On the 24th of March, the Port Harcourt World Book Capital marked 30 days to its handover to Incheon (South Korea) World Book Capital 2015. As we count down, we wish to acknowledge organisations and individuals who have made this project a reality. The support for the PHWBC project has come all the way from the top, we grateful for the moral support of President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Chibuike Amaechi who has been instrumental in the life of the project right from the bidding stage. The Rivers State Ministry of Education, worked closely with the project team to facilitate a smooth implementation of the programmes which held in schools.
The 100 partner schools (55 government and 45 private) that participated in our book club programme. 200 book clubs were setup in 100 schools with a total of 2,500 students as members. These book clubs have received a combined total of 67,500 story books which are to be domiciled in the schools’ libraries, for continuity of the clubs. Four workbooks based on the 60 books read were produced for the book clubs. The Nigeria Bottling Company partnered with the project to provide drinks for refreshment in the Secondary School Book Clubs.
Teachers and volunteers were instrumental to the success of the project. 300 teachers from the 100 partner schools were trained on how to set up and run the book clubs, 100 volunteers were trained to handle various programmes of the project. These volunteers were key in the monitoring of the book clubs, mobilizing donations for the 4 book donation drives. Kilimanjaro, Best Bite, Bernard Carr library and State Jubilee Library graciously allowed the use of their facilities as drop- off centres for our Library Support Programme. 9,440 books have been donated to indigent communities and schools, through the support of well-meaning groups and individuals. These books have produced 14 seed libraries in motherless babies’ homes, prisons, remand homes, etc.
Our Adult Literacy program was made possible as a result of a partnership with Faith Baptist College, 85 adults participated in these classes and received a total of 630 text and note books free of charge.
The Federal Ministry of Education was key in enlisting school participation for the ‘National Walking Book’ programme, 600 students and 60 teachers from around Rivers State and Nigeria participated in a communal writing exercise resulting in the publication of two books 100 Years Around Port Harcourt and 100 Years Around Nigeria to commemorate the centenary of the city and that of the nation.
The project had the participation of 73 writers in its programmes that were celebrated on the national and international stage. This was also done through four books that have been published on this platform.
The monthly book reading events came to life every month, with the help of the Institute of Arts and Culture, University of Port Harcourt. Six of the 12 selected books were adapted for stage and performed, while we hosted five of the 12 authors for interactive sessions during our book of the month programme.
The media, national and local, print and electronic has been an invaluable partner. The PHWBC programmes have been extensively covered in the media and this publicity has helped raise awareness for our programmes and boost participation in our events.
Mmeka! Imiete! Mmama!
Ijeamaka Woko & Daniella Menezor
Communications Department (PHWBC)