The African Rural Volunteers, a Non-Governmental Organization, has donated over 1000 Books to children in Makoko Community, popularly known as Makoko slum in Lagos state, to boost and promote reading culture.
According to reports, the Makoko Community, is a water-front settlement in the centre of Lagos, Nigeria, with an estimated population of no fewer than 250,000 people with living conditions below standard.
The slum is said to be a fishing settlement that plays host to migrants from Badagry, which has now grown to be home for generations of fishermen from neighboring countries and is rich with multiculture and languages.
Generally the commonly spoken languages in the community are medley of Yoruba, French, and Egun which is a local dialect.
Sadly, the community has only two schools which lacks quality books to promote reading habit and culture.
Mr Aguiyi Evans, Founder of African Rural Volunteers said that the book donation was the first part of the organizations core project to establish a mini library in the community.
Evans also said that the group had also commenced a reading book club in the community to promote reading habit and culture amongst children.
According to him, the donation of the books was followed by the start off of a book reading club with the books that were donated.
“On Dec 19, the ARV donated over 1000 children books to the Part of Solution Nursery and Primary School, in Makoko Community in Lagos state.
“The books are oxford standard classic story books, novels, text books, science, mathematics, english and general knowledge books.
“The school we donated the books to is one of the two schools that exist in the Makoko community and it was said to be founded by Shemede Taiwo and his brothers who only got a secondary school education.
“However, the founders of the school aimed at ensuring that no child was left behind in education and that children in the community got basic education.
“And that is the vision we at ARV also have and that is why we are contributing our quota to ensure that children in the community get good books and learn to read,’ he said.
Evans said that the books are collected and organized from a Book Cycle by Lilly sembi a volunteer partner based in the United Kingdom and made available in Nigeria.
He said that the ARV handles the landing charges and all other logistics in Nigeria and ensures that the books are judiciously disseminated to schools, libraries and communities that needs them.
According to him, we have been donating books to villages, and stocking the libraries of various schools in lagos state, also in Ilorin in Kwara state, Ogun state and others.
“We have donated over 30,000 books over a period of Three years and the Makoko book project is embedded in a bigger project which is to create a library in the makoko community for public benefit,’ he said.
Evans also stated that the group donated both children and adult clothings, crayons for children scribblings and other writing aids and materials.
He commended the groups donors Dr Kwei Quartey Jones, Mr Godswill Aguiyi, Confidence Aguiyi, and Michael C. Liley, for their relentless effort in contributing to enhance humanity and make the Makoko community a better place for children to learn to read and develop healthy reading habit.
Mr Shemede Sunday who is a volunteer of the ARV group and also the groups local representative was born and brought up in Makoko.
He expressed joy over the humanitarian services being rendered by the ARV group and lauded the groups initiative to donate quality reading books to the community.
Sunday said that the books would serve as an encouragement to the children and also inspire them to read, learn and excel in their studies.
He also said that the donation was a call to the government to intervene in the improvement of the living and educational standards of the people of the community.
The African Rural Volunteers is a youth based organization, founded in 2012 with a primary aim and focus to bring education to mostly rural communities for the benefits of under privileged children.
The groups working team consist of friends, families and selfless volunteers who share similar dreams of bridging the gap in education between the privileged and the under privileged children in the society.
It has donated over 100,000 books since inception to various schools, libraries, and communities across Nigeria.
It is striving continually to create inclusive volunteering opportunities in Nigeria for youths irrespective of gender, race, religion, or ethnicity to volunteer and immensely contribute their quota.