An Abuja-based organisation, +234Express, has launched an initiative aimed at exposing Nigerian children to inspirational stories from all parts of the country in order to inculcate in them a culture of tolerance right from their formative years.
The organisation’s proprietor, Mr. John Adoga, told journalists in Abuja at the unveiling of the theme; tagged “Reading Against Intolerance” that his team got the inspiration from the current situation of intolerance in the country.
“Political fissures are deepening and divisive ethno-religious rhetoric is attaining fever pitch. We see an urgent need to shield future generations from the growing voices of hate and prejudice,” he said, adding that one of the ways the organisation felt this could be addressed is through reading.
“For us, one way to roll back the current push towards division and violence is to expose our children to inspirational stories from all across the country; teaching them the cross-cultural similarities buried in our histories, in the histories of our heroes and heroines, as well as in our common experiences. Of course, we may differ in ethnicity, in tongue, in tradition, culture and belief; but we definitely share the same timeless human values.”
Adoga said +234Express had kicked off book donation drive since January this year (2021) in which hundreds of books from the Nigeria Heritage Series have been freely given out to various schools, libraries and book clubs in Abuja, Lagos and Kaduna through partners like The Bookworm Café, Lagos; Hope on the Streets Foundation in Kaduna; and the Abuja-based bookstore – Coffee Coloured Books.
He urged the stakeholders to key into the initiative by sponsoring as many sets of the Nigeria Heritage Series to make the books available to as many schools as possible across the country, including libraries and book clubs in localities.
Adoga said all the titles, which are based on the history, culture, myths, legends and folklore from different parts of Nigeria, have been reviewed and recommended by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) for use in primary schools.