“Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

At Literacy Integration and Formal Education Foundation (LIFE), we strongly believe in the overwhelming power of love. It has the capacity to inspire, to transform and to motivate.

This is what LIFE proposes and achieved with the recently concluded Project Play Hard 2018. The Project took place in a space of 3 weeks from 16th July to 3rd August, 2018. PLAY HARD is an initiative of LIFE under the umbrella of our Literacy Promotion Programme (Project Alpha). In this project, we sought to bridge a gap in the Nigerian educational system by introducing an often neglected aspect of Child Education which is to engage school children in adequate extra-curricular activities. Hence, we teach children to learn social skills through the performing arts, fine arts and play generally. This helps to encourage their expressiveness and optimize their psycho-motor skills.

Three schools were selected for the project: Doyisem Best Academy, Kotin Success French & English School and Ecole Primaire Privee Espiri-Saint This year’s edition of PLAY was very unique in 2 ways;

Firstly, the school children interacted closely with our young volunteers most of whom were French Nationals. They received Letters written by children of the same age group from Brittany and replied to them. Thus, inter-boundary and inter-racial bonds were formed. The project activities included fine arts competition, football match between students and volunteers, teaching of French songs and the presentation of a very interesting French play. We witnessed first-hand talents and potentials of the children.

The Play was an adaptation by the volunteers of the original Kirikou script. The children of Kotin Success French & English School diligently rehearsed their scripts before the final stage presentation on 2nd August, 2018. It was a very glamorous event that saw the presence of LIFE President, Mrs Elvira Salleras and another invited guest, Mrs. Bunmi Tejuoso. Satisfaction and fulfillment was visibly etched on the faces of the volunteers having seen their hard work and sweat of 3 weeks being manifested in the performance of the children and the brilliant costume. The young actors and actresses were rewarded with gifts presented to them by Mrs. Salleras. During his closing speech by the school principal, Mr Kotin, it was revealed that the school had never performed a play in its 30 years of existence! This was a touching fact that further corroborates the importance of PLAY HARD.

Secondly, LIFE optimized the project as a platform to also inspire and motivate young people to demonstrate love to any society they find themselves, particularly the economic disadvantaged members of the society.

A Special Note of thanks goes to our young heroes, our volunteers for their immense contributions and selfless service. We would not have been able to achieve this project without them. They are:

Most Inspirational Volunteer: Fadekemi Tejuoso (16yrs)

Outstanding performing Volunteers for generosity, kindness, organisation & leadership

Tochukwu Emuwa (22yrs), Francois Dartois (14yrs) and Adora Salleras (16yrs)

Great Volunteers: Tommy Salleras (18yrs) and Baptiste Mace (15yrs)

By: Ibrahim Saka

Project Coordinator

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