Solomon Ifeanyi Nathaniel, a Theirworld Global Youth Ambassador, talks about the work he is doing in The Gambia to give every child a quality education.
International Literacy Day was marked on September 8. Education is an investment in the future. As long as illiteracy remains, poverty will persist. Education is needed to break this cycle.
Solomon Ifeanyi Nathaniel, a Global Youth Ambassador for Theirworld, spoke to us about the work he is doing to ensure every child is given the opportunity of a quality education.
His organisation Unique Foundation works to create these opportunities for children in The Gambia and provide them with the knowledge and education that will allow them to succeed.
What is your latest project and what inspired you?
The personal experience and challenges I had with schooling while growing up motivated me and put strong desires in my heart to help other young people and children complete basic and secondary schooling.
In 2014 I started Unique Foundation, which supports underprivileged and at-risk children and young people to complete basic and secondary education by providing homework support, as well as access to learning materials, mentors and qualified teachers.
We focus on implementing projects and improving educational qualities in The Gambia through different programmes and projects.
Currently, I’m implementing different projects through my organisation. These projects include our mobile library project for unschooled adults, Second Chance Education, and our Tuition Free Remedial Education which improves the learning achievement for at-risk and underprivileged children.
Through the mobile library initiative, we've reached over 800 children in more than 15 communities. We've seen how the pandemic has pushed more parents further into poverty.
The mobile library has helped reduce financial burdens on families and addressed the lack of quality learning materials and libraries for poor children in hard-to-reach communities. The pandemic could not be another reason that children got left behind.
Why are you passionate about building literacy in communities?
I know how it feels to be a dropout and how much missing out on education can hurt you. Through my projects, I have realised how important it is to nurture early childhood education in every community - with qualified and trained teachers who will build the learning foundations for children, so they can develop and grow.
I understand that people with no literacy skills are held back at every stage of their life. This is why my vision is to see every child and adult able to read and write in The Gambia and beyond.
Why is education so important for children?
Children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and as such I believe every child, regardless of their social status or geographical location, must be provided equal access to good quality education that will prepare them with the right skills, attitude and mindset for future challenges.