The power of books is priceless. Every adult remembers the impact of the first book that truly captured his imagination when he/she was young. Whatever the subject matter, whoever the author; between the pages of a book, a child’s world opens up to endless possibilities. From education to adventure, moral grounding to good old-fashioned entertainment; books present new horizons and capture special moments in a child’s life that they will always remember. It is the magic and potential of books and education that has prompted the Rainbow Book Club to join forces with Skye Bank to donate books to special children in the Lagos area.
For the Rainbow team, promoting the reading culture in Nigeria is an integral part of its long-term vision of building a new Nigeria where knowledge is pivotal to her everyday activities and national life. The new reading culture project is a call to everyone to ‘give a child a book’ , especially the underprivileged children all over the country.
For Skye Bank, it was an opportunity to fulfil its corporate social responsibility and partner with organizations that impact on the lives of young people by purchasing over 600 books which were donated to three charities. The charities are the Little Saints Orphanage, Bethesda Child Support Agency and The International Women’s Society. Little Saints is a unique refuge for orphans and abused or abandoned children, where youngsters are cared for and re-integrated into society. Bethesda’s focus is on putting an end to poverty by providing schools and scholarships for disadvantaged children to ensure they have a brighter future. The International Women’s Society has its fingers in many charitable pies – among which are scholarship schemes for young girls, a trolley-library at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital and a Motherless Babies’ Home.
All of the children who benefitted from this initiative received ‘a bag of books’ as a special gift. It is hoped that this collaboration between Rainbow and Skye Bank will spur on other individuals and organisations to ‘give a child a book’ in their communities.
As the brains behind the ‘Get Nigeria Reading again!’ campaign which has touched the lives of hundreds of children around the country since 2005, Rainbow Book Club founder, Mrs Koko Kalango, is keen to point out that giving gifts of books does not have to be a huge endeavour. Parents, teachers and small community groups as well as wider organisations can simply choose to give children books as presents instead of opting for other items. Mrs Kalango says: ‘Our children are our legacy and we should invest in that legacy by ensuring that we broaden their minds and improve their prospects through reading. When you ‘give-a-child-a-book’, it is a gift that will touch his or her life in many more ways than one can imagine. I urge everyone to help us create a society in which reading becomes a normal part of every child’s life and not just a hobby for a few lucky children. Rainbow is working towards making this vision a reality with a drive to establish libraries and book clubs around the country.’