Some time back Oyale Adejo wrote a story on the Jenta Community Initiative and how they are Using Jenta Reads to change the narrative of the Jenta Area of Jos, Plateau State. Jenta Reads continues to run and grow till today. One impact of the Jenta Reads Initiative is it sparked a fire in the city of Jos. For this reason, people were inspired to embark on similar initiatives in Jos Plateau State. One of those initiatives is the Tudun Wada Community Library. Sarauta Network’s Nenkinan Deshi had a chat with Younglan Talyoung, the Tudun Wada Community Library Coordinator, and here is a summary.
Please Introduce Yourself
My name is Younglan Talyoung. I’m currently the coordinator of Tudun Wada Community Library. I’m a Creative Writer and Poet that is Passionate about Community Development, Art and Creativity.
Can you tell us how the TWCL Came about?
The process of the TWCL started in the early part of 2020. Daniella Minaan Daniel conceived the idea for us to start our own Library in Tudun Wada on the model of Jenta Reads. Prior to this, I was a Volunteer with the Jenta Reads Community Initiative. After she reached out to me, I felt the need too and we went to work immediately; scouting for potential spaces, seeking sponsors and partners, etc. Little by little, we built a team and our labour came to fruition in December 2020 when we launched our physical space.
What is the basic idea and goal of the Tudun Wada Community Library?
The basic idea, goal and objective of the Community Library is to provide easy access to books for young people and children while also doubling as a safe space for conversations to take place towards community development and reorientation.
What are the basic activities of the Community Library?
One of our basic activities is reading sessions with children. On Saturdays, we have volunteers who teach children how to read and write and who also help with assignments from school. Outside of the space, we collaborate with individuals and organisations to set up programs that help spur our goal of developing and impacting the community positively. We’ve had collaborations to sensitize the community on drugs and drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, political and social reorientation etcetera.
How has the journey been?
The Journey has not been easy at all! In the beginning, we thought this was something that the community would buy into with haste since it was something that would help parents in raising their children positively. But the community hasn’t been really supportive. It is mostly team members that contribute to most of the Initiative’s needs with some support coming from outside of the community. Tudun Wada also has a problem of conflicting tribes, which has really affected the growth of the library.
How serious is the problem of children from volatile communities and their involvement in social vices?
This is a very serious problem!! It has become very evident in communities like Jenta and Rukuba Road where Cultism is now the order of the day. You see teenagers and very young people involving themselves in atrocities that are incomprehensible. And it is rubbing off on the other parts of the city as well. It is unsafe to be outside by 8 pm in Jos as there’s a high chance you’d get robbed. There’s a high increase in the number of drug abusers in these suburban communities also, and the users are mostly young people and teenagers.
What can every Nigerian do to solve this problem?
Do the little you can in your own little way. Let children read as soon as they know how to say the alphabets. Expose them to only positive education. Orient them on sex and drugs and teach them community development.
What can the government do to solve these problems?
The government can startup community centres and libraries. Also, they can develop universal basic education in primary schools and increase the salaries of teachers. The government has neglected suburban and rural communities. Unfortunately, this has lead to the drastic increase in the insecurity we’re facing as a country
What have the challenges been?
There are challenges in every aspect of life. However, there are approaches to problems that will yield more positive results with less challenges. For example, if there’s a focus on children development, a time will come when this generation will pass away and there’ll be a new generation with a new mindset about things and things will get better. As individuals there’s only little we can do, but collectively the ripple is greater.
Lack of quality education is one of Nigeria’s prime problems. But if we will all do what we can like the Jenta Reads Initiative and TWCL teams, we would be playing our little parts in creating a better Nigeria. Thank you for reading. You can check out previous posts on the Not All Heroes Wear Capes Series.
Last modified: May 25, 2021