One of the many qualities of a diplomat is versatility. However, at times it goes beyond the normal expectations to the unexpected which requires special training and expertise.
          In the early eighties as a young diplomat and the Head of Chancery in the Embassy in a country near Nigeria, the Mission was approached by the Nigerian community to discuss a complex issue. Nigerian traders and businessmen are residents all over West Africa and especially in this country where there were several thousands.
          The community needed a school for their children. A school that would provide a British curriculum and the teaching would be English. At that period there were no English speaking schools in the francophone country. The option for the Nigerian community was to send their children back to Nigeria for schooling. As parents we know how difficult it is to part with our dear children.
          No one in the Mission including the Ambassador had any experience we could fall back on to handling this complex and very important project.
          A committee headed by me and with representatives of the Nigerian community as members was set up. After several deliberations and consultations with experts in education, we came up with a modus operandi.
          Having raised substantial funds, we rented and refurbished a storey building downtown. It was partitioned into classrooms, offices, toilets, etc.; in fact all the essential requirements for a primary school were created. We even fashioned a play ground in the fenced compound.
          Along with our consultant we recruited teachers and a head-teacher who were mandated to set up the curriculum for the pupils. Uniforms were designed and the school was ready to take off. The pioneer pupils in the first year were slightly below one hundred, but in the second year their numbers increased to over two hundred.
          Today the Nigerian International School, as it was named, is in a permanent site and has grown into a full-fledged primary and secondary school with boarding facilities.
          How great and what joy – the versatility of a diplomat beyond the confines of his training – finding solutions to complex situations. Diplomats are rolling stones that gather mosses.

Published on August 6, 2008 at 10:05 pm  Comments (2)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Just like there are people,there are people and there are people, there are also diplomats,there are diplomats and there are diplomats.
    Diplomats are humans like you and me,but not all humans are diplomats.I believe that for everything there is a reason,if i am not mistaking you were not the first Head of Chancery your government sent to that country neither would you be the last,but your been on that sit at that particular period was a divine plan of the SUPREME BEING,it was not coincidental.
    Today some of those children might be doctors,lawyers,scientists the list could go on and on,and the fact that they are what ever they are today also boils down to one reality that when there is a will there would definately be a way.
    I give kudos to you and the members of your team for allowing yourselves be instruments of bringing people out of the darkness called IGNORANCE or do i say ILLITERACY and i GOD gives you the strength to change that which you can,the serenity to accept those you cannot and the wisdom to know the difference.

  2. We should always give God the glory in everything that comes our way,in all the things we do and try as much as possible to touch the lives of people especially children all over the world,not just kids from our country because kids all over the world deserve all the love,care and support they can get.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: