Benita Dada, a primary four student at Housing Nursery and Primary School in Ado Ekiti, was forced to return home since her parents couldn't afford the essential exercise books and materials for the new term.
When an initiative learned of her circumstances, it quickly stepped in, supplying Benita with an abundance of practise books and storybooks to assure a successful term ahead.
Damilola Oluwasola chose to give a platform to young and disadvantaged children in her community in order to boost literacy and reading culture.
Recognising the stark realities of Nigeria's reading culture, Damilola continues to promote literacy among young children.
We attempt to provide forums for children in both rural and urban places to express themselves.
"I began this project because I noticed a need to reach out to young children. "I see the need to give children the opportunity to be the best versions of themselves through education," Damilola stated.
She wanted to build an audience for her stories as a writer, therefore she chose to offer her books and other educational materials to youngsters in order to foster a reading culture among them.
Damilola took a bold step in 2021 when he established the Oluwadamilola Mercy Oluwasola Initiative, or OMO.
This non-profit was inspired by a visionary aim to help children, teenagers, and youth overcome all obstacles through literacy.
She believes in assisting children to begin learning as early as possible because what they begin with frequently influences their future. Their primary goal is to ensure that they become literate and enthusiastic readers from the start.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation announced in 2018 that over 750 million kids and adults worldwide are illiterate, with Nigeria placing high among these countries.
According to data from the Ministry of Education, 38 percent of the expected 200 million population, or over 76 million adults, are illiterate in 2021.
Diversifying their efforts, the foundation held competitions for secondary schools in Ado-Ekiti in the first year to promote reading culture. In the second year, the foundation proceeded to the ground level, visiting orphans and distributing reading materials.
Gloria Azan, the initiative's assistant media coordinator, told Prime Progress that the initiative's main focus is on underprivileged children in rural and urban regions.
"We also assist these children in making the most of their abilities by involving them in social activities such as reciting poems, reading, participating in quizzes, dancing, and singing." This, we feel, will boost their confidence," Gloria added.
Evaluating the Impact of OMO
"The Initiative's provision of materials has led to the return of several out-of-school children to the classroom," Damilola told Prime Progress.
The children's public speaking, writing, poetry, and other skills have substantially improved, with many of them actively engaging in contests and competitions organised by the project.
OMO has carried out outreach programmes in Aare, Ado, Irasa, and other areas around Ekiti State.