Reading changed my life. That sounds dramatic right? But it’s the truth, outside salvation, reading is one of the most remarkable things that have influenced my life; it has molded me to be the lady that I am. The books I have read, bits and pieces of those precious words, the good, the bad and the ugly has taken shape and presented the world to me in a different light, and presented me to the world as a gem.
My mind has been transformed, and it’s broken through the boundaries of my surroundings from the books I have read. At a time some of my peers still marveled at bicycle wheels, I was already seeing myself flying, because my mind had already formed pictures beyond what my eyes may ever get to experience. I have lived most moments, before I physically experienced them. So while it may have been a first time for me, it was already a done deal from the pages of some book.
Our minds need books, as our bodies need clothes. Books give a good look. Not just any boos, good books that would open our minds to endless possibilities. A popular quote goes like this… “A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read.” Mark Twain.
There are many educated people who can pass for illiterates, because they would not read, they choose not to.
Our reading culture is declining. I live in a generation where reading is limited to a few words on twitter and the social media, anything more is labeled as boring… too much to read. Minds are locked up, minds are bland, minds are striped naked and exposed to the elements of the weather because we are too busy being tech savvy and posting pictures on instagram to take time out to read. We need to free our minds, dress up our minds with good books.
If the minds of the next generation are not captured now, they would grow into a future where books may be extinct, more of an artifact of what used to be. We need to get children reading… we need to get adults reading!
Reading4Change aims to do just that. To create a culture of reading in the lives of children who some may say are disadvantaged in the society, especially those in the rural areas by providing them with books. (I think we need to reach out to the privileged kids as well!
I was at the ABook4Change concert recently, an event organized to raise awareness and get support for these kids. The brain behind this initiative Mr. Owoicho Apochi Nelson is undeniably passionate about seeing the lives of children transformed. Books/funds raised at the event were donated to the Adoka library and resource center, which is currently being renovated by the organization. More events are going to be held, and I believe there's going to be a ripple effect for a nationwide campaign to #readforchange
|Me outside my comfort zone...|
It got me thinking, this project may be geared towards kids in the rural areas and I could act uninterested, like it’s got nothing to do with me. But it’s for my kids as much as it is for them. Because my children would get to interact with these kids. It’s a future where their paths would collide, and if there are no bright minds to interact with, then their knowledge is lost on them and the bad rubs off on them. It warms my heart to think that there’s a life being changed by this project… books have done a lot for me, as I’m sure some little child is rising up from the ashes of a naked mind to see life and the world beyond their background, to see colors of the possibility of how beautiful their life can be… to press towards the reality of the pictures painted in their minds through these books.
|Mr. Owochio Apochi Nelson of the Read4Change Campaign Initiative|
Someday, one day, my daughter would sit in an office with a child whose life was transformed from an initiative like this, and together they would partner to change the world. There’s a lot of possibilities to look forward to with this. It was George Martin who said A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads only one. I have lived a thousand lives through books, I’m glad some child out there would have the opportunity to live more than one life because someone somewhere responded to his hearts cry to be a hand of help.
|Prof. Mrs Amuta, Dean of Postgraduate School, University of Agriculture Makurdi shared her views on books... Was refreshing to know I had same views as her.|
If you want to be a part of this project… contact a Reading4Change on their facebook page.
Just a few more pictures from the event....
|Mr. Paul Amuta|