UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, on Wednesday joined the rest of the world to celebrate African children in the 2021 edition of the International Day of the African Child.
As an institution that cares about the education, advancement and welfare of the African child, UBA through its Foundation, commemorated this special day, by donating thousands of books and learning materials to various schools, libraries, hospitals and orphanages in Nigeria and across Africa. The Foundation’s effort is to encourage a healthy reading culture amongst African children.
June 16 every year, has been set aside by the United Nations as the International Day of the African Child to celebrate children in Africa and to recognise the courage of students who marched for their right to better education in Soweto, South Africa.
The Managing Director/CEO, UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, visited and presented books to the Ignite Africa Leadership Foundation an organisation committed to help the African Youth learn and develop reading skills through several laudable initiatives.
Located in the heart of Lagos in Ikeja, the library hosts numerous book clubs, poetry sessions and creative writing competitions for African youth. They also spearhead an initiative to offer book clubs in public schools in Lagos and Rivers State.
Speaking during the presentation, Atta explained that the UBA Foundation remains passionate about its three key pillars of Education, Empowerment and Environment. She also noted that the bank through its foundation, recognises the huge role that education and indeed a good reading culture play in the lives of the youth, reason why the bank donates books and learning materials to children across the continent.
Atta who is also UBA’s Group Head, Corporate Communications, said, “As a pan-African institution, we believe that the future of Africa lies in her youth and for this reason, UBA Foundation is actively involved in facilitating educational projects and bridging the literacy-wide gap on a pan-African scale, and is helping to rekindle the dwindling reading and literacy culture amongst African youths as they pursue their education.
“We typically commemorate this day with a group-wide ‘Read Africa initiative, but COVID-19 has challenged us to take on a new perspective which is why we are here today. I will like you to know that this gesture is also being replicated by the bank across Nigeria and in Africa,” she explained.
Atta who decried the dearth of good bookshops as against what obtained in the past, emphasised the belief that a highly educated and well-informed youth is critical to the future of Africa, and explained that UBA Foundation’s ‘Read Africa initiative is aimed at rekindling the dwindling reading culture amongst African youths and to encourage leisure reading in junior and senior secondary school’s students across Africa.
Founder, Ignite Africa, Kolawole Oyeyemi, who received the books, commended the UBA Foundation, said the donation will go a long way towards assisting with the vision of the library which is to impact the youth postively and equip them with materials to propel their growth.
Oyeyemi said, “We are grateful to UBA and the UBA foundation for this gesture and the donation of the books as these will help us in our bid to touch lives and give back to the society and give children the opportunity to develop through knowledge enhancement.”
Across Africa, the Foundation also donated books to community centres, schools and hospitals to celebrate the African child.
UBA through its Foundation believes that quality education is crucial in developing the manpower needed by Africa to exploit emerging opportunities and propel the continent to higher levels of development.