The Struggle

By Okilo

My name is Okilo, and I am 12 years old. I live in a small village in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria called Elebele, Life here is tough, especially when it comes to education. We have schools, but they are not like the schools you see in big cities. Our schools are often poorly equipped, and our teachers are not well-trained. But the worst thing is that there are not enough schools, and many children have to walk miles to get to the nearest one.


I was lucky because my parents could afford to send me to school. But even then, it was not easy. The school was old and rundown, and we did not have enough textbooks or other materials. Sometimes we had to share one textbook between five or six students, and we would take turns reading from it.

But despite all these challenges, I loved school. I loved learning new things and exploring the world through books. That’s why when I heard about the Yellow House Library, I was overjoyed. It was a small library that had been set up in a yellow-painted building in a Yenagoa which is the capital city of Bayelsa. The library was open to everyone, and it had thousands of books on all sorts of subjects.

I begged my parents to take me to the Yellow House Library, and after much pleading, they finally agreed. It was a long journey, but when we got there, I was amazed. The library was full of books, and the master there, Uncle Femi uses his  laptop and phone for use so we could use to learn about the world. I spent hours there, reading and learning new things. I even made some new friends, Mercy, Ebi, Kingston other kids who loved books as much as I did.


But the Yellow House Library was not just a place to read books. It was also a place to learn about the world outside our village. The librarian would tell us stories about other countries and other cultures, and we would watch videos about life in other places, read online to Americans and other people on a social app called clubhouse. It opened up a whole new world for me, and I began to dream about what I could do and become.


Sadly, not all children in my village could afford to go to school or visit the Yellow House Library. Many of them had to work on their family farms or do other chores to help their families. It broke my heart to see them miss out on the opportunity to learn and grow.


But I knew that I could help. I started a little reading club in my village, and I would bring books from the Yellow House Library for us to read and discuss. It was not much, but it was a start. I hoped that one day, every child in my village would have the chance to go to school and learn about the world outside their doorstep. And maybe one day, they too could visit the Yellow House Library and discover the joy of reading and learning.

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