Friday, 6 December 2019

My KIR Foundation story: The Resource Centre

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

According to the article published by “No fewer than one million students seeking admission through the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), every year have failed to get slots in tertiary institutions in Nigeria as the system cannot admit more than 600,000 in any given year.” Because of this, most students write JAMB multiple times.

I was no exception; my name is Cornerstone Wisdom and I wrote JAMB last year (2018) scoring 207 hoping to get admission into River State University of Science and Technology but did not get in and decided to try again this year.

I started preparations for my JAMB but I did not have the materials needed to study effectively for the exams.
I discovered Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation in February 2019 and began using the resources (CBT (Computer Based Test) simulators, Past Questions and Textbooks) provided by its Resource Room to help prepare me for my upcoming exams. I sat for my exams and scored 237 in JAMB.
The cut-off mark to study Electrical Engineering at Rivers State University of Science and Technology was 180. I was glad because I passed their cutoff mark and qualified to write their Post Utme. I sat for my post Utme, met the Cutoff mark of the University, and recently got admission to study and get my Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering.
In September, I joined the Games Club; there I learnt how to play Scrabble. I learnt new words when playing scrabble and it has helped in building my vocabulary.
KIR Foundation has inspired change through learning in my life by giving me access to books, games and educational materials that have helped me to further my education and improve my creative and critical thinking ability.
Thank you very much for giving me and other youths out there learning opportunities.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

My KIR Foundation story: Changing the narrative.

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

Change is never easy, especially for a teenager from a sheltered life in a Private school to the challenges of being in a Public school. In May 2015, I was in Grade 9 (Junior Secondary School 3), and had just transferred from Prudence Educational Centre a Private school, to State Secondary School Amadi-Ama a public one. 

I was beginning to get used to the public school setting as I had never attended one. Classes seemed to be longer and the noise was terrible but I was determined to make it work. I didn’t have or make a lot of friends save for some students that attended the same church as I did. It wasn’t so bad and I could laze away as much as I could. That is, until that day.

Where are my manners? I’m Prince Emmanuel Macdonald and this is #MyKIRFoundationStory.

On the 18th of May 2015, my third week of being in a government school, my form teacher, Mr. Lenner was having a word with the Grade 9A class. He talked to us about various career choices and asked what each of us would like to be. I watched and listened as hands shot up followed by dreams of being doctors, engineers, lawyers, accountants and the rest of the supposed ‘high-paying’ jobs. Finally, it was my turn, I told my teacher I wanted to be a Computer Technologist. I didn’t know they were called Computer Technicians.
There was a long pause, followed by murmurings. My form teacher said nothing and asked me to have my seat.

During recess, I started wondering how I was going to become a Computer Technologist, I wasn't even tech-savvy! A classmate met me as I was lost in my thoughts and asked if I had any knowledge of ICT. I admitted I was illiterate when it came to ICT.
He told me about a Foundation that wasn't far from our school and asked me to come along.

That was how I discovered Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation. 
On my first visit, I was amazed by the number of books I saw in the KIR Foundation Resource Room. I read as many storybooks as I could!
The Front Desk Officer observed that I kept requesting for storybooks and advised me to focus more on my academic books. I took her advice and studied hard for my Junior WAEC examinations. I was so excited when I made 8 A's and 4 C's in the exams! I most probably would not have passed my exams if not for the timely advice of the Front Desk Officer.

Subsequently, I enrolled for the Vocational skills projects in the Centre; the Teenage Easter Empowerment Project (TEEP) and the Holiday Empowerment Project (HEP) during the Easter and summer holidays. I learnt various skills like; Web design, Blogging and Sign Language. Furthermore, I became a member of the Thank God It's Inspiration Friday (TGIIF) Youth Hub where I learnt how to express myself confidently in public and to code. 

In 2018 February, I decided to give back to the Foundation by becoming a volunteer Coding teacher. I managed the Coding Club and taught teenagers from public schools; Basic HTML and CSS web development, Construct gaming and Android App Development.

KIR Foundation has changed my life drastically, from the shy introverted teenager to a Life-long learner who is now driven to use to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged youth in the Niger Delta. Indeed, the Organization has given me opportunities to own my future which would not have been possible with a normal classroom experience.

It's been 4 years since I first came to KIR Foundation and I really want to appreciate every KIR Foundation donor that has invested in the lives of young persons like me by keeping the doors of the Foundation open. Young people like myself who have various dreams, aspirations and visions in life need a place like KIR Foundation, to express and truly discover themselves. And that's what your donations have been doing.

Thank you for changing the narrative of youth in our society and inspiring change through learning!

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Using Board Games To Teach Life’s Important Lessons!!

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

In 2017 August, KIR Foundation introduced Board Games like (Chess, Scrabble, The Game of Life, Monopoly etc) to enable the youth in the Centre learn 21st Century Skills like Creativity, Collaboration and Critical Thinking to empower them to become solution minded and problem solvers in practical ways. In September 2017, the KIR Foundation team, set up the Games Club. Since then, more than 100 young people have learnt how to play these Board Games in our Community Centre. The feedback we have gotten from them is that playing these games have taught them to focus, be more patient, acquire new words, increase their critical thinking skills, develop the spirit of sportsmanship, make better choices, knowing that their actions have consequences, respecting rules and ethics, planning etc.

Timothy Alexander (left)

According to Timothy Alexander, one of the Club members and the winner of the KIR Foundation Chess Competition (Senior Category); “Chess has taught me a lot of things, one of which is: Sacrifice. You have to let go of some things you want to get what you need.”

In September 2017, the young people had a lot of fun when they played a competitive game of ‘Body Chess’. However, this year, the KIR Foundation team decided to have an amateur Chess and Scrabble Competition among the members of the Club to promote collaboration and good sportsmanship. Therefore, on the 25th of July 2019, KIR Foundation organized its first-ever Chess and Scrabble Competition with 12 competitors, 8 of them played Scrabble while 4, played Chess.

The winner of the Scrabble Competition was Campbell Omuboye. He scored 134 points beating the 2nd runner-up with only a point which proved that every single letter is worth a point in scrabble and could determine who wins or loses the game! The winners of the Chess and Scrabble competitions were presented with their very own Chess and Scrabble Boards to encourage them to become more proficient players.

Okanlawon Martins

Okanlawon Martins, the winner of the Chess Competition (Junior Category) said; “Participating in the Chess and Scrabble competition pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to think strategically. I’m really glad I took part in this competition and now I have my Chessboard!”.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Investing in Today's Leaders!!

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

It is often said that “The youth are the Leaders of tomorrow”, but with the recent spike in cultism, militancy, fraud, and get rich quick schemes, there is an urgent need for intervention.
Most blame the government for not creating the youth opportunities or they blame the parents for shirking their responsibilities

Maybe, the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” has been forgotten. The truth is, everyone has a role to play in the development of the next generation of leaders.
Yes! They may be Tomorrow’s leaders, but we need to start preparing them for leadership now!!

Every year, @kirfoundation organizes the Inclusive Young Leadership Academy(YLA), a one-day leadership workshop, designed to train newly elected Senior Secondary School prefects
Since 2014, we have trained 545 school prefects as emerging young leaders that are driving positive change in their various schools through service.

 This year, we will build the capacity of three (3) newly elected prefects each from thirty (30) secondary schools (public, private and special) in Rivers State.
You can also invest in today’s leaders today by sponsoring a student with a copy of the ‘Young Leader’s Guide’ which is a leadership manual for building leadership skills in youth.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

KIR Foundation's Coding for Impact with Princewill

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
Princewill coder
Princewill Oriyebeka is a 17-year-old teenager who has had a passion for coding for over three years. Unfortunately, there was no way to drive and follow up with it.

Last year, 3 of Princewill's schoolmates were going to visit the KIR Foundation's Resource Centre and asked him to join them. At first, he refused to join them because he felt too tired to go anywhere. He didn't join them until his classmates insisted.

On arrival, he and his classmates were asked to go into the vocational training room of the Centre where he saw some teenagers practicing website design.

He was surprised to see teenagers like him using laptops to build basic websites. He had a personal laptop at home but didn't know he could create websites with it. He joined the coding club, instantly forgetting about his numerous excuses. Finally, he could follow his dream of being a programmer

Fast forward a year later, Princewill has shown some potential in every coding topic he has learned in the coding club.

A young man who had no idea whatsoever about coding, has built a guessing app which shows the user a statement based on ICT and the user is to guess if the statement is true or false and along with his fellow coding club members, is building an app that teaches persons with and without disabilities how to use American Sign Language.
Princewill coding

Princewill also plans to build games that'll not just be fun to play but also increase the critical thinking skills of its players.

It's because of teenagers like Princewill that we will continue to inspire change through learning.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Unlocking Empowerment Opportunities for Youth in Nigeria

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
Girl holding Sandals she made

During this training, I learnt how to make shoes, and I have made two pairs of shoes, I am currently wearing one and I sold the other one for N3000, which is my first profit ever, I am really excited, I couldn’t have made it without KIR Foundation, I thank everybody that supports KIR Foundation.
The above statement by Favour Nnachi, a 16 years old SS1 student who was among the 18 youth that participated in the KIR Foundation Teenage Easter Empowerment Programme, shows that there are many untapped potentials in young people and there is a need to unlock these potentials.

The KIR Foundation Teenage Easter Empowerment Programme (TEEP) commenced on Monday the 1st of April and ended on the 18th of April. The participants were trained in the following skills; Shoe making, Soap making, Sign Language, Making Skincare Products, Basic ICT. The facilitators were; Osaghe Osamuyi for Shoe making, Imoh Etim for Sign Language, Rebecca Asemokhe for Soap Making, Violet Maxwell- Benson for skincare Products and Mina Tamunowari for Basic ICT.
Footwears made at HEP 2019
The relevance of vocational training in our developing economy cannot be overemphasized, this is because Nigeria ranked 152 of 157 countries in the World Bank’s 2018 Human Capital Index due to Under Investment. Furthermore, the country continues to face massive developmental challenges, which include the need to reduce the dependency on oil and diversify the economy.

According to the World Bank Report, Nigeria with a population of approximately 197 million, accounts for about 47% of West Africa’s population, and has one of the largest populations of youth in the world.

Some of the KIR Foundation TEEP youth beneficiaries are disadvantaged youth who want to attend tertiary institutions, but are held back by lack of funding. Through our skills acquisition projects, these youths are equipped with relevant skills that are consistent with the needs of the labour market. Thus, enabling our beneficiaries to get employment or become self-employed so that they can afford good education and help develop the society.
Favour holding Sandals

Jennifer Chinedu, one of the participants said “The high rate of unemployed graduates I see in the society motivated me to join the Teenage Easter Empowerment programme, I want to learn skills to empower myself so I can be self-employed. I thank KIR Foundation for making it possible for me to learn these skills".

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

The Journey so far: Last Week, Today

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
At KIR Foundation, we had several activities going on that educate the minds of the young people that visit our Resource and Rehabilitation center. These activities are aimed at increasing the learnability curve in our society and prepare young people to take advantage of the available opportunities in the society. These activities include:

During the Easter Empowerment Program, the trainees were taught Basic Sign Language, ICT (Microsoft office suite and Basic Coding) and how to make organic skin care product. They were also introduced to shoemaking.
Shoe making class

The KIR Foundation community library contains resourceful books for Children, Teenagers, and Adults. The library is open to the public and free for use from Monday to Friday by 10am. We also give our beneficiaries preparing to take the computer-based JAMB exams the opportunity to practice using our computers for free. Also, every Friday by 2:30pm – 3:30pm the center hosts a youth hub called Thank God Its Inspirational Friday (TGIIF) which offers mentorship and self-development opportunities with a blend of extracurricular activities to young people.

We do not only engage our beneficiaries with books, but we develop their learning and critical thinking skills through intellectual games such as Chess, Monopoly, Scrabble and Game of Life. Aside from Games Club we also have a "Coding Club" where teenagers are taught basic coding for app develpment, webiste design and game develpment.
Coding club

Friday, 12 April 2019

TGIIF Youth Hub: Mentorship Friday

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
TGIIF Youth hub - Mentorship friday

Today's TGIIF was another refreshing moment. We had what we call a "Mentorship Friday" today, where the dreams and aspirations of TGIIF youths were explored.
Anchor - Mentorship Friday

First of all, we watched a video on how to have good drreams and how to follow them. After the video, the TGIIF youths (participants) gave different ways in which one can put one's dream to work.

One of the participants, Kevin Diri, said "You have to brainstorm ideas, create a strategic plan and stick with it."

We watched another video explaining, the five things stopping one from achieving one's dreams, which includes;

  1. Our Pasts
  2. Limited Beliefs
  3. Other People's Opinions
  4. Relationships and
  5. Money
The TGIIF youths also added to the list; Regrets (Which seemed like "Pasts") and Procrastination (The giant killer).

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Vocational Rehabilitation: A path to inclusion

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
Vocational rehabilitation
How do I make the world better for persons with disabilities? one may ask. People with disabilities need skills to engage in livelihood activities, but they start with a number of disadvantages. Their families and communities may assume that they are unable to engage in such activities. They often lack access to basic education, making them unqualified to join skills training courses. These disadvantages frequently result in a lack of skills, as well as low confidence, expectations and achievement.

One major way of integrating persons with disabilities into society is through VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION.

Wikipedia defines vocational rehabilitation as a process which enables persons with functional, psychological, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities or impairments or health disabilities to overcome barriers to accessing, maintaining, or returning to employment or other useful occupation.

The term "Vocational Rehabilitation" means that part of the continuous and coordinated process of rehabilitation which involves the provision of those vocational services, e. g. vocational guidance, vocational training and selective placement, designed to enable a disabled person to secure and retain suitable employment.

Blind Children smiling
Vocational Rehabilitation involves job training and placement. It can help persons with disabilities acquire the different types of skills required for successful work. These skills include foundation skills acquired through education and family life, technical and professional skills which enable a person to undertake a particular activity or task, business skills required to succeed in self-employment and core life skills, including attitudes, knowledge and personal attributes.

Vocational rehabilitation can enable people with disabilities access work opportunities, by actively promoting and facilitating the acquisition of relevant knowledge, skills and attitude. It also gives persons with disabilities an opportunity to be integrated into the working world.

Friday, 29 March 2019

KIR Foundation NDYEP graduation

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
Group picture NDYEP graduation
PIND Foundation with support from Ford Foundation initiated the Niger Delta Youth Employment
Pathway programme. KIR Foundation as one of the 15 implementers of the programme, graduated
the first set of 50 trainees on the 8th of December 2018, among whom were Odinaka a deaf trainee
who was one of the best in the hardware repairs and maintenance skills training. Odinaka is
currently running a small hardware and software repairs and maintenance business in front of his
house. David, who was a security guard before he enrolled for the training, is now a supervisor and
social media personnel in a cold room company. Also, Bethel who was a fruit seller is now a teacher
at Dayspring Infant and Junior school.

PIND Foundation extended the programme for another 3 months and KIR Foundation had the
opportunity to train another set of 25 trainees. The 25 trainees graduated on the 29th of March 2019.
Lucky a mobility challenged youth was one of the outstanding trainees in hardware and software
repairs training. Lucky a father of 2 little girls who was previously unemployed is now an intern with
global law tech, a hardware and software repair and maintenance company.

The Niger Delta Youth Employment Pathway programme funded by PIND enabled KIR Foundation to run a disability inclusive training for 75 youth, in the following skills; (Basic ICT appreciation,
hardware repairs and maintenance, social media and digital marketing, basic coding and website
design and entrepreneurship. The facilitators were Ikechukwu Anaba, Micheal Lawrence, Andrew
Nkeruwem, Emmanuel Macdonald, Mina Tamunowari, and Victor Briggs. Thereby creating
employment opportunities and enabling the youth in the Niger Delta to have market-relevant skills.

On the 29 th of March 2019, during the graduation of the 25 trainees; 12 of the trainees were persons
with disabilities, comprising of 1 female and 11 males, 13 of them were without disabilities,
comprising of 6 females and 7 males.

Some of the trainees expressed their gratitude to the sponsors of the programme because of the skills that they had acquired and for helping them to become self-confident. Mr. Victor Briggs who was the facilitator on entrepreneurship during the programme and a member of KIR Foundation advisory board coordinated the event.
Trainees expressing gratitude -NDYEP graduation

Mr Ibifuro Asawo, the special adviser to the governor on ICT, gave the keynote address. He encouraged the trainees to use their newly acquired skills to become contributive and productive
members of the society, by harnessing the following traits, vision, focus, courage and perseverance all of which have enabled him to stay relevant in the ICT sector.
Ibifuro Asawo -NDYEP Graduation

The M.D of “DEVELOP U”, Mr Emeka Unachukwu, a special guest at the graduation ceremony,
reiterated the importance of young entrepreneurs in growing the economy. Furthermore, he advised the trainees to embrace entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and mentorship.

Emeka Unachukwu NDYEP Graduation
The four outstanding trainees for hardware and software maintenance and repair received business-
ready toolkits to enable them start their business, while the other 21 trainees were given the basic
tool kits and all the 25 trainees were awarded a certificate of participation.
KIR Foundation is very grateful to PIND Foundation and Ford Foundation for investing in the lives of the 75 trainees with and without disabilities, thereby providing them with opportunities to become employable.
Presentation of toolkit NDYEP graduation

Thursday, 28 March 2019

See me not my disability

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) constitute the highest minority group in the world, in Nigeria; they are over 28 million PWDs.

The exclusion of disability issues in most domestic policy frameworks in Nigeria is a major gap in including PWDs in developmental issues which runs against the United Nations 2030 Global Agenda of leaving no one behind.

As a disability inclusive organization, we have observed that PWDs are grossly marginalized and underserved and this has led to significant levels of generational poverty among PWDs and exclusion from socio-economic and developmental issues.

To promote awareness about Persons with Disabilities, the right of PWDs to be included in socio-economic and developmental issues, to promote The Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities Prohibition Act and to commemorate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

KIR Foundation runs the only disability inclusive Centre in Niger Delta. In 2013, in collaboration with the Niger Delta Coalition of Persons with Disabilities commemorated the International Day of Persons with Disabilities in the nine (9) Niger Delta States. And achievement awards were given to five (5) persons in River State. We have mainstreamed disability inclusion in TEDx Port-Harcourt, The Great Teacher Award in Rivers State and promote disability awareness by printing and sharing booklets and stickers.

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

The Easter Empowerment Programme (TEEP)

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
Easter Empowerment Programme

Keeping it Real Foundation invites persons from the ages of 12 - 20 to register for its annual Easter Empowerment Programme.

The programme features a host of interesting skills-acquisition training such as Information and Communication Technology training (which includes computer appreciation and introduction to Microsoft Office programs), Soap Making, Shoe Making as well as Sign Language training.

The training fees are N500 only for Shoe making, Soap making, and Sign language, whilst the ICT training is N5000 only.

It starts by April 1st, 2019. Register now to be part of the Programme.

Monday, 25 March 2019

Success Stories: NDYEP

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
David Daniel
 David Daniel enrolled in the training as a school dropout who was a public speaker by day and some security personnel by night. When he heard of the Niger Delta Youth Empowerment Project (NDYEP) Digital and Vocational skills training organized by KIR Foundation in partnership with PIND foundation, he seized the opportunity and enrolled in the training to acquire new skills. During the training, he showed special interest in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship amongst other skills. At the end of the training, David made the bold decision to quit his job as a security personnel and applied for a job in a cold room company. He got the job as the supervisor of the company because of his newly acquired excellent Digital marketing skills; he introduced social media marketing to the business. According to David, this has increased sales in the company. Today, David is so happy that he is doing a job that requires him to think, interact with other people instead of working as security personnel where he was underemployed, David says because he was able to successfully complete the training; now he has the confidence to pursue other dreams!

Bethel Ajah
“I never taught I could get a better job until I finished university” these are the words of Bethel Ajah one of our NDYEP trainees. After finishing secondary school in 2017, Bethel assisted her mother in her petty trading business. Bethel heard about the NDYEP training from a friend and applied. While in the training, she learnt various skills, including Microsoft Office Suite. After the training, Bethel applied for a job as a teacher in a private and she was accepted because of her proficiency in Microsoft office suite. Bethel is so happy that from being a fruit seller, she is currently a school teacher; her story goes to show how projects like the NYEP program if properly implemented can indeed provide employment for the youth in the Niger Delta.
Solomon Tamkanbari

Solomon Tamkanbari is 25 years old and is from Khana L.G.A in Rivers State. He studied Environmental Health Technology at the Rivers State College of Health Science. After graduating from the college, he interned at Cerpmist Environmental Academy. He got tired of his job and desired to start up his own business with the intent of selling popcorn to school students. To advertise and grow his business, he needed experience in digital marketing and entrepreneurship both of which he lacked. He heard about the NDYEP training program, from one of our stakeholder partners, the River State Ministry of Youth Development, and applied. Solomon joined the November batch of the training, and was taught various skills including Digital Marketing and Social and Entrepreneurship. After the training, armed with his new skills; Solomon partnered with a friend to startup a Business Centre for phone repairs called DIGITECH MAX SOLUTION located at 30 Nsukka Street Mile 1, Diobu, Port-Harcourt. Thanks to the NDYEP project and with persistence and commitment to learn Solomon Tamkanbari is presently a business owner.

Friday, 22 March 2019

TGIIF Youth Hub: Youth Friday

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
This week's TGIIF was eventful as usual, there was a little twist of things, the anchor; Emmanuel Macdonald thrilled the audience with his rap.

The activities were divided into three sessions, the first session was dedicated to watching a comedy skit, the second session was a games session whilst the final session was all about rap.

The anchor, showed a funny video of a YouTuber, Ryan Higa rapping and doing a series of comedy skits. Afterwards, the games started, the boys played true or false, while the girls played “Name that thing” on Mariam-Webster online dictionary. The girls scored 3/10 while the boys scored 7/10 making them the winners of the’s games session.

following this, the rap session started. this was an opportunity for the youths to showcase their talents. Emmanuel set the ball rolling with the beat “Dark Rap Beat Instrumental” by Beast Inside Beats. Other participants like Saturday Preye, Lucky, and some others came out to display their talents. In the end, Atat, a cinematographer and Rebecca, the Programmes’ manager had a rap battle which was an enthralling one.

Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Nigeria of my dreams: World Poetry day

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
World Poetry day - KIR Foundation

Where power corrupts, poetry cleanses
-          John F. Kennedy

KIR Foundation in partnership with Nmenisi Integrated Leadership Development Initiative (NILDI) Foundation organized the 5th Edition of the Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation World Poetry Day Competition, in four primary schools in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State;  State Primary school Amadi – Ama I, State Primary School Amadi – Ama II, State Primary school Azuabie and Eze Iche Akarolo Model Primary school Elekiah. We recieved 78 entries and the theme was ‘The Nigeria of my dreams’.
World Poetry day - KIR Foundation

Miss Wonderful Sunday, a Primary six pupil emerged as the winner of the 2019 KIR Foundation Poetry Competition. The three finalists received digital dictionaries donated by KIR Foundation. While, Wonderful Sunday and 2nd runner-up Mr. Solomon John Ibidaibo had the opportunity to read their poems live on radio at Silverbird Broadcasting 93.7 FM, the 1st runner-up; Miss Grace Esau recited her poem on television in the company of the Academy of Poets in Port Harcourt to commemorate World Poetry Day at Rivers State Television (RSTV). KIR Foundation has been collaborating with the Academy of Poets and Nigerian Authors Association in Port-Harcourt since 2015 to implement the World Poetry Day Competition.

The winners were very happy and proud of their achievement. Solomon said "I feel happy, it was a beautiful experience to share my poem about Nigeria because I don’t like the present situation of the country". 
Winner_World Poetry day - KIR Foundation
The World Poetry Day celebrated globally on the 21st of March is a day set aside to promote reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry. One of the main objectives of the day is to give voice to the voiceless. In the last five years, KIR Foundation has organized Poetry competitions in nine primary schools in Port Harcourt to promote an awareness and appreciation of Poetry and encourage a culture of reading.
World Poetry day - KIR Foundation

Friday, 15 March 2019

TGIIF Youth Hub: Mentorship Friday

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
TGIIF Youth Hub: Mentorship Friday

Every Friday,  KIR Foundation hosts a youth hub called TGIIF (Thank God It's Inspiration Friday). TGIIF is an all-inclusive learning and youth-oriented Hub targeted at Inspiring young individuals to make a positive change in their environs.

Emmanuel Macdonald anchored the event and it was a very entertaining and engaging one. 
He started with a question and answer session where he asked questions like; "what is your definition of mentorship?" and "who is a good mentor?"

TGIIF Youth Hub: Mentorship Friday

Destiny Idongesit, one of the participants replied thus: "A Mentor is someone who inspires people. Another participant named Daniel Aka said, "A mentor is a motivator".
TGIIF Youth Hub: Mentorship Friday

After defining mentorship, the anchor went further and gave examples of mentors and listed some examples of mentors and he gave the participants an opportunity to talk about their mentors and why they've chosen that mentor.

"Robert Kiyosaki is my mentor, his books gave me insight about business and money" says Donaldson Ebeta.

Mrs. Fransica who is a banker and makeup artist inspired Blessing Izuokwu to venture into the world of makeup and today Blessing is an established makeup artist.

Sunny Anderson who is a chef and food network personnel, changed the beliefs of Wisdom Macdonald. She taught him through her cooking shows that cooking isn't for women only and that men can also take pride in making exquisite delicacies. He wants to become a professional chef someday.
TGIIF Youth Hub: Mentorship Friday

His second mentor is Richard Templar who is the author of the "Rules Series". He also talked about how his favourite book "The Rule Of Life", taught him how to relate and better understand the people around him.

Divine Favour ended the session by summarizing everything he had learnt from the club. In his own words, mentors should be brave and be able to create leaders who can rise above them and take on the challenges of life.
TGIIF Youth Hub: Mentorship Friday

The anchor brought the event to a close by encouraging everyone to be a mentor and to get good mentors. A short comedy video was played to end the day on a lighter note.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Persons with disabilities deserve better

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
Persons with disablities deserve better
The president’s liaison officer Ita Enang on the 23rd of January declared the approval of the bill that criminalizes all forms of discrimination against persons with disabilities which has tarried in the national assembly for about 18 years but was transferred in December for the president’s approval.

The act prohibits all forms of discrimination against persons with disability. If an individual is found violating the law he/she will be subjected to pay a sum of N100, 000 or a serve jail term of six months. For corporate bodies, the law imposes a fine of N1, 000,000

Discrimination of persons with disabilities is prohibited in public transportation facilities and service provides are to make provision for the physically, visually and hearing impaired persons however challenged. This also applies to seaports, railways and airport facilities.

The right and privileges of persons with disability includes education, health care, priority in accommodation and emergencies.

All public organizations are to reserve at least five percent of employment opportunities for this class of people.

The act also gives persons with disability the right to file a lawsuit for damage against any defaulters.

Building structures are also inspected by relevant authorities to make sure that the plans conform with the building code such that provisions are made to ensure the ease of access for persons with disabilities.

An officer who approves or directs the approval of a building plan that contravenes the building code commits an offence and is liable on conviction, to a fine of at least N100, 000 or a term of two-years imprisonment.

In section 31 of the act, the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities was established as the regulating body for the Bill.

As at 2011, it was published that about 25 million Nigerians are living with disabilities. Persons with disabilities deserve equal treatment with those without disabilities.

It is important for us to see them as people that can add value to the nation. In order to bring about the change and development of the nation. Those living with disabilities should not be ignored in the society because they are a part of us.

This new bill hopes to reduce the challenges faced by persons with disabilities in the society, thus improving their chances of employment, being allowed to engage in sports and have quality medical care when needed.

The growth and development of our nation lies in our ability support each other and this bill only helps to facilitate the process.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Women Innovations: Creating a postive balance in the society

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
KIR Foundation World Women's Day
The Statement for International Women’s Day by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” clearly shows that a gender equal world, can be achieved with innovations by women and girls that proffer solutions to the needs of both men and women.

KIR Foundation in collaboration with Mrs Francisca Agho the founder of My Lady Carpenter, celebrate women and girls, their innovation and strengths with a HeForShe event at Community Secondary School Amadi Ama where 79 student gathered in attendance.

Mrs Francisca shared the story of how she translated from investment banking to Carpentry; a male dominant industry. She reiterated the value of education for women saying ` an investment in a woman to be the best will create a better balance in the world’. She went further to state that by innovation, persistence and quality service delivery, women can lead in any field of industry.

The executive director of KIR Foundation Mrs Bitebo Gogo in her speech encouraged the female students to change the narrative and create a good image for women. She emphasized that women have to earn their place in by making a positive change in the society. She did not leave the men out, but she admonished them not to see women as threats but as motivation and lend a helping hand.

The event ended with a recognition of one of the teachers who is a HeForShe hero, Mr Tamunomie Otonye. In addition, students regaled the guests with many questions and they shared their personal HeForShe stories.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Share a story: securing the future

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
World Book Day; KIR Foundation
As a result of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, IDP Camps have become a last resort to so many people and more than 56 per cent of the displaced are children who are forced to stop school and Nigeria is in danger of losing a whole generation in the north to illiteracy

According to the 2018 UNICEF Nigeria Humanitarian Situation Report, there are over 6 million children in need of education in the IDP camps in Nigeria.

Children at the IDP camps face many barriers to education like; lack of instructional materials, shortage of teachers and volunteers, hunger, exploitation, poor health care, sexual abuse and lack of infrastructure.
World Book Day-KIR Foundation

KIR Foundation believes that no child should be left behind in accessing quality education. 16 year old Aisha in St Theresa’s IDP camp in Yola, had difficulty in reading and spelling because she did not have access to books. Aisha with the support of our implementing partner (Mentor for African Development Initiative) can now read and spell and wants to be an Engineer. We believe that by giving books to teenagers like Aisha and the 745 beneficiaries in the IDP camps that we support, we can help them achieve their dreams. Therefore, no matter the circumstance, children should be provided with books; so that they can keep their dreams alive, succeed in getting an education and reach their fullest potentials.

To commemorate the World Book Day, KIR Foundation has collaborated with our implementing partner; Mentor for African Development Initiative to provide 586 books (Storybooks and Educational books) to St. Theresa’s IDP camp in Yola, Adamawa State and Daudu camp in Makurdi, Benue State. We believe we can inspire change in the children in the IDP camps through learning.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Capacity development through Career Guidance and Counselling (CGC)

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
career guidance and counselling
What do I do when I face financial difficulties in the pursuit of my career? Asked a student of Community Secondary School Nkpolu, Port Harcourt, Rivers state during the Career Guidance and Counselling fair that held on Thursday 28th of February 2019 at the school premises.

In answer to the question above, Victoria Chinda the Accountancy facilitator said `do anything legitimate that you can to fund your passion until your passion can fund you’.

Recent research has shown that there can be a big discrepancy between the career one thinks is suitable and the right career for that person. So, how does one tell what he or she should be doing?

To this end, KIR Foundation, in line with our objective to inspire change through learning birthed the CGC in 2014.

The Fair is designed to provide students with a dynamic and tangible experience that enables a connection between their academic pursuits and professional endeavours in the future. In addition, it provides a platform for the students to listen and meet with professionals in different fields that they aspire to study and educating them on the possible career paths for different personality types.

The event commenced with a SWOT analysis session on how personality types affect career choices. After which there were counselling sessions handled by facilitators from different career paths who delivered an in-depth and clear description of their careers and the academic requirements to pursue the career. Individuals such as, Victoria Chinda an Accountant | Founder of NILDI Africa, Theodora Isola is the Founder/Team Lead Tiva Creatives | IT Support Strategist, Innocent Ikhide Ekpen, Esq. a member of the dispute resolution team at Aluko & Oyebode, Dr. Dumoateli Iboroma a medical officer in Prof. Nimi Briggs Hospital, and Mr. Ikechukwu Anaba the CEO of BitMagnet International Limited and the founder of “ThinkBigDoBigger Initiative”.

Dr Dumo counselled the students who prior to the fair saw the field of medicine as a very difficult one. He said that medicine is all about passion for humanity and a sincere sacrifice to save a life. In addition, Barrister Innocent corrected the notion that the students had that lawyers were liars. Mr Ikechukwu emphasized that engineers have to be good team players and Mrs Theodora taught on the importance of IT, saying that IT is at the core of every industry today.

The students gave feedback of transformation after the fair and they were enthusiastic about the newfound knowledge about different career paths. There was an opportunity for one on one interaction between the students and facilitators after the fair.

Through this Fair, KIR Foundation is providing young people with the choice of venturing into the right career and providing solutions to problems in their communities. We believe the Fair plays a large role in counselling young Nigerians particularly disadvantaged youths.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Investments that last; A Post Young Leaders Academy (YLA) success story

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation
KIR Foundation Young leaders academy

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
— Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

KIR Foundation Inclusive Young Leadership Academy is a one-day workshop designed to train newly elected secondary school prefects from public, private and disability inclusive schools, to become emerging leaders who drive positive change in the society.

Nelson Simeon, the senior prefect of Community Secondary School Nkpolu and the winner of last year’s KIR Foundation’s YLA Essay Competition is making others better and making sure that the impact of the Young Leaders Academy does not end with him.

To this end, he and his team of emerging leaders organised a leadership training session for his fellow students themed `Purposeful Leadership’ for the students of his school. The training held on Friday the 1st of February 2019 with an attendance of 107 students and 3 teachers.

The speakers educated the students the power of purpose in leadership, saying that ‘the moment you have a defined purpose, you become deliberate about everything you do and every time you spend’. In addition, the students learned the different personality types and the use of social media as an effective tool for transformation in the society. At the close of the events, the students were inspired to take up leadership responsibilities and transform their communities.