A PhD student from Robert Gordon’s University, Chikezie Emele, has started an initiative to donate textbooks to rural South-East Nigeria. Emele started an appeal for textbooks after a field trip to Nigeria where he discovered a lack of access to information and education.
Emele explained that he has received a positive response to his initiative and has had a vast amount of school and college level textbooks donated to the initiative. However, it is not enough.
Through the initiative Emele wants to set up a physical educational library that will provide textbooks for 5 states in the South-East of Nigeria; Abia, Imo, Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi. Because the initiative is covering such a wide area Chikezie is still appealing for more textbooks to create ongoing and continual support.
He explained that in Nigeria people must pay for education and the materials needed for school and many cannot afford it. He said if he donated the textbooks to schools they would be kept exclusively for the students paying to go.
By setting up a physical library this would give everyone access to the textbooks and educational tools. He has contacts within the rural communities and they have already organised a space for the library, but, now the initiative faces another hurdle; transportation.
Emele described having stacks of textbooks that have already been donated just waiting to be shipped to Nigeria. The initiative does not have the finance to support this, which is why Emele is now appealing for sponsorship.
"I still have books coming, but I need them to be sent and used.” He said. Emele explained that he would not hesitate to send them today if he received the sponsorship.
“This is an initiative to empower and give hope to hard to reach rural areas,” said Emele. “Empowering the people is the key to financial independence, reducing the dependence on the government, allowing people to create businesses and rely less on external help. This would help reduce poverty.”
Although the initiative has received a vast amount of support from RGU’s library, the health department and a large donation from Mr and Mrs Laurie from a school in Peterhead the issue now is to move the books. Once the textbooks have been transported Emele hopes it will break the vicious cycle in rural areas of Nigeria.
He simply said: “It is my life target, or life project, that I want to see happen.”
If you would like to donate any books or offer any help to the initiative please contact firstname.lastname@example.org