In December 2014, ZODML received 57,014 books from International Book Bank (IBB), a not-for-profit organization in the USA that promotes global literacy through donations of new books to developing countries. As a result and with a mission to help communities create a culture of reading, we embarked on a project – ‘Oceanwaves’ which aimed at distributing the IBB books across Nigeria. Amaka Okoye, ZODML’s Executive Assistant oversaw the Project which got the books to all the 6 geopolital zones in Nigeria to recipients that included orphanages, schools, NGOs and government agencies. She recounts her experience:
"2015 began on an exciting note as we were given a six-month deadline to distribute the donated books. All hands were on deck as we thought out plans to effectively distribute the books. To meet the said deadline and reach a wider audience, we created an online platform where applicants could apply to receive the books. The application was open to different organisations all over Nigeria. Publicity of this donation was done mostly on our social media platforms and applications came sweeping in. We conducted due diligence on all applicants and those who we were satisfied with received books. This was an exciting experience for me as I had the opportunity of meeting various organisations who were doing amazing work in Nigeria. I was astonished when one of our recipients from Delta State reported that some schools in the Niger Delta creeks were without blackboards and writing materials and that the IBB donation will go a long way in ensuring that children from rural communities have books to read. It was also fun visiting the orphanages and donating these books alongside biscuits and drinks. You could see the joy and smiles emanating from their faces as they turned the pages in the books and saw pictures. One of our staff also read out stories from the books to them. It was indeed a memorable experience watching the kids giggle and interact as the stories were read. ZODML was not left out as we reserved some of the books for our use. The books were used to augment the collection in our existing Oasis Libraries, BookCorners, Prison Library and start up the D.E.A.R (Drop Everything and Read) Time Project.
113 recipients benefited from this book donation comprising 4 special schools, 9 orphanages, 29 NGO's, 66 primary and junior secondary schools and 5 government agencies. We also had beneficiaries from the six geopolitical zones from the South Western Nigeria to North Eastern Nigeria.
It was a major feat for us to satisfy applications from the North Eastern Nigeria that has been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency and placed in a disadvantaged position.
We all at ZODML can’t wait to partner with IBB again and embark on this wonderful exercise. It was truly a rewarding experience."