Literacy is most commonly defined as the ability to read and write. It gives people access to information and plays a significant role in reducing gender, race, nationality, and religious inequality that favors one group over another in access to education, property, employment, health care, legal, and civic participation.
But beyond the functional level, literacy plays a vital role in transforming students into socially engaged citizens. Being able to read and write means being able to keep up with current events, communicate effectively, and understand the issues that are shaping our world.
The InnerCity Mission for Children (ICM), under the auspices of Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI), is always striving to mentally engage and provide continuous learning for vulnerable children who are at risk of falling far behind in their learning or may never return to school for many reasons including, most recently, the effect of the COVID-19 crisis.
To these means, the InnerCity Mission is set to commission and hand over 50 units of Library project reading corner shelves fully stocked with books at the Ikeja Local Government Authority in Lagos State. This “Library project” is a strategic initiative of The InnerCity Mission Education program geared towards promoting literacy and reading skills among primary school pupils in public schools especially schools in underserved communities.
Through this initiative, the InnerCity Mission and network of partners and volunteers are reaching out to over 100,000 children in needy communities all around the world, to try and provide essential educational materials to enhance learning at home and promote literacy skills, making it easier, more interactive and convenient whilst awaiting the resumption of school.
The Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI), put a great deal of emphasis on education, which we believe is a basic human right, a public good, and a public responsibility. Through various initiatives, we are reaching out to hundreds of thousands of children in needy communities all around the world, to try and provide essential educational materials to enhance learning at home and promote literacy skills, making it easier, more interactive, and convenient whilst awaiting the resumption of school.
Founding father and humanitarian, Chris Oyakhilome has been famously quoted as saying: “One of the most important things we receive at an early age which sets us up for a successful future is education.”
Literacy Transforms Lives
Reading is the first pillar of literacy, and education is the building block that helps to build a sustainable society. As Nelson Mandela rightly called education “the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Today, education is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals. Education is a human right, a public good, and a public responsibility.
Literacy and education have the potential to enable children to gain the life skills and knowledge needed to cope with today’s challenges and be agents of their own change, yet there are several factors such as poverty and violence limiting millions of children and young people around the world from getting an education. We need the education to reduce inequalities and improve health. We need education to achieve gender equality and eliminate child marriage. We need the education to protect our planet’s resources. Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth, and adults behind.
Education can be the catalyst needed to pull families and communities out of the cycle of poverty. Knowledge gives children the power to dream of a better future and the confidence needed to pursue a full education, which in turn will help generations to come.