Volunteer Executive Director
Volunteer Executive Director
“ The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it ”- Mother Teresa
It is truly incredible how much things can change in 12 years! There is a popular saying that; “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. However, for Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation, our journey started with a major goal of inspiring change through learning in 2011. We have stayed true to it, notwithstanding the changes we have gone through as an organization in a world that is constantly in flux. It is our firm belief that when we give people opportunities to learn, no matter their level of education or status in life, they can experience change that will enable them to harness their potentials and have a bright future.
I am indeed filled with immense gratitude and joy today, that KIR Foundation is celebrating 12 years of inspiring change through learning! Let me give you some facts; since 2011, with the support of our team, Board of Directors, Advisory Committee and the generosity of all our supporters, we have reached 72,967 people in the 36 States, Abuja the capital of Nigeria and Ghana, we have donated 42,567 books to underserved communities, read to 31,024 children in public/community primary schools; trained 1,311 disadvantaged youth in Vocational, Digital and Soft skills, worked with 180 institutions, set up 72 Reading Corners, published a leadership manual for young people; The Young Leader’s Guide and It’s About Empathy; an Explanatory Guide to the Nigerian Disability Act of 2018.
We are grateful that in the course of our 12-year journey, we have pivoted in several ways, especially with our Book Drive Campaign. In 2021, to celebrate our 10th Anniversary, we set an ambitious goal of establishing 50 Reading Corners in the 36 States of Nigeria and Abuja the capital, two years later, we have set up 60 Reading Corners in 35 States and Abuja, the capital, we have read to 27,233 children, and donated, 9,897 books to underserved public/community schools. We have a robust Monitoring and Evaluation Project with a volunteer community of over 329 volunteers across Nigeria. The feedback we have gotten from the teachers is that the children are better behaved and more engaged in class and their academic performance has improved.
Our Reading Ambassadors like Jamiu a 17-year-old in Kwara State who received an award for being an Education Champion, and 16-year-old Peace got a leadership grant and was featured by an international organization in their blog. Some of our implementing partners like Eno Okpo have adopted the project and their commitment has inspired the teachers in the beneficiary schools to take ownership of the project.
We were excited when Future and Godswill, two siblings in Community Primary School Amadi- Ama, one of the public primary schools with a Reading Corner, stopped by our Community Centre last December to share their excellent Report cards. They attributed their improved performance to having access to the Reading Corner and our Community Centre. Also, from 2021, we started hosting workshops for teachers on World Teacher’s Day to train them to become transformational leaders and champions for the children that we serve.
The Head Teacher of Community Primary School Azuabie 1, Mrs. Blessing shared with us, how the training from 2021, helped her to connect better with her pupils.
Last year, through our Youth Employability Skills (YES) project we had more specialized training on Digital skills like Web Design, Graphic Design, Photography, Cinematography, and Data Science which was sponsored by OctaFX our corporate partner for 50 youth. Rejoice, a young lady who had quitted her job because she did not have the relevant digital skills, was able to upskill and was very grateful for the opportunity to learn and go back to the workplace. While, Ossai a mobility-challenged youth who came to Port-Harcourt from Warri in Delta State to take advantage of the YES project, said the skills he has acquired would help him become more independent.
Thank you everyone for helping us to make all of the achievements of the past 12 years happen. However, we cannot rest on our past accomplishments because there are more people to help and serve; we must move forward! That is why our theme for this year is; ‘Moving Forward Together for Sustainable Growth’! What does moving forward look like for us? It means strengthening our processes for better performance, building more strategic relationships and forging deeper connections with our beneficiaries and stakeholders so that we can serve better.
This year, with your continued support and commitment, we will set up 40 Reading Corners, provide educational and business support for 75 young people with disabilities, train 300 youth in more specialized market-relevant skills, send 1,000 children back to school with educational supplies and keep our Community Centre running effectively and efficiently.
Join me as we celebrate this remarkable milestone together; the 12 Anniversary of Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation inspiring change through learning and building a lasting legacy!
Your Partner in Progress
Bitebo Gogo –
Volunteer Executive Director and Chief Servant