“Children are the leaders of tomorrow” the popular wise saying graces our ears from time to time; but one must wonder if we ever internalise it.

Tomorrow is constantly around the corners but are the children ready? Have we equipped them enough? Do they stand a fighting chance to help save us from the eerie uncertainties that tomorrow may bring?

Education, if we haven’t heard it enough, is the bedrock of any society or nation; as we have often heard in the saying “knowledge is power”, yet many of our children lack even the most basic of education. How then do we expect them to live a life of informed choices?

10.5 million children ages 5-14 are out of school, only 61% of children ages 6-11 regularly attend primary school, and only 35.6% of children ages 3-5 receive early childhood education. With these numbers, we can see then that there is a lot of work still to be done to ensure the stability of our future generations.

The OOI Future Fund (an October Orange Initiative) has been established with the primary aim of contributing to the reduction in the numbers of out-of-school children in Nigeria and beyond. The objectives centre on annual funding/provision of scholarships for out-of-school children to get quality education (and this shall be from primary school all the way up to the university); and also to reduce the number of female children that are out of school. The latter we all are aware, is a glaring societal matter. 

Other key considerations for the fund are aimed at supporting capacity enhancement of teachers in schools; concerted efforts towards the optimisation of learning centres and a deliberate approach towards education advocacy, by investing in truly radical and innovative ideas that promote education and conversations we need to be having in order to gradually shift the mindset in how education is approached. Hence, as much as our focus is the children, the teachers and the learning environments are equally as important and a substantial amount of the fund will go to supporting these areas.

The OOI Future Fund provides us with a platform that contributes towards preparing tomorrow’s leaders. It is time for us to partake of the collective responsibility in consistently doing the  little we can to support the future. 

To read and know more about the fund, click on OOI Future Fund.

Penned by Thalia.

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