WID-Africa ‘Empowerment through Education’ Project; 2019 Report

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Lagos, Nigeria (10 November, 2019): The ONE.org Poverty is Sexist report states that 130 million girls are out of school. If this was the population of a country, it would be the 10th largest nation in the world – the size of the United Kingdom and France put together. A recent report by the UN indicates that there are at least 10.5 million Nigerian children out of school, a situation that is nothing short of a national crisis. The condition is more acute among Nigerian girls, who are most disadvantaged in senior secondary school as 53% of girls are out of school at this level compared to 37% of boys. Also, According to UNICEF and The World Bank, 1.24billion children (almost 20% of the world population) are currently in primary and secondary school. They could be trained to take personal, professional and community actions towards sustainable development. To achieve this, a lot of changes need to be made in the educational sector. Education systems must adopt relevant learning objectives, content, and pedagogies that empower learners to take action in order to shape a more sustainable future. Relevant resources need to be made available for continual learning and there has to be a reorientation of the mind of citizens on the importance of education not just a source of livelihood, but with an intrinsic in itself. This is why WholeLife Initiative for Development in Africa (WID-Africa) launched the Empowerment through Education project in 2018. It involves us creating/refurbishing libraries in schools/communities were they have none. It also entails commemoration of relevant United Nations awareness days such as International Literacy Day and World Savings Day with the students to engage them on the importance of education and financial literacy.

In 2019, WholeLife Initiative for Development in Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Foundational Network Africa to take the execution of this project to the southern states in a bid to widen the reach of the project. The first school to benefit this partnership is Alarere Community High School, Ibadan. The program activities involved plastering and painting the library building and also donating more relevant and current books. The revamped library was launched on Saturday 28 September 2019 in commemoration of International Literacy Day (ILD) 2019. The students were engaged in spelling bees and debate competition to spur their interest in education. Also a baseline survey was carried out to assess the current level of literacy and reading habit of the students, while testing their awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To our dismay, none of the 11 students interviewed have heard about the SDGs

In Abuja, WID-Africa commemorated ILD 2019 by visiting Calvary Love Academy, Jikwoyi, Abuja; the first beneficiary of the ‘Empowerment through Education’ project with library launch in June 2018. We conducted a midline survey measuring impact the library created for them is having on the students and the school in general. The children were also engaged on the importance of literacy through spelling bees and other games centred on the theme Literacy and Multilingualism

To commemorate World Savings Day 2019, WID-Africathrough its volunteers engaged students of The Abolarin College, Ifedayo local government, Osun state. The students learnt about the history of World Savings Day and the significance of celebrating the day, being to inform people around the world about the need for saving money in the bank instead of burying it in the ground or under their mattress.

They also learnt about the importance of savings: Saving for emergencies, Saving for future plans and goals, Saving for retirement or old age, Saving to maximize interest rates. Students were gifted with copies of ‘The richest man in Babylon’ and ‘How successful people think.’

To ensure the continual sustenance of the Empowerment through Education project, WID-Africa has curated and designed a book journal meant to help book lovers meet their reading targets in 2020. A book journal helps store vital information about reading experiences such as the lessons learnt, favourite characters, quotes and others. It helps you preserve the treasures found while reading. Proceeds from the sale of the book journals will be fully invested in funding WID-Africa programs. The journal can be ordered via Paystack (https://paystack.com/pay/c9ansto5yr).

Literacy is a bridge from misery to Hope (Kofi Anan). ________________________________________

WholeLife Initiative for Development in Africa is a non-governmental organisation established to promote development through education.

For Further information please contact:

Chimeremnma Ulukwu

Cofounder/Executive Director WholeLife Initiative for Development in Africa

Phone: +2348140859269E-Mail: wholelifeid@gmail.com

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