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Monday, 19 April 2021

UNWTO GLOBAL RURAL TOURISM STARTUP COMPETITION

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

 


The UNWTO Global Rural Tourism Startup Competition seeks to source new startups and entrepreneurs that advance the contribution of tourism to rural development and support recovery.


Creating opportunities in Rural Destinations through innovation and digital transformation in tourism to:

  1. Fighting poverty: 80% of all people living in ‘extreme poverty’ live in rural communities.
  2. Curbing depopulation: By 2050 68% of the world population will live in urban areas and cities will produce 85% of global economic output.
  3. Closing the Digital Divide - 87 per cent of people in developed countries used the Internet, compared with just 19 per cent in the least developed countries.
  4. Supporting Women and Youth- More than 50% of global workforce employed in tourism are women and nearly 1 billion of the world’s 1.2 billion youth aged 15-24 reside in developing countries and 88% of youth in developing countries live in rural areas; 75 million of them are unemployed.

BENEFITS

  • Mentoring by UNWTO and top partners.
  • Tailored support for your startup.
  • Investment opportunities.
  • Form part of the UNWTO Innovation Network.
  • Form part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages of the World Pilot Initiative.
  • Scholarship opportunities for the Tourism Online Academy.
  • Opportunity to present your startup at the 14th UNWTO General Assembly in Marrakech Morocco.

Monday, 12 April 2021

The Africa Business Heroes Competition (Deadline: June 22, 2021)

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

 


Africa's Business Heroes (ABH) is the Jack Ma Foundation's flagship philanthropic program in Africa to support entrepreneurs. Our mission is to showcase and grow local talent who are creating a positive impact in their communities and beyond, and inspire a movement of African entrepreneurship. Over a ten-year period, the program will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and provide grant funding, training programs, and broader support for the broad African entrepreneurial ecosystem.


The ABH PRIZE

Africa's Business Heroes directly supports talented and promising African entrepreneurs through its namesake Prize competition. Each year the Prize selects ten "business heroes" from across Africa that compete for their share of USD 1.5 million in grant funding. During the competition, participants have also exclusive access to training, mentoring and learning programmes, as well as to a community of like-minded African business leaders.


Applicants stand the chance to:

  1. Pitch business legends
  2. Win their share of $1.5 million USD
  3. Gain global recognition & exposure
  4. Access mentorship & training
  5. Join an entrepreneurship ecosystem

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

In School But Not Reading: Bridging The Reading Gap Through The Book Drive Campaign

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation



 ‘’That’s my boy’’!!! Shouted Mr Wuba clement, headteacher of Gwara Community Primary School while 10 –year- old Daniel Monsi, a primary 5 pupil of the aforementioned school read the book titled ‘Kunle the village boy’ and was given a book as a price for his brilliance.  Daniel lives with his mum, who lost her husband when Daniel was a toddler. Mrs Monsi and her five children rely on the small produce they get from their farm for feeding, which is not enough to feed the family. Daniel covers a long distance to school every day, as affording the two hundred Naira transport fare for a motorbike is exorbitant for his mum. Thus, he and his peers have to trek a long distance to school, and back home. Daniel, like some other beneficiaries of the Book Drive Campaign, told our team that ‘’ he has never seen a storybook before, nor own one’’. 

The saying that Africans don’t read is a myth. During the course of our Book Drive Campaign, we have come to understand that it is the unavailability of books that make it seem that Nigerians don’t read. 

Schools in rural areas tend to face a unique set of challenges when it comes to quality education. Long commutes, sparse access to books, teacher/resource shortages. The United Nations Children Economic Fund (UNICEF) reports that even though primary education is officially free and compulsory in Nigeria, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Out of the 262 million children out of school today, 10.5 million of them are in Nigeria and some of them never enrolled or did not complete primary education.

The education deprivation in Nigeria is driven by various factors, including cultural norms, socio-economic barriers such as early marriage, female genital mutilation, child labour and the likes; that hinders the attainment of formal education in predominant rural/underserved areas. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Multiple indicator Cluster Survey (MICS), about 50.8 per cent of children in Nigeria, aged between 5 and 17, are involved in child labour. The International Labour Organization (ILO) defines child labour as ‘work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and dignity, and is harmful to their physical and mental development. It refers to work that: is mentally, physically, socially and morally dangerous to children; and/or interferes with their schooling. 

Few adults engage in activities that promote learning. The involvement of a biological father and mother in activities that support early childhood learning in rural areas is low. Most children lack access to books in their household. Only 5.6 per cent of children involved in a survey conducted by MISC live in households where there are at least three children’s books accessible to the child.  

The 2021 Book Drive Campaign is a project launched by KIR Foundation on her 10th Anniversary with the holy grail of setting up 50 reading corners in the 36 states of Nigeria and its capital, Abuja. The Book Drive has a focus on enkindling the reading culture among children in underserved and marginalized community primary schools.



To bridge the gap in education especially in rural and/or underserved areas KIR Foundation drove her 2021 Book Drive Campaign train to Gwara Community Primary School, in Khana local government area of Ogoni, River State through Rotary Club Oyigbo, one of our implementing partners for the campaign.  As a beneficiary of the Book Drive Campaign, Gwara Community School received a bookshelf fully stocked with 173 books (150 storybooks and 23 textbooks). The pupils were overwhelmed with joy having to see some of the kid shows they watch on television in book format. For the pupils and teachers, it was a thing of joy for them to have a mini library set up for them for it is the first time they have ever received a generous gift.  


Monday, 29 March 2021

Breaking the myth through Book Donations.

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

 


There is a misconception which states; ‘If you want to hide something from an African, put it in a book’. There’s also the belief that young people do not like reading. However, during a book donation trip to Ajegunle, Lagos State in
2011, we found the above statements to be false!

We found children who were eager to learn, and expand their world of imagination through the pages of books but they did not have access to books. Hence, they cannot expand their vocabulary, fully grasp their academic subjects and learn new societal and abstract concepts. With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the quality of education for disadvantaged children in public schools worsened as children were cut off from all educational activity for almost a whole year creating a reading gap.

To close this reading gap, KIR Foundation initiated the 2021 Book Drive Campaign. The Book Drive Campaign is a project launched by the KIR Foundation on its 10th Anniversary with the aim of setting up 50 reading corners in the 36 states of Nigeria and its capital, Abuja. The Book Drive has a focus of stimulating the reading culture among children in underserved and marginalised community primary schools. We believe that a child who imbibes the culture of reading at a young age will grow into an agent of positive change for his/her community and a lifelong learner. With the help of donors and implementing partners from all over the country, bookshelves loaded with inspiring storybooks and textbooks are able to reach the schools of several children like Daberechi in Model Primary School 1 Azuabie.

As a beneficiary school of the aforementioned Book Drive Campaign, Model Primary School 1 Azuabie received a bookshelf loaded with 155 books (135 storybooks and 20 textbooks). The teachers assured us that the 53 pupils of the school were going to have access to the books. The pupils were overwhelmed with joy and happiness, knowing that they now have access to books that will open worlds of limitless opportunities and imagination.

In books lies life-changing lessons, like the lessons in the King’s New Clothes read by a KIR Foundation team member to the seated children. With ears and eyes ardently focused on the team member, the children absorbed the lesson of humility, courage and speaking up for what is right regardless of whatever the masses say; all from a single storybook! When such a value is imbued in the life a person at a young age, the person will end up being a better person in future without a doubt.

The lesson of courage was instantly tested and proven when the team asked the children what they had learnt from the story read to them. Most of them were so unsure of themselves and doubted if they could get the answer correctly when Daberechi stepped forward. In a shy but willing voice, she answered correctly. She exploded with joy when she received a gift for her bravery; her first personal storybook! Her singular act of courage motivated her schoolmates, and 4 other pupils received personal storybooks of theirs after answering questions.

Here are some feedback from the beneficiaries; “We want to give special thanks to the KIR Foundation for the books that they have given to my school because I know that the book will really help the children to read, to be established and to be established and to improve in their academics,” Mrs Emmanuel Okujagu, Principal of Model Primary School 1 Azuabie, said.