KINABUTI TRANSFORMS COKER SCHOOL COMPLEX
Coker School Complex is located in the heartland of Lagos. It was built by the government to provide the surrounding communities with primary and secondary education. The complex is made of a number of storey buildings which consists of separate school units. In the early days, the complex may have been an impressive structure. Sadly, this complex is in shambles and the children are in danger by just coming here. Thankfully, the situation is changing due to an unusual relationship built eight years ago.
Kinabuti Fashion Initiative shared the story of this relationship with us.
OIPA(Orile Iganmu Progressive Association) approached us to work in their community. They saw an article in the Guardian newspaper about us and our work. Back then, we wanted to expand from PH waterfront (where at the time we were active with community development projects and trainings) to other communities in Nigeria and especially in Lagos. They came to us requesting for help and presented their NGO and what they do.
They invited us to meet their elders council, the community leaders and their office. After that, we met the community at large and the youth vanguards volunteers’ group. It was love at first sight, since then we have developed many training projects, run campaigns, done sanitations exercises, events to raise awareness on community issues and assisted them with their projects.
In 2016 we got fully involved with the OIPA ICT Training Centre and now we co-run it together. Every year, we train 140 youths in digital skills with great success. The relationship has grown throughout the years thanks to mutual respect, accountability and professionalism. And we are extremely grateful to them for their great work and cooperation and the amazing and respectful way they treat us every time we go there and with any new idea we have.
When we had an opportunity to do this renovation, we actually approached other schools but we did not align with them on the mission and scope of works. Since we had worked in Orile Iganmu for a while and we had a great relationship with the community, we asked them if there was a school in need that we could support there. They introduced us to the principal of one of the schools in the Coker Government School complex, we struck an instant friendship and we knew we were in the right place.
Before work commenced, the school complex was in utmost disrepair. The rails were broken in several places with sharp ends protruding in different places. This left the balconies open endangering kids to falling or even getting injured by the exposed metal on the rails.The roofs were leaking, the ceilings were torn and caving in or outrightly missing in a lot of the places. There were broken windows and doors. The source of drinking water in the school is the well and the water is dirty and unfit for drinking.
This was not a healthy environment for learning at all. It is no exaggeration to say a child may go to school in the Coker School complex and lose his life in the process.
Kinabuti has so far fixed the rails, windows, leaking roofs and also installed a computer room for the Coker Primary School. We have also the gates to the school. Also, we built new toilets in 2015. The Initiative has gone past Coker Primary School to impact on two more of the schools.
In addition to all the structural repair we have done on the schools, we have also done some activities with the kids like painting, craft work and games in different other occasions. At the end of every year, we also have a Christmas party with the children and sharing love is as important as making their surroundings better.
But there is still lots of work to be done as the school is very big and it keeps deteriorating because of poor maintenance therefore we also started supporting the schools by carrying out routine maintenance.
We are committed to fixing and supporting all the schools in the Coker Government complex. Learning can only be carried out in a safe and ambient environment.
We are deeply grateful to all our sponsors and friends who helped put to smiles on the faces of these children. May God bless and enrich you for your continuous support.
We have begun receiving donations towards the 2019 end of year project|party for the children. We invite you to partner with us once again to give them those priceless smiles. Donations can be made to; Kinabuti Fashion Initiative, FCMB Acc #: 0733148012. Please quote the reference: Coker Primary School.