Recognising the terrible lack of vital educational opportunities for so many children, UK entrepreneur and philanthropist Aloysius Ihezie decided to establish a new charitable organisation with the explicit aim of providing books for children and students throughout Africa and the UK. By sourcing books in the UK, the aim of the Ihezie Foundation would be to donate hundreds of thousands of educational books to schools, colleges and libraries helping children to develop and increase their numeracy and literacy skills.
Our Mission and Vision
Ihezie Foundation’s work is inspired by the power of education to change lives.
We believe that a sound education will provide students with the best possible start in life and in turn play a vital role in allowing them to increase their knowledge, develop their skills and grow their confidence. Such developments are fundamental to boosting social, medical and economic opportunities individually and as a nation.
In any country or community, one of humankind’s greatest gifts to the next generation is to provide the means whereby students can receive a good education. Helping to achieve that amazing objective are books that inspire students to learn, to gain a skill or to enjoy. Helping to make that dream come true is the mission of Ihezie Foundation.
We source books through our relationships with some of the leading book retailers in the UK, as well as universities, student groups and academic publishing houses. Books are selected according to a set of strict quality guidelines – our interest is in literacy-building books and educational textbooks that will be of value to students of all ages in our communities.
Books are sorted for distribution at our processing centre in Milton Keynes and in turn, donated to schools in the UK and Africa.
Ihezie Foundation was set up in response to our earlier operation when over 650,000 educational books were donated to schools and universities in Imo State Nigeria between 2011 to 2012. Since then, Ihezie Foundation has donated and distributed a further half a million educational books to 1,300 schools and universities in Anambra State Nigeria. And later, working in partnership with the then Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Ihezie Foundation donated over 70,000 books to primary and secondary schools in Liberia. Another 74,000 books were subsequently donated to the University of Benin in Nigeria and immediately placed in the university public library for use by students, teachers and professors.
Ihezie Foundation firmly holds to the principles of actively encouraging strong educational institutions to look beyond their own campuses and support local and less privileged schools and libraries in the surrounding areas. As a result of our trail blazing work with the University of Benin a further 20000 books were provided which the University then arranged to be distributed to over 50 local schools and community libraries. Thanks to the donation from the Foundation, the University of Benin has been encouraged and supported to act as agents of power and change in the local community bringing significant educational opportunities to many less privileged children.
The books, donated to the University of Benin and carefully selected for their educational value , have had an immediate and immensely positive impact on all recipients; without doubt this gift, the first such donation to any university, will continue to provide educational opportunities for years to come.
Following the successful completion of the project with the University of Benin, Ihezie Foundation has since agreed plans to repeat the project with the University of Nigeria Nsukka. In partnership with Professor Charles Igwe Arizechukwu, Vice Chancellor of the University, the Foundation has pledged to donate a further 70,000 educational books At the time of writing the selection of books and shipping arrangements are well underway.
Our UK efforts are focused on strengthening and improving literacy among primary aged students. We recognise that literacy plays a much larger role than just the ability to read and that high literacy levels have a direct impact on all our futures.
With many requests and long waiting lists from headteachers of primary schools across the UK, Ihezie Foundation has already donated over 120,000 carefully selected children’s books to primary schools in London in Milton Keynes and elsewhere in Buckinghamshire.
We donate between 1,200 to 2,000 reading books per school. It is never a one-off donation and, by keeping in close contact with each recipient primary school, many of the schools request a second or even third donation of books, demonstrating the great need and enthusiasm teachers and students place upon this project.
Headteachers have already expressed huge appreciation for these much valued gifts; with such books costing an average of £10 each, schools have enjoyed very significant savings in their school budgets.
The donated books have enabled teachers to develop and run literacy initiatives again, despite cuts to their budgets, and provide books to students to encourage reading at home. Ihezie Foundation’s efforts have enabled passionate teachers to have the books they desperately needed to inspire the next generation of readers.
The Foundation invites everyone who wants to donate and participate in this great cause, where you can donate at least 25p per book. Feel free to join the Foundation, and let us change the world.