How LRF does public service
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How Literary Renaissance Foundation Does Public Service

An expose about how LRF functions in the public service domain.

About LRF

The Literary Renaissance Foundation (LRF) is a nonprofit organization that is aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) of undertaking strategic and deliberate actions to ensure an inclusive and equitable quality education for everyone as well as promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The LRF was founded as a response to the increasing rate of illiteracy year after year in Nigeria as well as an effort to curb the apathy to reading and learning among the citizens. The organization was incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria on March 23, 2018.

Its Vision Statement

The vision of the LRF is “to be the catalyst in the creation of a new Nigeria where books trend, knowledge rules, and intelligence is celebrated.”

Its Mission Statement

The mission of the LRF is to reduce the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria and to create incremental platforms for lifelong learning opportunities for all Nigerians, young and old, and by so doing promote a systemic reading culture in the country.

Justification for Picking LRF

I decided to pick the LRF for this exercise because it is an organization that chose to respond to two critical social issues in its country of operation. Over the years, interest in books and literary endeavors appears to have been on a steady decline in Nigeria. Apart from being the most populous black country on earth, with a population of about 218 million people, it is also a nation founded by learned individuals whose politics were driven by sound ideologies.

However, with the passage of time, the country seems to have embraced other priorities not so favorable to books or the encouragement of a reading culture. And the youth population appears to be the most affected by this development, as the shift in national priorities appears to have made them settle for soft mental stimulants for leisure and self-actualization as against the hard cores of reading and learning.

According to the World Culture Score Index, the average reading time in Nigeria is less than four hours a week. This index betrays a nation falling short in upholding the value of knowledge acquisition. Therefore, poor reading habit is a social issue that could become a bigger problem if it continues to be left unaddressed. The LRF was therefore founded to tackle this challenge.

Further, recent statistics from Nigeria’s Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education reveal that about 38% of the population is non-literate, while four in every 10 elementary school children cannot read for comprehension. Also, UNESCO in a recent release reveals that there are more than 20 million out-of-school children in the country. A number that represents about 50% of the 40.8 million population of its school-age children. This was the second reason the LRF was set up; to address the evil of mass illiteracy. That is why I picked the organization for the purpose of this public service analysis.

In achieving its twin objectives, the LRF highlights a number of strategic goals that it set out to achieve, as can be seen on its website. These include:

  • To be the catalysts for the emergence of a new generation of thought-leaders and influencers in Nigeria, and Africa, who love books and learning, and who will eventually step up to leadership positions across all sectors.
  • To engender a thirst for knowledge and a passion for excellence amongst Nigerians.
  • To be the catalysts that promote a reading culture in Nigeria and make reading a desirable pastime among the people.
  • To launch a nationwide campaign against the devaluation of intelligence.
  • To provide learning resources and advisory services to academic institutions across all levels in the country.
  • To make intelligence ‘cool’ and attractive by hyping the benefits of an informed mind.
  • To encourage people without formal education to develop a habit of reading so they can enrich their lives.
  • To showcase local content and encourage the art of writing and creative outputs.

Analyzing Its Vision

The vision statement of the LRF in which it proposes “to be the catalyst in the creation of a new Nigeria” where people take to books and read is an example of public service birthed out of responding to social issues by offering oneself as a change agent to create a new order in a public service sphere. This fits in well with Dowd’s (2004) opinion that public service is a set of activities that are delivered in the public interest. No doubt, a mass literacy campaign is in the public interest, as literacy comes with lots of advantages which include the ability to make informed decisions and better choices, which on their own would translate to a better world for everyone. So by moving to curb the rising curve of illiteracy in its local domain, the LRF is doing public good. This also justifies its profile as an organization that does public service.

Also Read: Reading Culture: LRF Set to Roll Out New Programmes