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St Mary's Ijio 1

Anthony Hannon, Project Officer for Education at Misean Cara recently travelled to Nigeria to visit some of the projects we fund. One of the projects Anthony visited was St Mary’s Nursery and Primary School, which is run by the Sisters of St Louis in Oyo State. The school aims to reduce illiteracy, poverty and child labour in the marginalised rural area of Ijio-Meso.

Anthony Hannon, Misean Cara; Sr Anna Obada, Sr Agnes Kehinde and Sr Rose at St Mary’s Nursery and Primary School, Ijio, Oyo State.

Anthony Hannon; Sr Anna Obada; Sr Agnes Kehinde; Sr Rose at St Mary’s Nursery and Primary School, Ijio, Oyo State.

Ijio-Meso is an interior village in Iwajowa Local Government Area. It is situated in the rural northern part of Oyo State in Western Nigeria. The access roads to the village are poor, and not passable during the rainy season. The vast majority of the population are farmers and petty traders. There is a lack of access to a decent level of nursery and primary education in the area, which contributes to high levels of illiteracy, poverty and child labour.

St Mary’s Nursery and Primary School is run by the Sisters of St Louis and aims to provide a holistic nursery and primary education to enable the local children to advance to secondary school. The school hopes that by giving the local children the tools to advance to secondary education, and by demonstrating the value of education to parents, the children will be less likely to fall into the trap of child labour. By targeting child illiteracy levels it is hoped that there will be a knock-on effect in reducing poverty in the future.

Previously, the school suffered problems with over congested classrooms and a lack of desks, as well as motorcycles, animals and people causing a hazardous flow of traffic through the grounds.

Misean Cara supported the school to provide a better quality education in a more conducive environment. This included the construction of additional classrooms to address the overcrowding, a toilet block to improve hygiene and a fence to provide a safe and secure campus for the children.

Photo caption: Students at St Mary’s Nursery and Primary School, Ijio, Oyo State. Photo: Misean Cara.