In March 2019, Teach for Change Nigeria volunteered to be part of the ReadABookNigeria Initiative (RABNI)’s IDP Camp TED Ed club; a three month educational intervention program that culminated into a day-event themed Voices: Amplifying the voices of children from the Durnmi IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) Camp. We coached about seventeen children on how to analyse and interpret information through role play, illustrations and dialogues. In addition to this, we assisted the children, who could barely read and write, in curating stories out of the issues that affect them in both written and oral forms.
On the 19th of June, 2019, at the event marking the end of the program, these kids shared their stories which bordered around child marriage, poor health care, lack of quality education, poor governance and basic amenities. The audience present were moved by their talks and the children would later share testimonials including how the program has helped them with public speaking, taught them to believe in themselves and shown them that their voices matter. Some kids walked away with scholarships and book gifts.
We hope to continue to collaborate with other organisations for interventions such as this and just like Jennifer Chinenye Emelife, founder of Teach for Change Nigeria shared in her speech as keynote speaker during the event, “It’s easier to squeeze our noses at the kids begging for food on the streets, throw them a couple of naira through the window, than to actually think of them as individuals with a remarkable future ahead of them. Yes, children at risk need food. Yes, they need clothing and shelter and access to quality health, but we must all remember that beyond these basic needs, they, like our children who go to posh schools and sleep in comfortable beds, have dreams. And they need people who give them all of these. That beyond the charitable acts of frequent donations, they deserve to have people who will look them in the face and say, ‘Yes, you can become the president’, ‘Yes, you are going to be a millionaire’, or a gallant soldier or an estate dealer. They need someone to feed their minds so they can have a voice of their own.”
The records say that 60 million Nigerians cannot read or write and the question remains: what can you do differently?