A UK-based charity, IA-Foundation, has secured endorsements from music star ‘Davido’ and a two-time former unified world heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, to signpost its international campaign to end the out-of-school crisis in Nigeria.
David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, is a Nigerian American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He blends African music with mainstream pop, while Joshua, a Briton of Nigerian extraction, is an acclaimed international boxer.
The founder and Chief Executive Officer of IA-Foundation, Mrs. Ibironke Adeagbo, announced in Abuja on Wednesday.
She was speaking at a pre-event news conference to announce plans by the foundation to stage its annual fundraising event on Feb. 26 to assist unfortunate children in Nigeria.
Adeagbo said the group settled for Davido and Joshua to be the face of hope for millions of kids, who might have become discouraged and hopeless, especially those forced out of school because of insecurity and other socio-economic problems in Nigeria.
According to her, a former Education Minister, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, and the American education rights campaigner, Ms. Zuriel Oduwole, are also expected to lend their voices to the out-of-school problem at the event via zoom.
“The education crisis in Nigeria requires urgent, collective, and concrete action to surmount.
“At IA-Foundation, we do not believe that we are the solution to this problem, but we believe that we are a part of the solution,’’ said Adeagbo, who has been providing amenities in some communities in Lagos in recent months to assist needy people.
She said that it was untenable for Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populous nation, to continue to be home to 13.2 million out-of-school children, adding: “We need to change this narrative and very quickly too!”
Adeagbo said that a hat donated by Joshua would be actioned at the fundraiser as part of activities to generate funds to promote inclusion for out-of-school kids in parts of the country.
According to her, British Airways and other corporate organizations have also identified with the campaign to give hope and a future to millions of Nigerian kids.
“The event will allow participants to brainstorm and find ways in which we can reduce the number of out-of-school children and improve the standard of education in Nigeria,’’ she said.
IA-Foundation, based in London and Lagos, has been exploring ways to collaborate with the Federal Government to tackle critical issues plaguing the education sector in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that UNICEF says there are 10.5 million out of school in Nigeria, the highest rate in the world.
The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, also stated there are about 11 million out-of-school children in Northeast Nigeria alone due to the destructive activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group.