The Play-For-Literacy Eko Challenge and stories of 35 million illiterates

PRESS RELEASE

AYECI Inc. hosts Play4Literacy football tournament to Kick illiteracy in Nigeria

African Youth Empowerment and Change Initiative (AYECI Inc.) in collaboration with the Lagos State Government proudly presents The EKO CHALLENGE Season 1. A fierce 2 days football match between Lagos State Government Agencies at the Ultra-Modern Agege Stadium, Lagos on the 26th – 27th October, 2013.
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The Eko Challenge (Season I) features Four (4) teams inclusive of a celebrity player.
Play-4-Literacy
Here are the teams;

LIRS vs. LASAA

Lagos Internal Revenue Service Lagos Signage and Advertisement Agency

LAWMA vs. LAGBUS

Lagos Waste Management Agency Lagos Asset Management Limited
Football Pitch

With over 500 spectators watching this year’s Play4Literacy proactive campaign aimed at using football to leverage the goodwill of reputable organizations and individuals, we invite you to join us in cheering the teams as we Kick-Illiteracy-Out of Nigeria by our Adopt-A-Learner or Adopt-A-Center sponsorship platforms. Join the campaign, Support the Vision.

African Youth Empowerment and Change Initiative (AYECI Inc.) Nigeria works tirelessly to promote the Educate-A-Community project-An Adult Literacy Intervention and Community Empowerment Scheme for women and youths that captures adult illiterates in the community, establish centers and train undergraduates facilitators from host universities to run centers. Established in 2009 and head-quartered in Lagos-Nigeria, AYECI Inc.’s goal is to facilitate interventions that can effectively respond to the needs and improve the lives of young people and women. AYECI Nigeria sees a future where sustained collaborative efforts between individuals, government, corporate organizations and civil societies produce opportunities, resources and results that will give rise to sustainable vibrant communities and institutions in Africa led by young people.

To be a volunteer or sponsor, please call 0802 997 0423 or email now. Follow @AYECIAfrica on twitter. Be part of our discussions #educateAcommunity #play4literacy

THE STORIES OF 35 MILLION ADULT ILLITERATES:
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SCENE ONE
(Somewhere in North West, Nigeria)
Hauwa Babale, the new bride rushes her dying 3-year old only son to the chemist down the dingy street to local ‘doctor’. She explains to the lanky doctor through Mama Bola that her son has been running temperature and stooling for the past three days. Doctor shakes his head in feigned understanding and gives little boy injections for Typhoid and Malaria with prescriptions that Mama Bola interpreted to Hauwa. In less than 48 hours, Hassan was lying cold in Hauwa’s arms. Hauwa Babalae is divorced and is living in her father’s house.
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SCENE TWO
(Somewhere in South-West, Nigeria)
Mr Chinedu Orji pursues his pregnant wife down the slippery street after a heavy down pour. His wife had just come back from the local maternity clinic with a death sentence. She had tested positive to the killer disease and was six months pregnant. As Amaka runs to the clinic for safety, she slips and losses the baby. Four months later, Mr Chinedu has his first cough and another 2 years, he was dead. Among his belongings was his lab test result dated five years confirming his HIV status. Mr Chinedu had simply folded it and pretended to have read it as he had done all his life for the fear of being regarded as an illiterate.
AidsPatient3

SCENE THREE
(Somewhere in North-Central, Nigeria)
Mr Idowu is a Master degree holder married to a school dropout Kasham. The love was strong and would keep them going until Kasham suspected he was having an affair with his new secretary because she was smarter and educated. His late nights on the excuse of contracts and meetings fell on deaf ears especially as he pretended by bringing home large volumes of paper to deceive her because he knew she couldn’t read. It infuriated her and she made up her mind. Her husband was a cheat and a liar. She waits for the dark, carries the purposely sharpened knife and cuts off his genitals. Mr Idowu’s scream wakes his neighbors and thankfully was rushed to the hospital. Mr Idowu is now impotent and living alone with their nine year old daughter. If only Kasham could read, she would have known that the documents laying around on the dining table stated that his new company had just been awarded a life changing contract worth over a billion Naira and he needed all the nights he could to meet the deadline which was just in two days. She serves her time at the Kiri Kiri Maximum prison.
SAD-GIRL

What is your story? Whose have you heard?

Education is neither a Right nor Privilege. It is simply a NECESSITY. It is the tool to the realization of myriad potentials and hidden talents in the deep bellies of Nigerians. I am a firm believer in the insightful recipe of success as given by in his winning speech at the 2009 edition of The Speaker sponsored by the BBC.

Saddening is the fact that many educated and literate Nigerians seem to be ill-informed or unconcerned about the disadvantages of illiteracy and its debilitating effects on the nation as a whole. They forget that their ‘specie’ is under threat of extinction and soon anarchy will be the only response; the response we hear so loud and clear from the North-Eastern region in recent times evident in the loss of over a thousand Nigerians at present. This number is on the rise. We must therefore understand and recognize the important role of adult education as a tool in the eradication of illiteracy which affects human and economic development.

As put by Professor Doris Ukanwamaka Egonu in her paper titled “ILLITERACY IN A CENTURY-OLD EDUCATION SYSTEM: THE CHALLENGE OF ADULT EDUCATION IN NIGERIA”, these group of persons are plagued with self-disappointment, humiliation and failure mentality arising from the embarrassments experienced as an illiterate. She states the solution and advocates the mass education proposal of “One-Teach-One or Fund the Teaching of One” by Professor Babs Fafunwa (1990). She goes on to call for the involvement of all Nigerians by making contributions mandatory and enforced by the Government; all in bid to reduce the geometrically increasing numbers of illiterates and give meaningful living to 35 million Nigerian illiterates and 10.6 million Nigerian children out of school. (Visit resources for figures and facts)
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External Links

The Genesis of Adult Illiteracy
What is the Government Saying?
What is the Government doing?
Embarrassment? Global illiteracy reduction, Nigeria piles up numbers
Figures and Facts about Nigeria
More About Illiteracy
Notable Quotes

“To help human beings to emerge from the darkness of ignorance is an inspiring task indeed. To stamp out illiteracy in our age is a moral duty. It is one of the foundations of true peace that is a peace based on the freedom and dignity of man” ~ Rene’ Maheu Statement on Literacy Day, 1967

“Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. A bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development, an essential complement to investments in roads, dams, clinics and factories. Literacy is the platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity.especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along education in general, a BASIS HUMAN RIGHT ……Literacy is finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential” ~ Kofi Annan

“This will never be a civilized country until we expend more money for books than we do for chewing gum” ~ Elbert Hubbard

“Once you learn how to read, you will be forever free” ~ Frederick Douglass

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