Bitebo Gogo

Volunteer Executive Director

message from our
Volunteer Executive Director

 The miracle is not that we do this work, but that we are happy to do it 

It is really with great pleasure and gratitude that I celebrate Keeping It Real (KIR) Foundation’s 13th anniversary! According to our trustworthy, dependable Implementing Partner and our Disability Inclusion Advisor, Ngozi Ukpai-Okoro, “KIR Foundation is officially a teenager.” The statement by Ngozi made me reflect on how the dream of KIR Foundation was birthed in my heart as a 15-year-old, 38 years ago and took deep roots, so even when death came calling in 2010 the dream refused to let me die!

I had a dream like everyone else at the age of 15: to make a difference in the world by setting up an Inclusive Community Centre where young people could gather, learn, get mentorship and pursue their dreams. It was in pursuit of that dream that, 11 years ago, the KIR Foundation Inclusive Community Centre was opened. In our 13-year journey, we have been committed to inspiring change through learning that will empower our beneficiaries to actualise their dreams, have a brighter future and a better tomorrow.

Thus, by God’s divine enablement, the help of our incredible supporters, and sheer grit, we have overcome many odds to serve our underserved beneficiaries (vulnerable children, youth, persons with disabilities, inmates, women, and our local communities) to realise our dreams through our projects focused on education (Educational Quality Improvement Projects (EQUIP), we have set up 85 Reading Corners in the 36 States of Nigeria and Abuja the capital, donated 46,421 books to children like Boma, Tosin, Nkem, and Eno who have never read a storybook or owned one, and read to 43,181 children like Delight, who said that reading has helped her to read fluently, spell, and pass her exams. Furthermore, we have hosted Leadership workshops on Self and Servant Leadership for 1,256 secondary school students like Harry of CSS Nkpolu who learnt that a leader is someone who can influence others positively. We have also implemented Career Guidance And Counselling Workshops in underserved secondary schools so that students like Nancy and 5,076 other beneficiaries can learn that they need to be more disciplined and focused in life to become what they want to be in the future.

Our projects on Advocacy give HOPE (Harnessing Opportunities, Creating Equality). We have helped our beneficiaries with disabilities like Abukakar, a Deaf youth in Adamawa State to gain tech skills that have empowered him to become a Graphic Designer through our YES4PWDS Project. Our little friend Fortune who has Cerebral Palsy learnt Sign Language in Special Education Primary School, Calabar in an Inclusive Classroom Training sponsored by KIR Foundation and is currently thriving in a disability-inclusive classroom, and Vivian a mobility-challenged fashion designer to scale her business with support from our Scale-up Business Workshop for small business owners with disabilities. In the past 13 years, we have given HOPE to 1,585 persons with disabilities by training over 343 persons with disabilities in market-relevant skills, supporting 1,331 students with tech tools and assistive devices, and equipping 103 Small Business Owners with Disabilities to scale their businesses.

Young people like Fidelia Tasia have learnt market-relevant skills through our capacity and sustainable development projects; RRISE (Resource, Reorientation, Inspiration, Support and Empowerment) to adapt to the change in the 21st Century Workplace and become change agents. Fidelia has served as a KIR Foundation volunteer teacher in a KIR Foundation beneficiary school for one year. She is currently working in a private school and learning data science. While Goddey Ochei who was trained in cybersecurity, is now an instructor. In the past 13 years, we have trained 1,566 youth in market-relevant skills.

This year, we have bigger and bolder dreams: moving into our permanent property so that we can set up a co-creation hub and co-working space and have more room to train a minimum of 400 youth. Also, we will set up 28 Reading Corners across Nigeria and scale our support for educational assistance for students with disabilities and small business owners by maximizing the impact of partnerships for sustainable change!

I deeply appreciate everyone who has journeyed with us so far to make our dreams and those of our beneficiaries come true. My prayer is that your dreams will become a reality too as you dare to dream and pursue them.We look forward to continuing our journey with you by maximizing the impact of partnerships for sustainable change! Happy New Year once again and God’s many blessings!

Bitebo Gogo
Volunteer Executive Director
Your partner in making dreams a reality and building a lasting legacy!