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NGO celebrates 10 years of change through learning

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Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation a non-profit disability inclusive organization, celebrated 10 years of Inspiring Change on the 5th of February 2021. Since it started operating in 2011, the organization identified lifelong learning as a component of quality education that is necessary for addressing educational and socio-economic issues, closing educational gaps by donating books, advocating the rights of undeserved and marginalized beneficiaries (vulnerable children, youth, persons with disabilities, prison inmates, women and local communities).

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They develop the capacities of their beneficiaries through sustainable programs focused on education, advocacy, capacity and sustainable development as a means of breaking the cycle of illiteracy, poverty, inequality and replacing them with a new cycle of empowerment, opportunity, ethical and transformative leadership.

The organization’s projects are strategically aligned to promoting and implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs) 1, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 17. From 2011 till date, KIR Foundation has worked with about 120 institutions in 12 states in Nigeria including Abuja and Ghana. So far, they have reached over 33,046 people with their projects, donated over 28,000 books, numerous educational aids, starter kits, farming implements and published; ‘The Young Leader’s Guide, a leadership manual for young people and ‘It’s About Empathy’ an Explanatory Guide to the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018. Currently in partnership with stakeholders in the public, corporate and social sectors, KIR Foundation provides business linkages for youth with and without disabilities and donates books to those who do not have access to books. Thus, by 2023, the organization would have linked 1,200 youth to employment opportunities and put over 50,000 books in the hands of their beneficiaries.

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According to the Volunteer Executive Director; Bitebo Gogo, “It has been 10 years of heart, hands and hard work of consistently inspiring change through learning”. She said to commemorate the 10th Anniversary, KIR Foundation is setting up 50 Reading Corners in public and rural primary schools because pupils in these schools have lost a year of reading as a result of Covid -19. The organization wants to close the reading gap, by donating a minimum of 155 books and a bookshelf to each of the 50 beneficiary schools, donate books to orphanages and prisons to promote a culture of reading because reading enables all forms of learning. The project will run from the month of February to the end of April.

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In the morning of the anniversary, 5th February, 2021, the organization set up a Reading Corner in Baptist Primary School at Aggery Road in Port-Harcourt, by donating a bookshelf and 155 books. While, in the afternoon, KIR Foundation had an event tagged; “Hanging Out with The VIPs which was attended by twenty blind/visually impaired youth. There was an online workshop facilitated by Ngozi Okai a visually impaired youth, the founder of PADHER and Co-Founder of Project-Enable Africa on ‘How to Navigate Life as a Blind/Visually Impaired Youth.’ Marvellous Simon one of the 20 blind/visually impaired youth desperately needed a typewriter so that he can transcribe his notes faster and write his examinations. KIR Foundation gave the young people educational and mobility assistive devices (5 typewriters, 8 Guide canes, 10 Braille Slates and Styluses) to enable them live more effectively.

“10 years ago, we saw major learning gaps in our educational system and we believed that if we provided learning opportunities for our beneficiaries, we will give them the tools they need to create the change they want in their lives. 10 years later, as a disability inclusive organization, we have been able to reach 30,046 people, train over 776 youth in employability skills and donated over 28,000 books and we have seen first-hand the impact of inspiring change through learning.” – Bitebo Gogo, Volunteer Executive Director of Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation.

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