We believe in community engagement driven by youth and books
— COAL Literature Store
After recognizing the difficulty faced in accessing African literature; the inability to exchange or recycle old books for new ones considering the cost of books and the stringent payment structures of most stores limiting the variety of books most book lovers can purchase, We established a social enterprise called COAL Literature store. The goal of the store is not just to make African literature accessible but to also make them affordable and available to all individuals who need them.
— COAL Literary School Clubs
The COAL Literary School Clubs aim to improve literacy and the reading culture of children in public schools by equipping mostly school libraries with alternative literature, organizing reading and writing activities aimed at deepening the culture of reading and intellectual expression among children and youth ages 5 to 19. The school clubs also seeks to expose children to a wide variety of books and other avenues of expression in speech writing, spoken word poetry and theatre. The COAL school clubs adopts the classic COAL model of using tools such as open mics, book readings, and screenings as learning tools to boost literacy in schools. Club members would work in partnership with adult volunteer readers who will support the beneficiaries by reading with them and help them put up one literary event to enable them gain hands-on event management training and leadership skills.
All activities are fully run by school volunteer teachers and COAL community readers.
● Ensure every child we serve has access to at least 100 books by 2022
● Develop libraries in 5 public schools by 2022
● Plan and execute at least 10 school literary events
● Improve literacy among children within the community we serve through picture and graphic books.
● Incorporate critical thinking into program structures of our activities in schools
— Books for Social Change Initiative
After trying our model of book readings and school literary engagements for 5 years, we see the need to leverage technology for greater literacy impact by developing the idea ‘Books for Social Change Initiative (BFSCI).’ The initiative is driven by SDG 4 and focuses on bridging the education inequity gap, reducing the illiteracy populace in Northern Nigeria by empowering out of school and economically marginalised children and youth with over 5000 ebooks uploaded on educational tablets for enhancing literacy and numeracy skills. The Initiative, a project of the Custodians of African Literature (COAL) is powered by youth and adult volunteer readers serving as community mentors who are paired with the target beneficiaries to help them read, write and ultimately get enrolled in schools. The model is designed to be replicated independently by community mentors and supported by COAL to start BFSCI centers across communities in Northern Nigeria for greater Impact.
BFSC also engages children and youth in active community engagement in skill development for social activism and advocacy. (For example, training youth in the skill of painting and in turn help paint public schools, or carpentry, to help construct chairs and stools for schools in rural communities etc).
— Community Outreaches
We are passionate about community engagement that creates social impact through the execution of community-focused projects with a focus on Civic Engagement, Education, girls and women’s issues. We are moved in general to creating community impact on issues affecting the greater good of humanity.
— Spoken Rhythm
Spoken Rhythm is our annual literary event staged to promote consumer-friendly poetry through entertaining performances accompanied by live music and theatre. It features artists from across Nigeria and also gives younger poets an opportunity to express their craft.