Our Education Access initiative targets children in informal settlements. This unique demography has peculiar difficulty in taking advantage of the free education policy where it is offered. Homeless families in urban centres have little motivation to send their children to school, even if education is said to be free because there is no guarantee of a stable home. When informal settlements are demolished, they relocate without preparation and the new location may not be within school vicinity. After repeated experience displacement, children have a great sense of loss that diminishes interest in going back to school. Every year, hundreds of out-of-school children get the opportunity to be in school for the first time or to return to school with the support of the Destiny Trust. We provide the materials the children need to enrol or reintegrate into school. We eliminate all the barriers to schooling and hold their hands into the classroom.
At the Kids Innovation Hub, we empower rehabilitated street children and other young people from low-economic backgrounds with coding and computer programming skills. We believe that the ability to process information and solve problems using technology will be one of the most valuable skills in the future of work. However, disadvantaged children would be left behind again unless there are specific initiatives to ensure their inclusion. We are giving less-privileged children the opportunity to participate in the new digital world and gain tangible empowerment. In the pilot phase, the Kids Innovation Hub is equipping 500 children with digital skills. We are also supporting initiatives that focus on the incorporation of computer programming into the formal school curriculum. We are driving in-school training in public schools and low-income private schools in poor communities to accelerate the impact of this initiative at more than 100% by the end of 2019.
The Trust operates a residential learning and rehabilitation centre in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos. The Centre is home to children who have no home. Many children find love, support and a safe place to play and learn at the Centre. The vision is to extend the capacity of our Residential Learning Programme into a residential school with the full resource to offer academic, vocational and creative learning. Through this initiative, The Destiny Trust is adopting innovative methods to engage children in activities leading to improved academic abilities and acquisition of creative and recreational skills. We anticipate the prospects of this initiative providing an opportunity for children to acquire skills in computer programming, arts, music, fashion design, sports and other vocational fields.
Everything that is essential to ensuring children have a rewarding learning experience is important to us. This is why we often go beyond enrolling them in school to ensuring we support their under-resourced schools with basic facilities and teaching resource. This has meant renovation of classrooms, provision of classroom furniture, potable water, books and personnel support.
We are setting up and operating afterschool centres in slums and poor communities in Lagos. Children within disadvantaged groups usually lack home educational support because their parents are predominantly illiterate. Due to lack of afterschool support, early childhood education and poor quality of education in public schools, these children encounter major learning difficulties and may never get the balance required to go through lifetime academic career. To secure the right to education of deprived urban children more effectively, there is a need to create support systems within their communities to improve the quality of learning. At each Afterschool Centre, a team of dedicated teachers and volunteers will assist children with homework, identify children with major learning difficulties and seek to help them overcome the difficulties. The afterschool programme will focus on aspects of basic literacy, numeracy and help improve children’s learning interest and ability.
The Kuramo Intervention is our pilot project. It was targeted at rescuing homeless children at the then Kuramo slum, now Eko Atlantic City. Although a fun hide-out, the relatively subdued story about some of the beaches is that they were also haven to squatters, criminals, commercial sex workers and drug addicts. Scores of homeless children who have fled home or are orphaned live on the beachfront; begging, hawking, smoking, drinking, doing illicit drugs engaging in commercial sex work. The success of this intervention lies in the story of lives that have been transformed from the destitution of life on the beachfront. Through this initiative, the Trust resettled children and families from the streets. More than 95% of the children rescued from Kuramo and environ in 2012 have been reintegrated into the society and some are about to transit into tertiary institutions for further education.
The Bridge is an accelerated learning programme to assist out-of-school children to develop learning interest and receive foundational education before enrolment in conventional schools. With this preparation, the children can go through the challenges of education in school without any sense of loss or discouragement over what they perceive others know and they do not know. Out-of-school children, perhaps due to lack of opportunity of early childhood education, encounter major learning difficulties when they are eventually enrolled in school. This accelerated learning programme focuses on aspects of basic literacy, numeracy, and civic responsibility and prepares children psychologically for schooling. Ultimately, children are enrolled in formal schools.