Nigeria Reads, a non-profit organisation fostering reading culture among young Nigerians, has held an event to create an avenue for young girls to develop skills in areas such as public speaking and advocacy.
The group said it was willing to use the event as an avenue to bridge the out-of-school children gap in Nigeria which has left millions of Nigerian children on the streets.
The group’s partnership coordinator, Joyce Garba, said the aim was to open the girls to other networks of girls from communities other than theirs. This way, she said, they can dialogue on issues that they are passionate about, share stories that resonate with their experience and the positive future they share.
“This is a platform for girls to reflect on their personal strengths and past experiences so as to express themselves through art and story-telling,” she said.
“It is of interest to us at Nigeria Reads and Glow Club to, through storytelling and networking, create a pool of innovative and solution driven girls who will serve as community champions and bring about development in the society,” Ms Garba added.
The co-founder of Roving Heights Bookstore, Bola Eyinade, who also spoke at the event, said such were important to “foster literacy” and promote reading culture among young persons. She further encouraged young girls to inculcate the habit of reading and learning to keep them informed.
The event featured sessions like “letter to my community”, “declaration of intent”, “steps to effective advocacy”, “silent interviews”, “public speaking skills” and “advocacy practice” among others.
The girls were taken through brainstorming sessions on how to solve societal problems particular to them. There was also a one-on-one tutoring session where assigned mentors helped them mine their talents aimed at changing the status quo about the girl child.
Thereafter, they created Community Action Plans (CAPs), a document that encapsulates mitigating strategies to issues identified by the girls within their communities.
Rehob Amos, a participant from Jos, said she “enjoyed every bit of the programme and looked forward to more avenues to tell her stories and share ideas with other adolescent girls from other parts of the country.”
The organisers of the event said they were willing to meet Ms Amos’ aspirations as part of their goal to promote educational opportunities through the establishment of literacy centres across different Nigerian communities. Such centres have already reached over 2,000 young persons since inception in 2013, they said.
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