- In-School Reading Rooms
The Hope and Dreams Initiative focuses on deep, systemic transformation within schools in underserved areas in Nigeria by creating Reading Rooms fully stocked with books, furniture, comfortable seating, in attractive, peaceful environment.
Children who have a strong foundation of literacy skills are more likely to succeed in school, in life, and be better equipped to realize their full potential, thus breaking the cycle of poverty that has dominated for centuries. Literacy comes in many forms. The Hope and Dreams Initiative has committed to educating children in all its forms - from learning to love and appreciate fiction, knowing how to use a reference book for study, or understanding how the ways of the world can be portrayed through words - Hope and Dreams Initiative will provide books and the space in which to read and learn. Two key areas on which HDI has elected to focus are FINANCIAL LITERACY and HYGENE/CLEANLINESS LITERACY. We advocate financial literacy in our Reading Rooms by educating children about money and finance. This important topic is often ignored within schools and at home. Understanding money and finance is empowering and liberating - our goal is for children to leave school with a firm grasp on the intricacies of how money functions on a personal level, and in the world at large. Under the guidelines of the UNICEF W.A.S.H. program Hope and Dreams Initiative has committed to educating children in Nigeria on the importance of hygiene and cleanliness, specifically hand washing and personal hygiene. The overall objective of UNICEF in the area of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is to contribute to the realization of children’s rights to survival and development through promotion of the sector and support to national programs that increase equitable and sustainable access to, and use of safe water and basic sanitation services, and promote improved hygiene. Books, posters and art in our Reading Rooms deliver the message directly to the children. That message is simple - good hygiene can save lives. Washing your hands can save lives. For more information please visit http://www.unicef.org/wash/index_43084.html
The Mobile Library's goal is to inspire the love of reading and bring books to children in villages where there is place to simply peruse shelves, or sit and read. It is our goal to reach children that have never or will ever have access to books and help them to acquire a lifelong passion for reading. Mobile Libraries are essentially our Reading Rooms on wheels! The vans will park for several hours in villages and will be a place for children to spend time looking at books and reading peacefully Hope and Dreams Initiative, through the Mobile Libraries program will also provide enrichment via distribution of free books and writing materials as well as inviting celebrity guests to read to the children thereby demonstrating them that reading could be fun.
Working in collaboration with communities and local governments in Nigeria, and other African countries, our mentoring and scholarship programs ensure that girls complete their secondary school education and have the skills to lead productive, proactive, and empowered lives. Scholarships ensure consistent and continued school attendance through graduation. Scholarships also nurture and strengthen girls commitment to their own education, at a time when external and long standing social pressure may say otherwise. Our mentorship program matches girls with appropriate mentors who have commited to offer longterm guidance and support. Upon graduation this enables girls to go out into the world, ready to deal with personal, social, and workplace issues feeling confident and secure in their own abilities and skills. We are committed to collecting results oriented data to ensure our programs are effective, cost effective, maximize budget and have the capabilities and infrastructure in place to thrive. HOPE AND DREAMS INITIATIVE BACK TO SCHOOL PROGRAM Having basic school supplies for full class participation and homework is something most of us take for granted. However for many students in Nigeria this basic need is often neglected simply because of financial need or the unavailability of pens, pencils, paper, markers and backpacks. Every year through our Back to School drive Hope and Dreams Initiative ensures that every child in participating schools is provided with these fundamentals by providing free backpacks filled with basic supplies, and therefore can begin the school year fully prepared to learn and succeed.
MENSTRUAL HEALTH MANAGEMENT
The silence and stigma surrounding menstruation in Nigeria is reflected in many developing countries throughout the world. Women and girls throughout Asia and Africa face cultural attitudes that view menstruating females as “contaminated” and consequently are forced into isolation, suffer physical and dietary restrictions and exclusion from daily societal activities. For example, 32.5% of schoolgirls from South Asia had not heard about menstruation prior to their first menstrual period while 97.5% did not know that menstrual blood came from the uterus. Meanwhile, 48% of girls in Iran believe that menstruation is a disease. In Africa, according to UNESCO, one in ten girls miss school during menstruation, which eventually leads to a higher dropout rate. These common experiences among women from lower and middle-income countries around the globe highlight the importance of menstrual hygiene management to the promotion of women’s rights to reproductive health, sanitation, education and human dignity. In response to the need for menstrual hygiene management strategies, WASH United, the UN and many other international organizations have promulgated an approach, which focuses on changing attitude and behaviors regarding sanitation and hygiene and on breaking the silence and stigma surrounding menstruation through collective advocacy, education and action, that should be implemented worldwide.
Hope and Dreams Initiative has so far implemented several programs providing girls with the necessary menstrual products to manage their periods in a safe environment and enabling them to attend school even during their periods. Hope and Dreams Initiative provide menstrual hygiene products and education by creating a network of female entrepreneurs and boosting female economic status. We are committed to providing high quality sanitary pads but even more so, we're committed to providing a holistic approach to hygiene and sanitation.
Program results: Hope and Dreams Initiative has spent the last two years working with each school to develop and implement innovative ways to create a program that addresses aspects of sustainable development.
150 young girls have benefitted
500 Sanitary pads have been distributed
450 Underwear have been distributed
450 Reusable cloth pads distributed
150 Reusable Menstrual Kits distributed
MHM Next Steps
· Build a sanitary box in each school reading room
· Work with adolescent girls in the traditionally overlooked communities, approaching them in a peer-learning model by forming a girl group.
· Encourages girls to raise concerns related to reproductive and sexual health through mobilization, awareness and training.
· Use sessions, which are conducted using training modules, which include videos, information packets, educational and communication materials.