The month of March will remain indelible in the minds of the people of Oke-Ayo, Odo-Ona communities in Ibadan, Oyo State as it witnessed the successful implementation of the first phase of the Schools’ Book Swap Initiative proudly funded by AIICO Insurance Plc with implementation partnership from International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (IN-CSR).
Established in 1963, AIICO Insurance Plc is a financial services group with market-leading positions in its key business lines; Insurance, Health Maintenance and Asset Management. The organization is making remarkable efforts in integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles within its operations having recently trained and certified their Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CS&R) business unit on ISO 26000 Social Responsibility – a leading globally recognized certification for CS&R Practitioners. It will be recalled as well, that the organization was recently recognized through an award in November 2021 organized by CSR Reporters as the Philanthropic Insurance Company of the Year 2021 for its outstanding social intervention programs.
On Thursday, 25th March 2022, the community of Oke-Ayo, Odo-Ona in Ibadan, Oyo State witnessed the last Book Swap Event of the first phase of the project in the community’s Grammar School. This Initiative delivered and supervised the swapping of 300 educative books among 300 children in the community. Premised on the drive to place books back in the center of social settings, the Schools’ Book Swap Initiative will guarantee a sustained access to culturally, educationally, and socially relevant reading materials for children all around the country. The Oke-Ayo Book Swap project is one of hundreds of such centers currently being established on behalf of different private sector organizations working on SDG 4 across Nigeria.
Substantial data from UNICEF shows that, one in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. About 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Only 61 percent of 6–11-year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education. The aim of the Schools’ Book Swap Initiative is the creation of economically viable ways of making reading materials easily accessible to as many children as possible and to cultivate a ‘reading-for-fun’ culture in every child by providing access to hundreds of story books through partner-schools strategically located across the country. This initiative will eliminate the learning gap for the less-privileged and out-of-school children and contribute to the actualization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.
Currently ongoing across the Federal Republic of Nigeria, phase one of the implementation of the Book Swap initiative includes the establishment of a minimum of 50 (fifty) fully operational Book Swap school-partners in each state of the country, with each partner-school offering 300 (three hundred) children access to 300 (three hundred) relevant educative books. The initiative’s rolling impact assessment (Social Return on Investment – SROI) will be made available to funding partners each year to report on a marked increase in the reading culture of children and improved literacy levels in established Book Swap Centers.
Other laudable benefits of the Book Swap Initiative include: reduction in the environmental impact of book production as thousands of books are swapped and monitored across the various partner-schools in the country; reduction in the cost of child education, as thousands of children across the country will have free access to relevant educative books; and improved social and community ties through the interaction of children across various Book Swap Schools and Communities, thereby achieving measurable impacts in terms of Economic, Social and Governance (ESG) standards for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CS&R) reports and stakeholder engagement programs.
ABOUT THE IMPLEMENTATION PARTNER AND COORDINATOR
International Network for Corporate Social Responsibility (IN-CSR) is an international team of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CS&R) Consultants and Corporate Human Rights Advocates working to promote best practices in Sub-Saharan Africa. Registered as a non-Governmental Organisation in Nigeria, we have a network of Sustainability Experts – Social Responsibility, Environmental Management, Occupational Health and Safety, Risk Management, Quality Assurance, Business Continuity among others – who are industry experts in sustainability strategies – implementation, continual improvement, and auditing, using both national and international platforms.
We also work with organizations to plan strategic CSR events, stakeholder engagement programs, intervention, and development projects on all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help improve on an organization’s public image and positioning, as well optimize shared stakeholder value in line with the organization’s goals and objectives.
Please, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to partner on a similar project or other mass impact projects.