By Kelechukwu Iruoma
In its quest to enable school children have access to books and improve their reading skills, ‘Hope for African Children Initiative’, donated 540 textbooks and novels to equip a library which it had earlier began constructing for a Community Primary/Secondary School, Crystal Bridge Academy, in Ogbelle-Obollo Afor, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The book donation was necessitated by a need to create access to books which can change the lives of the rural community children in Udenu.
Speaking at the donation and handover ceremony, the Executive Director of the Foundation, Mr. Noel Ify Alumona, said the foundation’s decision to set up a library in the school was based on the potential impact of the project in ensuring that children from economically disadvantaged background were able to access quality books and have a conducive and inspiring environment to read.
“We believe that these factors will enable them to develop a healthy reading culture, which will improve their vocabulary, knowledge, and understanding of the world and subsequently better position them for success in life,” Noel said.
He disclosed that in addition to setting up the library, the foundation would also be working with the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board, Udenu Local Government Education Authority, and the management team of the school to design and implement programmes that would ensure maximum utilization of the library, the books donated and the resources in it.
“From amongst our volunteers, a school library committee has been constituted and will be charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing such activities. Programmes such as book reading and storytelling sessions have also been developed and will be incorporated into the school timetable to ensure continuous engagement of pupils as well as the use of the library,” he added.
The pupils, community, and teachers described the NGO’s gesture as a life-changing experience, especially in a rural community where accessibility is often difficult.