well.
Elems Obowu and family: doing well
Obioma Achebe and family: Ona is in SS2 getting ready for her final year, Ebuka is in primary 5.
Okey Moka and family: Its such a good feeling to realize that Easter is here again, when we usually meet or read about our lovely relations. A time to share in our achievements, joys, or otherwise, with people who truly care. We pray God to keep us together as one big family, who share in each others issues, for ever.
OKEY: Our own Okey was nominated for Knighthood in the Awka Diocese of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, in recognition of his services to his home church at Ichida. To God be the glory. He will soon migrate from the Okey we used to know to “SIR” Okey.
He is settling into business life, after his untainted banking career. We wish him well in his new office on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi.
NKOLI: Soon to be known as “Lady Moka”. Still with EIL. The company is waxing strong, winning awards locally and internationally for professionalism.
KENE: Kene is growing into a very tall boy. In his final year of high school, Kene is easily the tallest grand child of Mama Kez at the moment. We wish him God’s guidance and best of luck as he writes his WAEC.
ADA: Ever smiling young Jugo. She is in SS2, and just developed a passion for golf. We hope she will win dollars for us with time. We cant wait!
DUMEBI: Dumebi is doing well in Grange School winning accolades/awards for conduct, academics, etc. He is gradually getting over his shyness. He was a compere recently at a presentation by the Press Club of the school on Drug Abuse. We hope he will pass on the information to our N-Linkers over Easter.
KAMSI: Kamsi is not left out in the stories of success. He is doing well at Grange School too and recently won awards for completing his English and French Scheme ahead of other students and for conduct.
He probably will be getting WWE medals with Dumebi if they both continue with their special wrestling moves and holds unchecked!
SPECIAL INVITATION : Okey and Nkoli Moka invite all N-Linkers to their investiture of the Knight of St. Paul by His Grace The Most Rev. Maxwell S.C. Anikwenwa (JP), Dean Church of Nigeria, Arch Bishop of The Niger Diocese and, The Lord Bishop Diocese of Awka (Anglican Communion), at The Catheral of St. Faith, Awka, on Easter Saturday, the 22nd of March. Reception will take place in our home at Ichida, after the service. Please join us enmass at this occasion and for lunch thereafter. Your presence will be greatly appreciated.
George Emeghara and family: doing well
Auntie Mercy Obiagwu:. She had a good vacation abroad during which she had a very successful eye surgery and Cornea transplant at the famous London Eye Hospital. Thanks to all her children.
Amaechi Obiagwu: Doing well .
Chris Iloka and family: doing well.
Sir Chuka and Lady Nkiru Uzoalor. Sir Chuka and Lady Nkiru are Doing well. Obi now an electrical Engineer serving with Oando Lagos. Ada serving with Legal aid Kano after her LLB, Ogo still with Zenith bank, Lagos, Omy doing her final year at University, Chizo got her NCE and is waiting to go for her degree.
Obiora Obiagwu and family: Barrister Obiora Obiagwu was promoted to a Deputy Director with double portfolio. He is Head,Council Secretariat of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) and Secretary, Management Committee (MC)at the Bureau of Public Enterprises. Nkiru and the children have all relocated to Abuja. What God has joined together, let nothing put asunder.
Ndubuisi Obiagwu and family: doing well
Uncle Ikenna Nwokolo and family: Uncle Ikenna and Auntie Elaine are still settling in having migrated to Australia in December 2007. They are both well.
Nneka is fine and has just come back from one of her numerous and regular trips spreading the word on HIV.
Andrew is doing well.
Chiza says: I am getting married next month as it turns out, on the 17th April 2008 in Fiji, to someone I have known for quite some time now. His name is Milton Westcarr and he is West Indian born in the UK but of Jamaian parentage. He emigrated to Australia 8 years ago and I met him through a mutual friend not long after that. Slowly over time, a very special bond developed between us.
He is an Engineer by profession and lives and works in Adelaide. I am in the very fortunate position that my job as National Trainer for a Medical Skincare company allows me to pretty much live anywhere in Australia and still be able to carry out what I do, which mainly entails travelling round Australia teaching Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeons, their nurses and clinicians on the benefits of using Medical Skincare to achieve favourable outcomes for their patients..
Ikenna Jnr.Wrote: Zione and I are enjoying the experience of being first time parents. It is with great pleasure we use this opportunity to introduce our daughter Adaora Nwokolo. Born on 1 May 2007. She decided to arrive early (at 29 weeks!!) and is doing fantastically well. We are so grateful to the nursing staff and doctors at the Royal Women's hospital Melbourne (where coincidentally I was also born) for the care, love and support they showed Adaora during her hospital stay
Amaeze is also very well and is a proud uncle
Amaechi and Ugo are doing well in the U.K and enjoying married life.
Uncle Uche (Akadile) and (Aunty P) Ugwu – doing what they know how to do best (upholding their siblings) May the Lord bless and keep you always. Nwanneka – doing well. She went on another pilgrimage to Israel (double JP)
Chinelo and Simon Williams celebrated their first wedding anniversary in London with a November party well-attended by UK N-Linkers.
Kingsley Nwafor and family. Ada Nwafor, Kingsley and Nke's one-year-old daughter, is emerging as a very lively lass. She is developing a wide vocabulary, including 'Dora!' (her favourite cartoon character Dora the Explorer). Her gentle twin brother Chikamso talks a little less, but has led the way with walking. Both a now walking all over the place
Ejike Nwokolo is doing well
Ifeacho Nwokolo, successfully completed his MBA in the US last year.
Auntie Cee Nzeako and family: Our Dear Uncle George passed away on September 20, 2007. He fought the good fight and finished his race valiantly, now there is left for him a crown of righteousness, but not only for him, but to all who love the Lord’s appearing. He had been unwell in the United states, but held on steadfastly till he got home to Ogbunike. The journey of his return being a testimony of the faithfulness of our Lord. The Funeral at Ogbunike on the 9th of November 2007 was a tribute to Uncle George, our dear Auntie Cee, Ugo and the Nzeako family, with the high and mighty and of course Nlink coming to honour this foremost Nlinker.. May the Lord continue to uphold them (see pix and appendix)
Ugo and Rita Nzeako: Ugo is still practicing Gastroenterology in Florida. Rita spends a lot of time involved in the children's schools, and after-school activities.
Chiazam is in the 3rd grade, and is doing well in his studies. As a result of his good performance, he was selected to be part of the school's Enrichment Program. This is a program in which a group of outstanding students from his school do various projects in collaboration with other students from around the world. Chiazam has discovered the pleasures of reading, and is becoming an avid reader of childrens books from the library.
Arinze is in the 1st grade, and he is also doing quite well at school. Arinze's passion is presently in sports - especially basketball.
Chike is in preschool and will begin kindergaarten in August. He "played" soccer last fall, but is more interested in "reading" books and playing on the computer than sports.
Uncle Johnson and Auntie Ebele Maduewesi: ProfJNC Maduewesi continues at National Open University Awka Study Centre as Centre manager.He regularly travels to Lagos for various meetings and workshops.
Auntie Ebele who lives at Nsukka is taking some interest in a village Church childcare centre.In 2007 she did a little consultancy work for UNICEF,preparing Early Childhood care Teacher Education Curriculum for Colleges of Education.
Chuks Kamanu and family: There is a new addition to this family, Amarachi Ucheoma Kamanu. Born on 21st September at 7.30pm at West Houston Medical Center,HoustonTexas. Mezie, Jioke and Uju are doing marvelously well to the glory of God.
Chike Nwosu and family: doing well.. Onamma was around for Nneoma and Ossy’s wedding in December. Rumour has it that Chike is around (Rumour confirmed)
Oke Maduewesi and family : Onamma and Zara are doing very well. Oke is making waves at Zenith.
Osmond Obiefuna and Family : The latest addition to the Nlink family had their ikwa nkwu at Nnewi on December 1 and wedding atAbuja on December 8,2007. Nlink was very well represented(as usual). They both live in abuja(thank God) as .Nneoma has relocated to Abuja and to Wuse Branch of Guaranty Trust Bank
Letters and articles
HON. JUSTICE IFEYINWA C. NZEAKO
House No 5, U Close,
3rd Avenue, FESTAC Town,
Our Dear N - Linkers,
On behalf of Ugo, Rita and myself, as well as the entire Nzeako family, I wish to thank you for all you did to console and support us in our trying period and grief, during the illness, demise and the burial of our father and husband, Engr. George Nwachukwu Nzeako.
We are unable to put into words the depth of our appreciation for the love which Linkers have shown to us these many years, and most of all, recently. You showed empathy during George's hospitalization in the United States and his last days in Lagos and Ogbunike on his return before his passing.
The Airport and Hospital arrangements and reception for George in Lagos by Lagos N-Linkers were thorough and overwhelming.
As to the planning and execution of the burial ceremonies, you left no stone unturned. Some of you phoned us several times. Others provided significant professional advice and medical services that prolonged George's life. Some provided hospitality and ran errands. Others stayed round the clock nursing and consoling George in Hospital in Lagos and Ogbunike, bringing food, fruits and drinks. Your messages to us poured in.
We believe that your prayers and your concern shown George while he was with us, made him feel much loved.
You gave us emotional support. Many of you sacrificed so much in material resources. You honoured George in every possible manner.
Your physical presence was indeed overwhelming. The N-Linkers special hymns rendered during the funeral service finally sent his remains peacefully to mother earth as his Christian soul went to his maker.
I cannot adequately record all that you did, nor can we, the N-Linkers of the Ogbunike branch thank you enough.
Permit us to do only that which we know how to ------pray for you all.
We ask the great and eternal Father, to pour His blessing on you all and reward you abundantly.
With best wishes and much love from us.
Rita Nzeako wrote
Dear N-link family,
Last year was one of the most difficult periods for the Nzeako family. We are eternally grateful for all your love, support, and prayers during Daddy's illness, and at his funeral.
Although we miss Dad, we are doing well in other aspects. Ugo is still practicing Gastroenterology in Florida. I spend a lot of time involved in the children's schools, and after-school activities. I volunteer at Chike's school frequently, and I agreed to serve on the Leadership Advancement Committee team for the Chiazam and Arinze's school. Ugo and I believe that parents should be visibly involved in the childrens' school activities, since this helps maintain a working relationship with the school teachers and administrators.
Chiazam is in the 3rd grade, and is doing well in his studies. As a result of his good performance, he was selected to be part of the school's Enrichment Program.
This is a program in which a group of outstanding students from his school do various projects in collaboration with other students from around the world. Chiazam has discovered the pleasures of reading, and is becoming an avid reader of childrens books from the library.
Arinze is in the 1st grade, and he is also doing quite well at school. Arinze's passion is presently in sports - especially basketball.
Last year, Chiazam and Arinze trained in American Football, and their team played in a tournament. This winter, they have been learning and playing basketball. Soccer starts at the end of March. They have also been taking piano lessons since the Autumn of last year, and had their first recital last Christmas.
Both Chiazam and Arinze have qualified to represent their school, along with other children, in a chess tournament this March. In addition to their sports, they also are enrolled in a Mathematics program after school.
Chike is in preschool and will begin kindergaarten in August. He "played" soccer last fall, but is more interested in "reading" books and playing on the computer than sports. We have to see if he will follow in his brothers footsteps. He is also doing well at school, and he really likes his teachers. He's learning the "Lord's prayer" in detail, and prefers to say the Lord's prayer than the simple prayers most common at his age such as " God bless everyone, Amen". His favorite verse, "I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me" inspires us every day.
We miss everyone in the N-link family, and we pray that we might be able to visit with the children soon. God Bless
From Nwabueze Nwokolo
How time flies when you are getting on in age! It seems like yesterday when I sat down to bash out our ‘06 Xmas newsletter-what happened to 2007 and how did it fly past so quickly? We all have had a very busy and productive year and we end the year in good health-what more can one ask for?
Chuka continues to work as hard as he has always done and has been lucky enough to be recognised for all that he does in clinical and academic medicine. It has been a most significant and rewarding year for him in more ways than one and he is still standing! We are all very proud of him and he most certainly sets the standard for all of us as a family unit to aspire to and subsequently emulate. He has also organised a reunion with his siblings in the New Year-what a marvel eh!
My work with my professional body continues to be most satisfying as I enjoy representational work immensely. I have had to give up other things to concentrate on Law Society business but continue to do my bit within my Christian denomination and local community. I hope to be part of a Trade Mission to Nigeria and Ghana in the spring of 2008 which will coincide with the Nigerian Bar Association Conference. I am quite looking forward to that.
Munachiso is in her last year of medical school and has worked flat out the whole year. This included not only academic work and examinations, but also working alongside real doctors and other medical professionals in NHS hospitals and GP practices. She also had an article published which dealt with equality and diversity
in the training of doctors which impressed me no end-that’s my girl! She still manages to make out time for netball, football and her reading club and continues to see me onto my train at Euston after Council meetings-bless her…….
Idu has been in Barcelona working as an English teacher and also practising her Spanish. She absolutely loves her job and is kept very,very busy not only by the school where she works, but also with providing individual English lessons to the parents of her pupils. She will spend the rest of the academic year in a French speaking country practising her French, with exams back in Durham in June 2008.
2008/09 will be the last academic year of her languages degree. Her pupils seem to think that the UK is part of the USA-this annoys Idu no end!
I did a bit of travelling this year-Nigeria during the elections in April on Law Society business, Barcelona with Idu in September, Dublin in October for my last meeting on the Churches Commission for Racial Justice.
Our Racial Justice Sunday (Solihull Methodist Church) in June was led by the President of the Law Society and our local MP and fully supported (as usual) by the Igbo community in the West Midlands.
We all spent the summer in the Algarve and that was glorious and Chuka and I did New York (to see the parents) and Disney Florida (to ride the tame rides) in September/October. Oh yes-the 18th of December marked the 25th year of our marriage-wow!
We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year with all our love and best wishes, Chuka, Nwabueze, Munachiso and Idu Nwokolo.
Malvern Lodge 57 St Bernards Road Olton Solihull West Midlands B92 7DF
And as Council Member, British Methodist Church Nwabueze wrote:
I began attending the Methodist Church in Epsom Surrey in 1986. When we moved to Solihull in 1990, the first person to visit my family and make us welcome was Irene whose daughter Alison worked at the Epsom District Hospital with Chuka. Irene has been a firm Methodist friend ever since and that is what British Methodism has become to me over the years-a firm and true friend that sees me warts and all and continues to be there through thick and thin. Methodists are practical Christians that believe in doing and finding solutions to problems through myriad ways including spiritual guidance, evangelism, financial assistance, campaigning and advocacy.
My involvement in the Council of the Methodist Church started 3 years ago. The Council is a representative body of British Methodism with decision making powers delegated to it by the Conference of the Methodist Church. This is a practical thing to do as Conference meets once a year in the summer and thereafter, the Church still must be run, which is what Council does, supported by the Connexional team.
I represent the Committee for Racial Justice which presently has two seats. My role on Council is like that of all other Council members be they presbyters, decons or lay persons-to assist in the decision making process of Council, for the benefit of all the constituent members of the Church. Since Council members are drawn from different sections, sectors and geographical areas, the ultimate aspirational goal is that christianly decisions are made after transparent consultation, reflection and debate.
I have also had the privilege of representing the Committee for Racial Justice and the Law and Polity Committee at several Conferences over the years where I have tried to ensure that the voices of those that are without power continue to be heard. I am a strong believer in personal and individual ability to make a difference-we are all made in the image of God uniquely and specially, hence each and every one of us matters and can contribute to the functioning of the whole. If one does not participate and get involved, then those things which one feels are not right will continue to flourish and occur. Even if change is slow to happen and even when it does not happen, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you tried to change the adverse position as best as you could have given the circumstances.
What qualities do you need to be a Council member? I would say passion and enthusiasm for all that is right and just, a good knowledge of the area you represent and thereafter a working knowledge of the complexity of the workings of our Church.
You need to have the ability of being able to read and make sense of an inordinate amount of information and be nimble and quick in responding to speeches and debates should the need arise. Being a good listener, presenter and committee member are all also essential parts that make up the tool kit of a Council member.
Linda and I have enjoyed the privilege of representing you and fervently hope that Solihull Methodist Church will continue to send representatives to both the Council and Conference of British Methodism. Xxxxxxx
Mrs Nwabueze Nwokolo
Council Member, British Methodist Church
Feb 2008 SMC Guild
And Idu Nwokolo
CHRISTMAS 2007 AND NEW YEAR 2008 IN THE ALGARVE (PORTUGAL)
After a year of military organization (courtesy of Dad), twenty children, grandchildren and in-laws of Grandma and Grandpa set off to the Algarve for an incredible week. We all arrived between the 25th and 27th December, with Auntie Ngozi and Kiki arriving on the 30th. Muno and I were especially looking forward to it, as it had been three years since we last everyone.
The days were spent relaxing, swimming, catching up, seeing a few sights and eating…. a lot! One evening, we went to ‘Cheers’, a Brazilian restaurant renowned for its dance show. After the meal, a magician performed a few tricks with his parrots, and then the female dancers performed, who took a great interest in Tobi!
Later on in the week, we had the first part of the Annual Christmas Quiz, which Zola and I had organized. There were ten topics, including Mythology, Science and Literature. On one team were Dad, Uncle Chuma, Uncle Tochukwu, Muno, Nobi and Tobi, with Tobi as the team captain. On the other team were Mum, Auntie Ngozi, Kiki, Auntie Nji Girl, Uncle Mezie, Auntie Chioma, Auntie Eziafa and Zara, with Auntie Eziafa and later Zara as team captains.
There were some interesting victory dances and a few ‘heated discussions’ about disqualification of team members, but in the end it was all good fun, with Tobi’s team as the victors.
On New Year’s Eve, we had a combined celebration of Mum and Dad’s silver wedding anniversary and the arrival of 2008. Zola, Nobi and I had been on a walk earlier on in the week and thought it would be nice if the cousins did a performance on New Year’s Eve for the aunts and uncles. After three intense rehearsals with excellent direction from Zola, we (Zola, Nobi, Tobi, Nmesoma, Zara, Kodi, Kamsi, Nulia, Nodebenna and I) performed a medley of songs, which were: ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Start of Something New’, ‘You’re Beautiful’ and ending with the ‘Circle of Life’. Later on in the evening, we were assigned the task of writing a poem about the ‘Blue Algarvian Sky’, by Dad. Once again we split up into teams and wrote two very different but remarkable poems. The judges, Uncle Tochukwu and Auntie Ngozi, decided that it was a tie!
week flew by and by the end of it, nobody wanted to go home! The only flaw of the trip was the stomach bug which affected most of the family, but luckily it didn’t spoil the whole week. It was a fantastic holiday, which made all of us realise how blessed we are. It was a week that none of us will ever forget!
And about her time in Spain she wrote:
Since September, I have been living and working in Spain as part of my Modern Languages course at university. I live in a small town called Sant Feliu, a seaside town near Barcelona. I am working as an English teacher in a primary school called ‘CEIP Gaziel’ and so far, it has been a rewarding experience. Working with children is a real joy, especially when you see the effects of your teaching on them. My children in 5th level still remember the song I taught them in November for Bonfire Night!
The most challenging aspect of my job is making the lessons interesting and fun for the children and holding their sustained interest and concentration. My teacher Dolors, the head of English at Gaziel who’s responsible for my working timetable, has been wonderful to me and I can always rely on her if I need ideas or help with a lesson.
Everyone I have met here so far has gone out of their way to make me feel welcome. I am extremely lucky I got placed somewhere with such friendly and warm people. I live with another assistant called Sarah, who works in the other primary school in Sant Feliu. We have both immersed ourselves into community life, in order to meet more people and speak lots of Spanish! I do jazz-dance classes three times a week and I sing in the choir.
I love speaking Spanish and learning Catalan’s been an added bonus! As well as Spanish, Catalan is another official language in Spain which is spoken in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Andorra and parts of southern France. It is spoken by approximately seven million people. Catalonians are very proud of their culture and their language, so if I make the effort to speak Catalan as well as Spanish, they’re very happy! xxxxx
Some Medical advice from Uncle Prof Chukwuedu
SOME TIPS FOR BUILDING SUPERIOR BRAINS AND INTELLIGENCE IN THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW:
Starting from the beginning, the second half of the wife's pregnancy ie from the 25th week onwards is the period when the baby's brain develops fastest. The mother requires a special diet for this period. Fish everyday is required.
2) All Babies should be breast fed when possible
3) Use Omega 3 fish oil daily for all babies and children
4) Before going to school all children must start with a good breakfast. This ensures satisfactory performance of the brain at school.
5) Use unsaturated oils for cooking, ie oil that is liquid at room temperature. Avoid Saturated Oils and fats which can undermine the brain's memorizing function. Olive oil and other unsaturated oils are recommended. Avoid cooking oil that has to be melted before use.
6) Beans and other legumes and nuts including peanuts are slowly absorbed and provide good control of blood sugar.
7) Vegetables, tomatoes, carrots and fruits, are recommended for daily use. They are rich in antioxidants for all occasions in health or disease.
8) Alphalipoic acid is a very special and one of the best antioxidants available. It is soluble in both water and oil and therefore penetrates the brain easily. It increases the energy of mitochondria in cells, and can restore other antioxidants when they are exhausted.
9) Fish oil which contains omega 3 type unsaturated oil is one desirable fatty substance needed by the brain for efficient performance and learning. It should be used by all adults.
10) All cells of the body contain nuclei and Mitochondria The Mitochondria are the energy factories of the body. In the process of performing their duties, they (Mitochondria) throw off harmful substances called Free radicals which may accumulate in a quantity capable of damaging the brain, unless counter measures are instituted.
11) The body's defenses (counter measures) against these free radicals are chemical substances called antioxidants which can destroy them (the free radicals)The battle in the body is therefore a chemical war between the free radicals versus antioxidants.
12) If the free radicals win, an unhappy premature old age results, with degenerative brain disorders and intellectual deterioration.
13) If the antioxidants win, especially in educated persons, the brain remains intact and the memory of the old person remains good, even with the passage of years.
14) All leaders of the nation Should assemble and teach about all possible antioxidants in the food Menu of our people. Among the best and readily available antioxidants are vitamins C, E and Alphalipoic acid. .Other vitamins are A & B groups.
All of them can protect the brain from damage.
Detailed knowledge about food should be taught in schools, All of them are available in Nigerian shops and markets in sufficient quantities to prevent deterioration of the brain in all age groups when properly and adequately used.
15) Health education is essential in all schools. There should be planning for clean drinking water arid immunization everywhere. Malnutrition is present in 30 - 40% of our population and is responsible for poor learning performance in schools and elsewhere.
Malnutrition should therefore be vigorously planned against, as the brain is our most precious belonging, and must be protected by all possible means., Agricultural planning towards food security must also be accepted as a major priority in national planning.
16) Education and more education at all levels must be the beginning of all developmental planning every where.
Funds for education and development should come form Federal, State, and Local Governments, and private sources. Assistance from Patriots, philanthropists and International bodies such as UNESCO and other United Nation's agencies should also be sought whenever possible.
17) Primary Health Care has been recommended on the Alma Atta pattern of the United Nations programme in Nigeria since 1995.
What is required includes the establishment as soon as possible of Ministries of Water resources, housing. Public Information on radio and television, and health education including annual and regular immunization of children.
17b.Corruption has been identified as one of the major social disorders which have weakened our nation today. It aggravates the poverty of the people by reducing Government funds and resources meant for education arid national development. Corruption should now be fought vigorously at all levels, with a firm and disciplined resolve, using all brain storming techniques of which the nation's leaders are capable.
18) All advanced nations divert a small percentage of their national revenue to a system of development called Research and Development or R and D. Two to Three percent of their gross national product is used to improve the quality of natural skills already in existence.
This improvement saves Foreign exchange which
would have been used for the importation of foreign
goods and also facilitates export. This system is
commendable even for undeveloped states of Africa.
Parenting advice From Auntie Ebele Maduewesi
Some people believe (is it true?) that when every need of children is provided, such children grow up to take things for granted including their parents. The view of this school of thought is that because such parents do not ask for any reciprocal services from their children, such as house chores, running errands, or any such appropriate task or even gratitude, the young people grow up to always focus on their own selves and it never occurs to them that they owe any one anything or any service.
Is this to say that parents should consciously parent for" mutual interdependence and reciprocity”? Research says that parents should spend time to ensure and to insist that young people are assigned age- appropriate tasks the performance of which parents must supervise and insist that they are properly executed. This is the meaning and heart of responsibility training. Research says this is a crucial aspect of parenting which today's parent’s neglect to their own peril.
Lack of time for supervision, lack of co-operation from young people themselves, are usually advanced as excuses. However, laziness, lack of consistency and unwillingness to incur the disapproval of their children are probably more honest reasons why parents avoid this aspect of their parental duties.
Many honest adults of our generation admit that their parents' insistence on standards when they were growing up enabled them to imbibe those virtues of honest labour, persistence with difficult tasks, accountability, commitment, trustworthiness and the like. The above virtues are in retreat in the lives, behaviours and habits of the new generation, and many parents are complaining. Are they justified if they have not firmly laid the foundation? Are some parents not wooly in their handling of non-performing young people? Do fathers and mothers not quarrel and "fight" with each other over disciplining or not disciplining their children? Such a scenario provides a perfect opportunity which children of all ages exploit to pitch one parent against the other.
Assuredly times have changed but not in respect of all things .The biblical teaching to bring up the child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it, is advise that is eternally applicable. It was true and applicable in 1950,it is true and applicable in 2008.Parents are probably not as committed today in certain aspects of their parental duties as their own parents were. Any wonder that today's children are not as committed in their filial and social duties as past generations!
Are today's parents showing courage, persistence and commitment in maintaining standards? Are they insistent on standards for themselves and the young people around them? Will such insistence damage relationship with the children? Which is the worse evil?
And Auntie Cee says To N Link Youths
RE: ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY
It is advised that each family in N-Link should strive to build a home in the city or town where they live. A problem identified is lack of money for a plot of land and to develop it.
Experience has shown that a person need not buy or build on a standard plot of land of 50ft x 60ft! It may be too expensive. One can only buy what he can afford!
A small bungalow on a 30ft x 40ft piece of land or a little less in a developing area is better than paying huge rents in a one or two room apartment. Owning a home of your own stabilizes family life. I have heard it said that half bread is better than none. Secondly, I learnt from our elders that the system which they describe as: "Nwayo bu ije" in building or developing landed property pays off. This is because, one need not have enough funds at the beginning to commence the building. In the "nwayo bu ije" system, you put in what you have and continue slowly but surely as the funds come in.
Beginning early in life to build, will reduce stress in later life. Rather than fill our residence with electrical and other gadgets of temporary use and nature/value, can each family in N-Link invest in a more lasting legacy - a home!!!
Be sure however, to obtain a legal title to the land before building. xxxxxx
And Nwanneka went to Israel
My Pilgrimage to Israel
My sister Chinelo and I had visited Jerusalem on a 3-day taster in March 2006. It was such a good experience that I promised myself I would come back one day and ‘do’ Israel properly, just as our intrepid Auntie Mercy did some years ago. So it was that I sallied forth in November 2007 to join the Benny Hinn Ministries tour party in Tel Aviv.
Numerous Christian pilgrims from all over the world had flocked to the Holy Land. There were over 1700 on our tour alone, mostly Americans, but also people from virtually every nation - Australians, New Zealanders, Asians, Europeans, South Americans and Africans.
Loads of London-based Nigerian women, which was nice.
The first visit of our 10-day tour was to Jaffa (Joppa) on the Mediterranean, where Jonah is believed to have been spat out by the whale, and where Simon Peter lodged with Simon the tanner and received the vision about Cornelius. It was quite surreal to emerge suddenly from the grey dankness of the English winter to hot sunshine, villa-style buildings, palm trees and blue seas.
Our tour bus then headed north to Tiberias in Galilee, where we were to spend the next few days. En route, the view took in such momentous sights as Mount Tabor, where King Saul fell, the city of Nazareth, the valley of Megiddo (Armageddon), the hills of Gilead and the Golan Heights. It was quite incredible to see road signs directing the way to towns and cities of the Bible.
Israel is semi-desert, with panoramic views teeming with hills, mountains and valleys, olive groves, palms, and surprisingly, banana plantations.
The balconies of our Tiberias hotel overlooked the Sea of Galilee, where we subsequently took a boat trip and dined on grilled St. Peter’s fish (tilapia). It was not too difficult there to visualise the Lord walking across the water towards Peter’s fishing boat. It was another gloriously sunny day, and the waters were calm and blue. As we sang choruses on the boat, the occasional African-American sister, overcome with spiritual ecstasy, cried out, ‘Glory!’ It was a beautiful and deeply moving experience.
Over the next few days, we visited several places, including Mount Arbel, overlooking the valley of Gennesaret, the area of much of Jesus’ ministry. We went to Mount Carmel - where Elijah dispatched the prophets of Baal - overlooking Armageddon, and also to Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum, the ruins of Sepphoris, Tabgha (the site of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes),the presumed site of the Sermon on the mount, and caught sight of the villages of Nain and Magdala.
We were also baptized in the Jordan River by Pastor Benny Hinn, a major highlight of the trip.
We then packed up and headed south to Jerusalem for the rest of our stay. While there we visited the site of the old Temple, including the Wailing Wall, and also the Mount of Olives, Calvary, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Garden Tomb. We took a trip to Yad Hashmona, a Biblical-style village in the Judean hills run by Messianic Jews. We went to the resort at Qumran and swam in the Dead Sea – salty beyond belief!
We drove into Bethlehem to visit Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity, via the tough security checkpoint and high wall between the territories. I must say one never felt threatened in any way during the trip, even when one of the soldiers at the checkpoint got on our bus with his machine gun to look the passengers over. All part of the fun!
Most of the locals were friendly, especially the Arab men (some in the Jerusalem market perhaps a little too friendly!). The food was gorgeous.
In Israel there is an incredible array of salads with every meal, even breakfast. We lunched often on pitta bread and falafel – a little like tiny, firm balls of akara made out of chickpeas. With salads, naturally.
The tour was jam-packed with activities and physically exhausting, but spiritually and psychologically enriching beyond description. I would definitely visit Israel again. I can very highly recommend it.
We have decided to include this year an article by the next generation on a topic they studied/ are studying. Not only will this expand our knowledge, but it will give us an insight into the future. The future belongs to them.
We are starting this year with an Article by Munachiso Nwokolo on The Future of Cultural Diversity Education: Does this ‘Soft Science’ deserve a Place in Undergraduate Medical Curricula?
Cultural diversity issues surround us in today’s society and there continues to be much political and social debate about the myriad of topics that come under this heading. However this is yet to be mirrored in medical school curricula.
In the UK the need to train medical undergraduates to interact well with individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds has been emphasised by the General Medical Council publication Tomorrow’s Doctors (1993,2002) and the discussion papers that followed. It states that “[Graduates] must understand a range of social and cultural values, and differing views about healthcare and illness... They must make sure that they are not prejudiced by patients’ lifestyle, culture, beliefs, race, colour, gender, sexuality, age, mental or physical disability and social or economic status”. As this is found in the curricular content section it would imply that Cultural Diversity Training should be integrated into the medical school programme.
It has been recognised by students, practitioners and policy makers alike that cultural, ethnic and social factors play a critical role in healthcare, however this acquiescence is the just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Formal cultural diversity training is still in its infancy and its content, context, clinical relevance and value, practical application and evidence-based evaluation continue to be debated. To all intents and purposes it is accepted that training students to be competent and sensitive to cultural diversity whilst actively examining their own attitudes would fulfil the GMC curriculum content criteria. However many questions still need to be answered before a cultural awareness course has a solid place in UK medical undergraduate institutions.
Starting with a concrete argument for why it should be integrated and what specifically would be taught under the heading of cultural awareness. Who would be responsible for the teaching and how would the teaching be carried out? At what point during the undergraduate programme would the teaching be applied and would assessment of these skills be a requisite? Themes arising from the debate include; ambivalence from students about the value of cultural diversity awareness, fears that ‘diversity awareness’ may only encourage stereotyping and focus on ‘difference’ and uncertainty over the content and efficacy of existing pilot teaching projects.
Conflicting student opinion further highlights the uncertainty surrounding diversity training. In one qualitative study (Beagan 2003) “Students indicated that they believed social factors had little or no effect on their experiences as medical students”. Whereas in another survey based publication (Dogra 2001) “Students accepted that doctors have a responsibility to be aware of the different cultures within their practice”. These contradictory stances are to be expected considering the controversial and equivocal nature of the diversity training debate. The question that has to be asked is will these changes benefit students, healthcare professionals and, perhaps most importantly, patients in the future?
‘The People vs. Diversity Training’: The Case for Cultural Awareness Education.
Surely encouraging more cultural awareness in our rapidly diversifying society could only be perceived as a positive thing? However matters concerning the superficial and fundamental “differences” between us are rarely black and white. In medical practice people from all walks of life are thrown together through choice and necessity, so it is not only in the patient’s best interests but our own to understand and respect any perceived diversity. Statutory bodies in the UK and US have taken on board this premise and these ideas are beginning to filter down to medical school institutions. However a strong case still needs to be made for why cultural awareness training deserves an official place in the 5 year medical course.
In today’s society multiculturalism, ethnic diversity, racism and prejudice are constantly experienced and debated in the public arena. The medical world is no exception. Reports have exposed a lack of effective access to appropriate healthcare services for “ethnic minorities”and negative or racist attitudes of some healthcare workers delivering poor quality care to certain ethnic groups. At the root of why we need some level of culture awareness training is the doctor-patient relationship. Prejudice and misunderstanding of cultural norms has a clear negative affect on the patient experience and can actually lead to poorer health outcomes. The novel The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (Fadiman 1998) echoes this sentiment. Fadiman describes the miscommunication between a Hmong (an ethnic group in China and Southeast Asia) family and the healthcare workers treating their young daughter which lead to her unnecessary death from epilepsy. This extreme example should at the very least encourage debate about the need for cultural awareness and the detrimental effect of poor communication.
Moving from the old paternalistic style of consulting to a more patient-centred approach is also high on the training agenda. In essence instead of the healthcare professional being the infallible authority figure the patient becomes the focus. Patients should be encouraged to become more involved and invested in their care, including the decision making process. The Picker Report (2006) argued that ‘education is vital to the development of the attitudes, knowledge and skills that are essential if doctors are to involve patients more proactively in their healthcare’.
Also due to the highly mobile nature of a newly qualified medic cultural awareness training should in theory facilitate movement between cities, societies and cultural groups.
Cultural awareness training combined with communication skill acquisition would better prepare future practitioners to deal with patients and each other as equals. In one US study graduate participants felt ‘disadvantaged by the lack of formal training and felt poorly equipped to deal with cross-cultural encounters’. Paradoxically another study reported that Pre-registration house officers [1st year post qualification - now ‘foundation house officers’] felt that formal teaching on culture and ethnicity was not required, but acknowledged that their level of cultural awareness was low. Crucially, however, it was noted in the same report that students who had experienced such teaching did find it clinically relevant and believed it would lead to improved care.
For straightforward validation of cultural diversity training we only need look at the data. ‘Evidence shows that good communication skills diminish the risk of malpractice…Appreciation of cultural diversity should also increase patients’ adherence to treatment regimens and improve outcomes, including patient satisfaction’. Unfortunately introducing what would have to be a complex and detailed cultural diversity section to an already packed medical curriculum is much easier said than done.
Content and Context: What exactly is Cultural Awareness Training?
Kai et al (2001) pointed out that ‘although many medical curricula may include some reference to ‘culture’ few have significant, if any, multicultural components’. In the UK cultural diversity teaching has tentatively evolved over the past decade but remains ‘fragmented’ with obvious uncertainty surrounding actual content. This is partly symptomatic of the complexity of the subject matter itself. Whose responsibility should it be to sit down and write the rule book ‘How and what to teach: Cultural diversity, the comprehensive guide’? This complicated task requires input from everyone involved (students, healthcare workers, policy makers and patients alike), a strong foundation in evidence-based study and the tried and tested formula of trial and error, whereby pilot attempts are evaluated, discussed and improved on.
Current teaching appears to be limited according to various qualitative reports detailing student opinions. In one study based in a UK medical school ‘teaching emphasized ethnic differences in disease prevalence, for example sickle-cell anaemia among African-Caribbeans, tuberculosis in South Asians…’. Essentially the majority of ethnic diversions in current curricula are a subset of disease aetiology.
This teaching could fall into the pitfalls of stereotyping and ‘tokenism’ both concepts that formal cultural awareness training should avoid. Cultural awareness should promote the patient as an individual rather than an indistinct member of a homogenous group. Teaching where ethnic diversity is characteristically ‘bolted on’ to the end of a topic (tokenism) mitigates against this and perpetuates ethnic stereotypes.
Another common perception amongst students was that much of their multicultural awareness had been largely influenced by factors outside the medical curriculum. Namely derived from cross-cultural clinical encounters or the “diversity” of the student body itself. However Shapiro et al (2006) hypothesised that ‘there tends to be more homogeneity than heterogeneity in terms of academic ability and socio-economic status in medical school’. Experiences in the ‘bubble’ of medical school may not fully equip you to deal with every cross-cultural interaction as a newly qualified health professional.
Some do believe that this sort of implicit learning is sufficient to teach multicultural values and though this practical learning is irreplaceable, evidence has showed some sort of additional formal teaching is beneficial.
Various pilots have been initiated to teach cultural diversity in medical schools across the UK.
Dogra et al (2001) in one such pilot set out objectives enabling students to ‘gain factual and practical information about other cultures and to examine their own attitudes’. This demonstrates the two sides to cultural awareness training; the facts, theory, knowledge and skills behind diversity education verses attitudinal change and self-reflection. For example education about various ethnic origins, differing cultural beliefs and practices in relation to health and health care, cultural presentation of illness and cultural aspects of the doctor-patient relationship would fall into the ‘factual information’ category. Recognising the limitations of your own knowledge and seeking advice, acknowledging and respecting the differences that exist between different groups of people, self-reflection and avoiding stereotyping and assumptions would be attitudinal adjustment.
Though various studies reported that ‘the main areas perceived as important centred upon factual knowledge and communication skills’, the attitudinal aspect of cultural awareness teaching is widely accepted as fundamental (yet ironically rarely applied in practice). Students should learn to honestly evaluate their own attitudes, biases and prejudices as part of cultural awareness education. Critical self-awareness and exploring one’s own culture would lead to less focus on
“difference” and perceiving “others” as a deviation from the norm. Beagan (2003) argued that it is all too easy to fall into the trap of subconsciously believing ‘Only immigrants and ethnic minorities have a culture, only those of Asian, African, or Indian heritage have a race, only women as have a gender, only the gay and lesbian have a sexual orientation, only the working class and impoverished have a social class. Everyone else is neutral, normal’. Self-study exercises are set to be an integral part of cultural awareness training.
For cultural awareness training to be accepted and valued by undergraduates the subject matter must have clear clinical relevance (i.e. the content taught easily translates to the ward). ‘Factual knowledge should be relevant and grounded in healthcare issues, avoiding theoretical overkill’. Also self-reflection should be put across in such a way that it is not automatically perceived as “too touchy feely”.
The terminology behind cultural awareness training is another grey area that should be focused on. There is a reported lack of consistency between the perceived definitions and use of the terms ‘culture’, ‘multicultural’, ‘ethnicity’ and ‘race’. Before cultural awareness education can be standardised, the basic issue of language needs to be addressed however the minefield of political correctness makes this a difficult task.
Kai et al (1999) put forward comprehensive principles for learning to value ethnic diversity, and these continue to form the backbone of cultural awareness training projects today (fig 1).
The next step is how to facilitate diversity education.
Principles for training
Encourage learners to ask questions and look critically at their assumptions and attitudes about people different to themselves.
Enable learners to embrace differences and similarities in culture, backgrounds and experience.
Prevent stereotyping and generalising so learners can see and work with patients as individuals.
Increase awareness and recognition of racism.
Enable learners to understand the diverse nature of the society in which they will work.
Understand the practice of medicine has its own culture, values, morals and beliefs that may set practitioner apart from patient.
Content of training
Communication skills (working with interpreters).
Importance of individual differences and social context to health, illness and health care.
Concepts of ethnicity and culture.
Ethnic minorities in context – perspectives on migration, demography of cultural groups, experience of socio-economic disadvantage, patterns of illness and disease.
Examples of specific practical knowledge, e.g. nutrition, naming systems, religion, attitudes toward illness, death, pregnancy, etc.
Accessing appropriate information about local ethnically diverse communities.
Figure 1: Learning to value ethnic diversity
Blackboard to Brain: How should diversity training be taught and assessed?
In theory the integration of cultural awareness teaching should be simple once the content and context has been standardised. However another hurdle appears when considering how teaching should be delivered. Various methods of teaching cultural awareness have been put forward by commentaries and studies. These included didactic teaching, seminars, small group discussions, exercises, videos, clinical experience, community work, problem-based learning and peer tutoring; all with thought provoking and powerful media . Students in the UK were less likely to agree that cultural diversity could be taught via didactic teaching. There is a need for an open forum of discussion about the best teaching methods comprising of evaluation and feedback.
This debate also introduces the million-dollar question, should cultural awareness be formally assessed? On one hand is it actually possible to conclusively assess student attitudes and would failing be a sacking offence? On the other hand it is widely conjectured that without assessment students do not value content. One UK based study (Dogra et al 2006) gathered the opinions of policymakers, teachers of diversity, students, service users and carers and ambivalence over the need to assess undergraduate medical students was reported.
Though the ‘no assessment, no value’ argument was put forward some were concerned assessment may encourage false attitudes, ‘There is a problem about the gap between competence and performance. People may do well in the end of year OSCE [Objective Structured Clinical Exam – practical medical exam] on diversity but may have terrible attitudes whilst practising” – diversity teacher’.
Uncertainty also surrounded the best methodology for assessment. Objective Structured Clinical Exam’s arose as the most favoured but were deemed inadequate alone.
“ ‘We used to have a communications OSCE station [practical exam]. Students would come in, they would sit down, they would have this intense eye contact, they may start to paw patients, empathise by holding their hand, because this was a niceness station, and no matter how crap your knowledge was, if you were nice to a patient you could pass…That’s not acceptable to me as a doctor” – curriculum head’.
Other suggested methods included multiple choice questions, short answer questions, clinical scenarios, written papers, portfolios, critical thinking and continuous assessment. Other publications have also championed the benefits of combining OSCE’s with another assessment format, perhaps a more long-term, peer-assessed option such as a reflective journal or portfolio.
There is also the educational model to consider, i.e. the style in which cultural awareness should be taught. Cultural competence and cultural sensibility are two distinct models. Dogra (2003) theorised that the cultural competence model ‘presents culture as a set of static facts that can be learned…and reduces cultural diversity to a core set of beliefs and thoughts that are then extrapolated to a given minority group’. According to Dogra cultural competency disregards patient-centredness and respecting that each patient is an individual.
The study goes on to propose the alternative of ‘cultural sensibility’. Cultural sensibility has communication and the patient at its core. Constant self-reflection and treating the patient as a unique, distinct entity are encouraged. ‘Students learn to view culture as constantly in flux and gain knowledge about culture through careful and thoughtful interactions with patients, colleagues and by exposure to various media’. On paper the benefits to cultural sensibility are clear but in practise a combination of both teaching models would perhaps work best in undergraduate curricula.
The succinct, clear nature of cultural competence whilst learning cultural facts teamed with the flexibility of cultural sensibility when reaching attitudinal objectives.
Securing a place for cultural awareness training in medical curricula is a daunting task, not least because of the imbalance of the biomedically relevant and the socially relevant. To completely permeate the medical school syllabus cultural awareness teaching should be it’s own entity and not ‘tacked on’ to subjects that are perceived as more important. If the teachers and curriculum heads are lukewarm towards cultural awareness training, the medical students will reflect these sentiments. This brings us round to who should actually implement cultural awareness teaching and at what point during the undergraduate years should diversity education be integrated?
And Finally…Who and When?
Both Prideaux (1999) and Kai (1999) stipulate that staff development is crucial. To competently teach cultural awareness they must fully understand and be confident in the material. It is also the responsibility of current practitioners to promote what has been learnt ‘in the classroom’ on the wards as their behaviour is highly influential. The Picker Report noted that ‘much medical training appropriately takes place in the workplace. If trainee doctors are frequently presented with role models whose consulting styles and interactions with patients are stuck in a paternalistic or directive mode, there is a strong likelihood they will forget what they have been taught and instead adopt these observed behaviours.’
Prideaux (1999) also believed that ‘Medical schools should seek to attract members of cultural and ethnic groups…to their faculties. They should become the designers, teachers, ongoing evaluators and innovators of the culturally and ethnically safe curriculum programs’, a view not unlike the controversial US policy of affirmative action. Surely this fits well with the cultural sensibility model of constantly learning and from colleagues and patients alike? In a perfect world our ethnically diverse society would be mirrored in the student body and faculty.
For once, whilst considering when cultural diversity training should be implemented, there has been a general consensus. It has been suggested that teaching should be introduced pre-clinically (i.e. early lecture based years where students are rarely in hospital) and continue through to when the material had immediate and direct clinical application. Evidence suggested a vertical spine running throughout pre- and post- clinical years would be most beneficial. ‘Our common findings across undergraduate year groups and with postgraduate learners suggest that training needs to be integrated across the different stages of the medical curriculum, and that locating training only in the early undergraduate years will be inadequate’. Though this is a nice idea in theory any current cultural awareness training remains firmly in the backseat of pre-clinicals.
The Past, Present and Future of Cultural Awareness Training
Cultural awareness training is still taking its baby steps towards the standard medical curriculum. This perhaps is understandable considering the complex and controversial material it covers. Does what is perceived by many as a “soft science”, i.e. “socially and culturally relevant”, have any place amongst the “biomedically relevant” aspects of the current medical curriculum? Will fully integrated diversity training be effective or well received? There are many sides to the discussion but notably these arguments were paralleled in the debate surrounding the introduction of communication skills training over 20 years ago, which has arguably received it’s own position in medical school teaching today.
The next step here is to start evaluating current pilot projects and open a public forum for debate. Simply participating in quantitative and qualitative studies led to more cultural awareness and self-analysis on the part of the students. It is essential to keep this line of communication open so that change can be encouraged and monitored.
There are still many omissions, limitations and barriers around the development of cultural and ethnic diversity, not least because of the over-emphasis of political correctness.
Beagan (2003) went some way to breaking down these barriers by plainly stating ‘A course intended to produce physicians able to work effectively across differences of race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and so on must explicitly address power relations.
It must be about racism, not just cultural difference; it must be about homophobia and heterosexism, not just differences in sexuality; it must be about sexism and classism, not just gender differences and health issues faced by “the poor” ’. Cultural diversity is a topic that affects all of us whether we acknowledge it or not, surely its integration into medical curricula is long overdue?
Final year Medical Student
I would like to acknowledge Dr Simon Dein and Dr Nisha Dogra for their input and support
And in a lighter mood sent in by Nwabueze Nwokolo
Q. What kind of man was Boaz before he married Ruth? A. Ruthless.
Q. What do they call pastors in Germany ?
A. German Shepherds.
Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible?
A. Noah He was floating his stock while everyone else was
Q. Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
A. Pharaoh's daughter. She went down to the bank of the
Nile and drew out a little prophet.
Q. What kind of motor vehicles are in the Bible?
A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a
Fury. David's Triumph was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the apostles
were all in one Accord.
Q.. Who was the greatest comedian in the Bible?
A. Samson. He brought the house down.
Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why
he no longer lived in Eden ?
A. Your mother ate us out of house and home.
Q. Which servant of God was the most flagrant
lawbreaker in the Bible?
A. Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once.
Q. Which area of Palestine was especially wealthy?
A. The area around Jordan . The banks were always
Q. Who is the greatest babysitter mentioned in the Bible?
A. David. He rocked Goliath to a very deep sleep.
Q. Which Bible character had no parents?
A. Joshua, son of Nun.
Q. Why didn't they play cards on the Ark ?
A. Because Noah was standing on the deck. (**Groan**...)
PS... Did you know it's a sin for a woman to make coffee?
Yup, it's in the Bible. It says . . . "He-brews"
KEEP SMILING!!!! GOD LOVES YOU BUNCHES AND BUNCHES!!!!
Friends are God's way of taking care of us.
**...Faith, Hope & Love -- but the greatest of these is LOVE. ** 1Corinthians13:13*xxxxxxx
And from Uncle Uchenna Nwokolo
REVISIT OF THE SEVEN "DEADLY SINS" (Plus One)
The seven deadly sins of Pride, Lust, Envy, Anger, Covetousness, Gluttony and Sloth are considered by some to be the cause of "spiritual death". They were listed by St. Gregory the Great as early as the 6th Century A.D. These sins were considered deadly not only because they were serious moral offences but because they gave rise to other offences as final motivation or cause, as St. Thomas Aquinas the13th Century theologian and philosopher wrote in his classical treatise `Summa Theologica'
Pride includes VAINGLORY which means GLORY, PRIDE OR BOASTFULNESS that UNDULY EXALTS ONE'S SELF OR ONE'S PERFORMANCE. Vainglory also means empty pomp and show. IT INCLUDES LACK OF HUMILITY, SELF PRAISE AND ARROGANCE; Habits previously deprecated in decent civilized homes and taught in christian families as immodest, boldly assertive and unacceptable.
IS LACK OF HUMILITY ACCEPTABLE?
Some say it is assertiveness because "if you don't say you are, no body will say so!" But there is a difference between a person who falsely claims what he is not (a fraud) and a person who "boasts" about what he actually is. He, also has a problem, because he elicits jealousy and envy from some of his audience and enmity from those who are so bitter. Enmity no doubt leads to bitter and very serious disturbance of harmonious existence and other sins and crimes, just as envy and jealousy. What is your answer? What do we tell our wards and children?
BORN AGAIN CHRISTIANS AND `EMPTY POMP AND SHOW'
Some christians regard certain actions such as open acts of philanthropy as "flaunting one's wealth" and "empty pomp and show"!. So also do some regard tasty dressing at occasions as exhibitionism, which irritates the poor and leads them into temptation of envy, jealousy, stealing, bitterness and I dare say ... Depression and hopelessness - what do you say to that?
SEVEN DEADLY SINS PLUS ONE
"Seven deadly sins" omitted one sin, and I humbly wish to add it. This is "selfishness" which was legislated against by the greatest of human laws - "The golden rule" which instructs that "we love others and treat others as we would wish to be treated."
Selfishness is at the root of all the "seven deadly sins" as cause or gratification. If not for selfishness every person will be content with what he has and won't be jealous or envious of others.
It was selfishness on the part of the proletariat in Russia that led to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and subsequently to Communism which also failed because the people at the top failed to deliver what they promised - equal opportunity for all.
LUST, GLUTTONY, ANGER AND SLOTH
Lust understood to mean inordinate or illicit sexual desire and acts, has to do with personal discipline of those concerned, and the consequences of the sin so glaring that only children need to be counselled. Broken homes, suicides, murders, serious enmities, communal strife, deadly diseases such as syphilis, hepatitis, HIV/Aids, Cervical and hepatic cancers, and many other infections and ailments are consequences of sexual indiscipline and indiscretion.
The consequences of gluttony (which includes drunkenness, smoking, drug addiction and over eating) are liver cancers and other liver diseases, diabetes, obesity, lung cancer, infertility, stomach cancer, heart attack and cerebro-vascular accidents (strokes), madness and many other killing diseases. Instability in homes brought about by premature deaths, poverty and stress are more of its consequences. Prof. Chukwuedu Nwokolo vividly brought home the concept that God created a certain quantity of each food item for every individual "which if one exhausted, one died". If one eats his ration sparingly and slowly, he lives for long, if one avariciously consumes his ration rapidly he quickly dies: He who controls his appetite lives long, like the one who fights and runs away, to live and fight again?
There is a saying, that those who eat more than others die quicker than others - (onye likalia, Onwu kalia).
Every animal is angry when provoked but the more tamed an animal is, the much better it is able to control anger. Thus the higher one is placed in the taming process (discipline) the better is he able to deal with anger. The more civilized one is, the less is he likely to exhibit the ugly signs of anger. The consequences of anger could be daunting or terrible, because it leads to murder fighting or even wars. Prevention of anger and provocation must be reciprocal. Onye malu ife gese okwu, ya emena ya (Don't provoke others). Rude remarks, insults, careless and undiplomatic language, cause provocation. Lets avoid them. Discuss your misunderstanding peacefully and try to pacify and compromise as much as possible. We do pray always as Christians for "THAT PEACE WHICH PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING AND WHICH THE WORLD CANNOT GIVE".
Sloth is laziness or disinclination for action. The urge to be active is inborn. There are however naturally very active people and others not so gifted and whose urge for action is limited from their inheritance, from birth injuries to the brain or other noxious insults before and after birth. Training and conditioning are also important. Children taught to work get used to work, while those left on their own lazy about. Physical conditions such as illness, hunger and malnutrition may lead to disinclination to work. Depression which is a known .clinical condition is one major cause of disinclination to work and like many other causes is traceable to the brain. The brain therefore plays a great part in sloth or laziness. Sloth or laziness leads to inability to make progress in ones endeavour, leads to poverty, hunger, temptation to commit crimes such as stealing. The passage in Proverbs 24, 30 - 34 ... depicts what happens to the lazy man described as a sluggard and without sense, who planted a vine yard which he never attended to. "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hand to rest, and poverty will come upon him like a robber and want like an armed man"
ACCEPTABLE OR ANTI SOCIAL HABITS?
The seven deadly sins of PRIDE. OR VAINGLORY, JEALOUSY, ENVY, ANGER, LUST, GLUTTONY AND LAZINESS said to lead to spiritual, death, lead also to disability and retardation of physical life and growth. They constitute anti social and unacceptable habits.
Selfishness which is the cause of "man's inhumanity to man" and a great cause of physical injury and death needs to be added to the list to make eight.
PERMISSIVENESS VERSUS PERSONAL DISCIPLINE
Early Christians based their instruction and training of their children on preventing these sins (habits) among their children and the benefit they derived included the production of wholesome, disciplined, useful and peaceful citizens. Today, decent disciplined people and useful citizens are least expected to indulge in these anti-social habits inspite of the permissiveness of this day and age and the indiscipline of peers!.
Uchenna Nwokolo Akadile
And from Eziafakaku Nwokolo
Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you hear a rumor.
In ancient Greece, Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.
One day the great philosopher came upon an acquaintance who ran up to him excitedly and said, "Socrates, do you know what I just heard about one of your students?"
"Wait a moment," Socrates replied. "Before you tell me I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test."
"Triple filter?" "That's right," Socrates continued.
"Before you talk to me about my student let's take a moment to filter what you're going to say.
The first filter is Truth.
Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?"
"No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it."
"All right," said Socrates. "So you don't really know if it's true or not.
Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness.
Is what you are about to tell me about my student something good?"
"No, on the contrary ..."
"So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, even though you're not certain it's true?"
The man shrugged, a little embarrassed.
Socrates continued, "You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter - the filter of Usefulness.
Is what you want to tell me about my student going to be useful to me?"
"No, not really ..."
"Well," concluded Socrates , "if what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me at all?"
The man was defeated and ashamed.
N LINK ANTHEM TUNE: "ON THE BANKS OF ALAN WATERS"
We are ha-ppy N-Link members Onaso a...yi uso bu N--Link
0-ur lives belong to all calls Olu ayi, di, e-be ni..ne
0-ur, names and homes may Uno na...fa ayi
di—ffer diche iche
Bu-t we are one Mana ayi bu ofu
We are proud, that we are Ife ji..kolu ayi di
linked all u...so
To Nwoko ,..los blessed na..me Bu Nwoko...lo afa di Ngozi
N-Link, has ancestral home N Link,, nwel-ani nna..ya
In Ori-fi- tee Na Ori-fi-te
N Link, blessed great N Link N Link afa -oma ngo zi
We che-rish you Inaso-.ayi uso
Love uni... ty 'and forbearance Ofu o...bi nifu na-nya
0-ur watch ...words ever shall be Nee-ghalu, buife ne-du ayi
We look up to God Almi..ghty Ma ayi ne..ne Chu-kwu a-nya
To provide our needs Ko-gozie..,ndu ayi
Per-se-ve...rance in endea...vours Iga--ni.... ru nya-na nta--do
E-xce-llence our aim to achi..eve bu ife.. ayi na--cho si..ke
God bless, members of N-Link Chi-ne-ke-e_gozie ndi NLink
A..broad and home Nebe fa... ano...na
N Link, blessed great N Link N Link afa -oma ngo zi
We che-rish you Inaso-.ayi uso
Composed by Amechi Obiagwu and -Dr. Uche-Nwokolo Feb., 1994.
Financial Report Easter 2008
Dr Ejike Nwokolo $100 N12,000.00
Dr and Mrs Uchenna Nwokolo $100 N12,000.00
Mr Azuka Nwokolo and Family N5,000.00
Mr. Chris Iloka and Family N2,000.00
Mr. Obiora Obiagwu and family N4,000.00
Mr. Ndubuisi Obiagwu and Family N2,000.00
Dr. Emma Nwokolo and Family N15,000.00
Chief Owen Nwokolo and Family N20,000.00
Ms Amechi Obiagwu £30 N7,200.00
Mr. Okey Moka and family N10,000.00
Mr. Mezie Nwokolo and Family N15,000.00
Prof and Mrs. C Nwokolo N15,000.00
Church Offering N6,890.00
Thanksgiving by Mrs. P. Nwokolo N2,000.00
Amechi Obiagwu N400
Aunt Kez Ndukwe N500
Prof. & Mrs C. Nwokolo N2,000
Dr. Emma Nwokolo N2,000
Dr.& Mrs Uche Nwokolo N1,000
NEWSLETTER SALES= N15,000.00
TOTAL N102,790 + £30 + $200 = N133,990.00
Dr. Ikenna Nwokolo & family sent N10,000.00
balance carried forward from easter 2007 after substracting hosting subsidy of 2007 = N104,000 + £20 = N108,800.
Grand total =N143,990+N108,800 = N252,790.00
Less Condolences/wedding expenses N50,000.00
Balance = N202,790.00 at Easter 2008, without substracting 2008 hosting subsidy.