5th February 2024

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‘Five Cowries Arts Education Initiative Launch Vision 2030: Using arts and culture to enhance learning for children and young adults in Nigeria Abuja on the 25 January 2024′

By Precious Taiwo

The Spanish Mission in Nigeria through its Embassy in Abuja was again honoured with the presence and participation of notable Nigerians at its recently held arts & culture development event in Abuja even as it continued to earn applauses from many across the nation and beyond for deepening existing relations between Spain and Nigeria. The Embassy under the dynamic leadership of Ambassador Juan Sell leads as one of the platforms for productive engagements, profitable partnerships (public & private), and enhancement of laudable projects and programmes in Nigeria.

The Host, Ambassador Sell and a cross-section of distinguished guests at the Launch

On the 25th of January, 2024, The Board of Trustees of Five Cowries Arts Education Initiative presented the launch of its 2030 Vision comprising two programmes using arts and culture to enhance learning for children and young adults in Nigeria.

The six-year strategic place was announced at an event at the Abuja residence of the Ambassador to Spain. Ambassador Juan Sell who hosted the reception said about the launch, “We are committed to projects that leverage the arts to offer inclusive pathways to education that are responsive to individual learning, social and cultural needs.”

Polly Alakija during her remarks at the event

FCI offers more inclusive learning pathways by integrating arts and culture into educational experiences to improve learning outcomes. One of the driving theories behind the initiative is that community driven creative learning sustainably develops community resilience.

“We are committed to projects that leverage the arts to offer inclusive pathways to education that are responsive to individual learning, social and cultural needs.” …Ambassador Sell

Since inception, FCI has delivered projects in Kano via its flagship program Mu Shuka Iri (MSI), a community-based learning programme that engages caregivers and children, aged 4 to early teens, in households through a cohort of community educators called ‘Aunties’.

Productive exchanges between two great minds. Mrs Hannatu Musawa, Honourable Minister of Arts, Culture & Creative Industries (in red gown) and Ms Polly Alakija (l)

For the first programme – The Children’s Programme (MSI), the 2030 Vision is about rolling out to 19 states by 2030, starting with Kaduna, Kano, Adamawa, and Sokoto, scheduled for 2024 delivery. FCI’s ambition is growing the networks of hubs and schools and empowering more aunties across our focus States.

The second, Young Peoples Programme themed, My Story: My Heritage will provide young people soft skills needed to survive the 21st century workplace. The Chair, FCI Mr. Olumide Adeosun said, “these programs will offer a route to education that improves school attendance and results and the Board of Trustees are excited about the planned rollout of this innovative and impactful programme. We are counting on our donors, particularly through these lean times to deliver these programmes to communities that need them the most.”

Polly Alakija, Founder/CEO, FCI says, “The programmes have a positive impact on educational outcomes, such as improved numeracy and literacy, as well as transferable skills such as communication, problem-solving and creativity and are fun!”

Five Cowries Initiative goal is to drive equitable empowerment in underserved communities Polly Alakija

The insightful and broadly engaging event was attended by the nation’s Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Industries and Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, amongst other distinguished guests from diverse growth sectors in the country.

Ms Polly Alakija Converses with Finance Minister, Mr Wale Edun

About Five Cowries Initiative (FCI)
FCI founded in 2018, was born out of the over combined 50 years’ experience in arts and education by artist, illustrator and educator, Polly Alakija and Yemisi Mokuolu, cultural entrepreneur and independent producer. FCI engages with young creatives from different disciplines from dance, performance, visual arts, storytelling, and partners with established arts and education institutions.


Press Contact for FCI: (+234 (0)706 891 7673)


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