Monday, 29 March 2021

Breaking the myth through Book Donations.

 


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.

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation

Author & Editor

Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation is a disability-inclusive organization that donates books, teaches skills and advocates the rights of our beneficiaries especially those with disabilities. Since 2011 we have reached over 30,046 people and donated over 26,000 books by inspiring change through learning. Send us an email: Info@kirfoundation.org

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