Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world” – Malala Yousafzai.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, books provided an avenue to combat isolation and learn widely. But in a nation like Nigeria (and other developing countries) with a low reading culture, and with schools under lock and key, many were left without books, without reading.
As the world returns to normal, Sahara remains resolute in our goal to ensure that students have access to quality education and their libraries are very well equipped. In February 2016, Sahara Foundation partnered with Education for Change on the ‘Book for Change Campaign’. The objective of this project was to make books and educational materials donations to underserved children in Benue State. Through this initiative, over 3,000 children now have access to story books, audio books and other educational materials.
In 2019, we renovated the UMC Primary School library in Ibadan while in Tanzania, in a quest to contribute towards the Tanzanian Education Sector Plan, we upgraded the library at Pugu Secondary School with the provision of shelves, tables and chairs and fans to make it more conducive for learners. About 970 students including teachers were provided access to modern library facility with the teachers trained to increase their effectiveness.
Furthermore, in providing digital devices to secondary and tertiary students in Borno, Adamawa and Abuja, we are creating a mindset shift in their reading culture which we hope will contribute towards improving how our low reading culture.
As we celebrate the 2021 World Book Day, “it is critical to take the time to read on your own or with your children. It is a time to celebrate the importance of reading, foster children’s growth as readers and promote a lifelong love of literature and integration into the world of work.”
Happy World Book Day 2021!