ZODML’s Fireworks Project came to a conclusion with the launch of four Oasis Libraries on Thursday November 20, 2014 at Holy Cross Catholic Primary School, Lagos Island. The four new Oasis libraries bring the total number opened by ZODML to 10. The beneficiary schools – Lagos Island Local Government Primary School (LILG), Anwar-Ul-Islam Primary School, Anwar-Ul-Islam Girls Primary School, and Holy Cross Catholic Primary School – each received over 1,000 books, as well as tables, chairs, and educational games and toys.
The programme began with an opening prayer by Mr Gbenga Abiola, the Head of Session, Social Mobilisation, of the Local Government Education Authority, Lagos Island. ZODML CEO Mrs Ifeoma Esiri gave a welcome address thanking everyone for attending, and acknowledging the publishers and the International Book Bank who have supported ZODML through book discounts and donations. Emphasising the organisation’s drive to promote literacy and self-development, she shared its goal of opening 10 more Oasis libraries by 2016. “We call the libraries oasesbecause we have seen them become a small part of these schools where the pupils are able to visit and quench the thirst for reading,” she added. She also expressed concern about the recent 20% import duty levied on books and how it could affect literacy. In his goodwill message the Education Secretary for Lagos Island Mr Moshood Maiyegun thanked ZODML for its partnership in the educational development of Lagos State and reiterated the importance of library services – especially at the primary school level – to learning and teaching. Mrs Karina Olabimpe (representing Mrs Gbolahan Khadijat Dawodu, the chairman of the Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB)) implored students to use the library and to always have a book with them wherever they go. She also advised parents to turn to books instead of movies in educating their children. Below are testimonies given by beneficiary students at the event:
I had never seen a library before until ZODML established on in my school. My library teacher helped me to spell, read sentences, and understand vocabulary.
- Sunday Blessing of Ikoyi Primary School Primary School
In Primary One, I couldn’t read. ZODML encouraged me to use the library. My library teacher taught me to read. Some of the books I read were in my exams and I came out a success.
- Morayo Bolarinwa of Hope Primary School
The library is a place where books are kept and it is a place for research. My library is beautiful and a good place for learning.
- Chidinma Ezeamama of St Georges Girls’ School
Mrs Karina Olabimpe officially launched the libraries. After reading a storybook (Two Friends and A Bear) to some of the pupils, she presented the keys of the libraries to representatives from each school – Mrs Abimbola Ogunjobi of LILG, Mrs Faudat Modile of Holy Cross, Mrs Lydia Omoyeni Ajiboye of Anwar-Ul-Islam, and Mrs Chinyere Celine Onyeagu of Anwar-Ul-Islam – who each gave a vote of thanks. The programme ended with closing remarks by ZODML trustee Dr Arinze Agbim and a closing prayer by Mrs Faudat Modile. Photos of the event: [gallery ids="3930,3936,3934,3935,3932,3933,3939"]