The United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc through its Corporate Social Responsibility arm the UBA Foundation continued on its quest to educate and empower African youths as it visited Our Lady of Mercy Girls Secondary School in Nairobi to donate 520 copies of the book The Fishermen to the school under the UBA Foundation’s Read Africa Initiative.

The initiative which was launched in 2011 with the aim of encouraging students to improve their vocabulary and communication skills through reading, has been changing the lives of African students across the continent for six years. Through the initiative, the UBA Foundation is helping rekindle the dwindling reading culture amongst African youths as they pursue their education. Over a hundred thousand books and educational materials have been donated to various schools across Africa as UBA Foundation continues to traverse the continent, contributing positively to the development of African youths.

The drive which was attended by Acting CEO of the UBA Foundation, Bola Atta, UBA Board Member Professor Olive Mugenda and UBA Kenya CEO Isaac Mwige, the students got an opportunity to interact with the two Executives where they shared their future aspirations and ambitions as well as engaged the UBA Executives in a Q& A session.

Ms. Atta, told the students that the Foundation was committed to uplifting the lives of the societies within which they operated by creating dynamic educational platforms for future generations on the continent. She also encouraged the students to read voraciously. “The pursuit of knowledge should be a lifelong activity that starts at a very young age. You should read all types of books so that you can explore and shape your own narrative,” she said.

UBA Board Member Prof. Olive Mugenda mentioned that reading has tremendous power not only in the development of all aspects of language ability but to the entirety of a human life. “We live in what has come to be known as a global village, and it is important to know what is happening in other parts of the world. Only in this way can we keep abreast with the fast- growing knowledge in all fields of human endeavor,” she said.

UBA Managing Director/CEO Isaac Mwige further encouraged the students to cultivate an interest in reading not just the academic text books but also material outside of their course work in order to acquire knowledge.  “Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face,” he added.

The Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Girls Secondary School Mrs. Angwenyi thanked the UBA Foundation for their contribution and said that it was very timely as the school is currently emphasising on the value of reading not just to prepare for exams but reading to prepare for life.