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Helping readers in Nigeria: Seychellois youth group joins Commonwealth book donation drive

Nigeria and Seychelles | September 6, 2016, Tuesday @ 14:08 in National » GENERAL | By: Salifa Magnan and Sharon Uranie | Views: 2591
Helping readers in Nigeria: Seychellois youth group joins Commonwealth book donation drive

Nigeria is the first beneficiary of such an initiative due to its high rate of illiteracy. India is the next country being targeted as part of the initiative. (Commonwealth Youth Council) 

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(Seychelles News Agency) - A youth-led group in Seychelles has joined a Commonwealth Youth Council drive aimed at supporting an increase in literacy rates among the young in other countries. 

Rural youths in Nigeria are the first to benefit from the contribution of over 50 books which SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) – Seychelles has made towards the initiative.

SYAH – Seychelles is an association of young people promoting sustainable development in the island nation. Its co-founder, Angelique Pouponneau, told SNA that the books were donated by members and friends of the non-profit organisation.

“They were mostly books for people aged 10 to 18 and it included more ‘how to read’ books and easy to read novels,” said Pouponneau, also the Commonwealth Youth Council’s chairperson for inclusion and engagement.

SYAH - Seychelles has received the assistance of DHL Express Seychelles to send the books to Nigeria. 

Youths in the other commonwealth member countries are also contributing towards the book donation drive. Pouponneau, who is co-ordinating the pan-Commonwealth book drive initiative, says Commonwealth youths have the ability to show support to one another whether in terms of resources, skills and capacity building. 

The books from Seychelles received by Project Hope Alive in Nigeria. (Project Hope Alive) Photo License: CC-BY

Project Hope Alive and the African Union Youth are among partner organisations that will be working to ensure that the literatures are now put to good use in Nigeria.

The donation has been timed to coincide with the 50th International Literacy Day on September 8. Literacy is also part of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

A representative of Project Hope Alive and the African Union Youth, Chibuzo Okereke, told SNA that the books received will help towards achieving this goal in rural Nigeria. 

“Shortage of text, library books and other educational materials exist across Nigeria, especially rural schools and those in the internally displaced camps by insurgents,” said Okereke.

“The books will be distributed to rural schools in Abuja villages in Nigeria, IDP learning centres in new Kuchingoro Village, Kuje and Durumi.” 

Rural youths in Nigeria are the first to benefit from the contribution of over 50 books which SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) – Seychelles has made towards the initiative. (Project Hope Alive) Photo License: CC-BY

Nigeria is the first beneficiary of such an initiative due to its high rate of illiteracy. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) over 9 million Nigerians aged 15 to 24 are illiterate -- 62.1 percent of them are girls and young women.

India is the next country being targeted as part of the initiative.

Pouponneau said that the donation to India will be on a greater scale as the aim is to create libraries for youths in rural areas.

The Commonwealth Youth Council is the largest youth-led organisation, representing over 1.2 billion youths. The organisation has made rural youths and youth without access to internet its priorities, with the goal of increasing access to opportunities. Literacy has been identified as the key component that needs to be addressed in order to achieve the priorities.

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Tags: Commonwealth Youth Council, books, Nigeria, India, Angelique Pouponneau

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