AIFA Reading Society has had a remarkable year! Thanks to you!
Our unique events and projects which centred on promoting learning and reading culture, impacted over 20,000 young persons across Nigeria. We recognise your participation and contributions to the Society’s activities, thus making this a successful year. Therefore, as the year 2019 draws to an end, we would love to share with you highlights of the Society’s events as we work towards an exceptional 2020.
In line with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which pledges to ‘’leave no one behind”, the Society through its ‘Spreading Cheer’ initiative, celebrated the International Day for Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) with students of the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, Surulere, Lagos, on Wednesday, December 11, 2019. The Society donated Writing Slates and Stylus to the graduating students of the school in a bid to promote inclusive learning for all children.
The AIFA Reading Society’s signature project, the ‘Young Writers Awards’, previously known as the Little Writers Awards, held on October 17, 2019, at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, to celebrate young minds who emerged winners in the Society’s Essay Writing Competition. Under the Chairmanship of Professor Enase Okonedo, President, AIFA Reading Society, and Dean, Lagos Business School, the Fourth Edition of this event brought together distinguished figures within the country.
The highlight of the event include: a Keynote Address by Mrs Abiola Seriki Ayeni, Director General, Education Quality Assurance, Lagos State Ministry of Education on the importance of repositioning education in Nigeria for relevance in the 21st Century; a Panel Discussion moderated by Mrs. Mary Agbu, Executive Director of Multiplan Pathway College. The Panelists included Mrs. Adeyoyin Adesina, the CEO Corona Schools’ Trust Council; Dr. Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director of The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre; Mr. Stewart King, Principal of the British International School, Lagos; and Ms. Adaobi Oni-Egboma, an Associate at Kenna Partners. Other activities included Poem recitations, music rendition and Awards presentation. This laudable event was supported by Kenna Partners, National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), Olam Nigeria Limited, Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS), TVTosin, Learn Africa Plc, Rasmed Publications Limited, Kachifo Limited, Purple Shelves Limited and Parresia Publishers Limited.
The Society prides itself on organising several book reading sessions this year in line with its mission to promote a reading culture among Nigerians. The AIFA Book Club is a relaxing forum, bringing together friends and lovers of literature to meet and interact, share thoughts and experiences on selected literary works. On Saturday, April 27, 2019, Professor Enase Okonedo hosted an edition of the AIFA Book Club (Executives) which discussed a short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins.
The 2nd edition of the ‘Tolstoy Circle’; a cell of the AIFA Book Club (Executives) created by Professor Fabian Ajogwu, SAN; Principal Partner, Kenna Partners, read and discussed the book titled ‘What to the Slave is the Fourth of July’, authored by Frederick Douglass on Saturday, July 27, 2019. Members and Friends of the Society’s Book Club for young adults reviewed and analysed the George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ on Saturday, September 7, 2019.
Furthermore, the Society had a reading session on Oliver Goldsmith book titled ‘She Stoops to Conquer’, with the SS3 students of Okesuna Senior High School, Lagos Island, Lagos, on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in preparation for their West African Senior School Certificate Examination, (WASSCE).
In furtherance of the AIFA Reading Society’s vision to achieve a world wherein a majority of children and adults in Africa can read, write, and have access to a decent education, we made optimum use of internationally recognised days to reach out to children in different schools.
The Society, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019, commemorated Children’s Day with a storytelling session for pupils of Edward Blyden Memorial Nursery and Primary School, Lagos Island, Lagos. The session involved a discussion with the author and founder of HopeHouse Counselling and Consulting Services; Mrs Olatunde Turner-Edem, on her book, ‘Kelvin’s Adventure of Staying Super Safe’. The session also involved a sensitisation on child abuse. Books, mathematical sets and other colourful instructional materials were donated and distributed to over 200 pupils present at the event. This project was supported by Kenna Partners, Ms Nazor Ukwuegbu and Mr Patrick Koshoni.
Additionally, we marked the World Book Day with teachers and students of Lafiaji Junior High School and Okesuna Senior Secondary School, Lagos Island, Lagos, on March 7, 2019, and March 13, 2019, respectively. On both days, the Society organised storytelling competitions, inter-class debates, poem recitations and drama presentation by the students. The teachers and students received prizes for participating in the activities. The Society also celebrated the International Literacy Day with Okesuna Senior Secondary School on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.
On a final note, the AIFA Reading Society organised its Book Recycle Scheme and Calculate2Succeed initiatives. These projects involved the donation and distribution of educational books, mathematical sets and other learning materials to over 10,000 children. Beneficiaries include pupils and students of 17 public schools across the country: 9 public primary and secondary schools in Enugu, 3 primary and secondary schools in Lagos, and 2 primary and secondary schools in Ibadan as well as 1 primary and 2 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Abuja. Sponsors such as: Kenna Partners, Learn Africa Plc, Parresia Publishers, Rasmed Publications Limited, Kachifo publishers, Purple Shelves Limited, Beta Gamma Sigma (LBS Chapter) and the family of Mr. & Mrs. O Omonuwa aided in the actualisation of these projects.
Looking forward to the year 2020, our experiences of this year, 2019, inform our conviction that the Society will improve its efficiency, thereby increasing the effectiveness and visibility of our programmes for the coming year. One of our goals is to reach and impact at least 50,000 persons through our projects and activities and build a stronger network within Nigeria and the continent.