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Five Cowries launches creative arts education initiative


Co-founder, Five Cowries Initiative, Yemisi Mokuolu (left); Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Ladi Lawanson; Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde; Founder, Five Cowries Initiative, Polly Alakija and Managing Director, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, at the 2019 launch of the Five Cowries Arts Education Initiative iin Lagos.

To achieve a positive impact on educational outcomes such as improved numeracy and literacy, the Five Cowries Arts Education Initiative, has launched a four-year programme designed to reawaken the creative abilities of pupils in Lagos State.

The gathering, which brought together key stakeholders in the private sector, as well as government, education, art and civil society, extensively discussed how teachers would achieve purposeful teaching in their various schools.

The newly launched programme, which had “My Story of Water” as its theme, will offer an inclusive route to education as well as enhance teaching skills in the state for positive educational and environmental outcomes.

The project was founded in 2018 by muralist, artist, educator and children’s book author, Polly Alakija with co-founders Yemisi Mokuolu Director, Hatch Ideas.

Other partners are Managing Director, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Damilola Emmanuel; Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA); Jackson, Etti & Edu (Legal & IP Advisors); Africapractice (Communications Advisors) and TFN.

Five Cowries Initiative will commence the first phase of the 2019 project in April, working with the children to design artworks that represent their experiences with water.

Speaking at the launch, Alakija, said the artworks will be showcased at SIWI World Water Week in Stockholm, in August; the Totally Thames Festival, in London, in September and an exhibition at the Five Cowries Lagos Ferry Terminal, in October. These activities will mark the beginning of the initiative’s four-year programme with LASWA.

She said, “Creativity is the currency of the future. Our initiative aims to fuse the 3Rs (reading, writing, and arithmetic) with the “4Cs” critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity, as we believe that a knowledge of how to use language creatively are vital tools in successful communication and collaboration.”

“Five Cowries is working closely with TFN to increase teacher capacity. As the first and only organisation to partner young leaders from diverse academic backgrounds in an extended service initiative, TFN, our delivery partner will recruit, train and support outstanding young leaders to teach in underserved schools, in low-income communities.”

Chairman of TFN, Gbenga Oyebode said, “TFN focuses on education and leadership; our aim is to close the gaps around educational inequities. We understand the impact of our activities on beneficiaries’ lives and are always on the look-out for new approaches for sustainable impact, which is why this partnership with Five Cowries Initiative is important.”

The LASWA MD on his part said, “This partnership will open the minds of young and old to its significance and the need for maintenance of our waterways. The children’s artwork will be brought into our space and showcased through year-round art exhibitions and installations.

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