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ALITFEST21 kick-starts with IDPs ‘book drive’ camp visit and hike ‘poetry on the hill’

September 25, 2021| Day One

By Bamas Victoria

The fourth edition of the Abuja Literary and Arts Festival [ALitFest21] hosted by the Abuja Literary Society, [ALS], Saturday, kick-started with a hike and a visit to an Internal Displaced Persons (IDPS) camp where a library was furnished.

The hike, which was done in conjunction with Mantrek, a hiking club was tagged, “Poetry on the hill”.

The festival participants and hikers climbed a hill located in Dawaki, a community in Abuja.

The hike party which took off by 7:15am saw the merging of two communities explained Onyinye Madu, one of ALITFEST21 organisers.

Madu noted, “It was an exciting experience seeing two different communities in Abuja coming together to create art on the hill, connected to Mother Nature.

This was a great way to kick off the festival. We hiked the hills with literature and art.”

Meanwhile, from across the town at AYA roundabout, another party was getting set to visit the Kutara IDP camp in Nasarawa state.

This party led by Chijioke Ogbogu, Founder of “Friends of Kutara” and Teniola Tayo, Director, ALITFEST, were received by the Kutara IDPs camp leader, Mr Adamu who noted that it was a thoughtful gesture to be included in the activities of the group. The guests from the Embassy of Ireland were led by Ronan Mullin, Charge d’affaires.

On her part Tayo said, “Visiting an IDP camp during our festival is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, so we were quite excited to finally be able to do it.

 “We were able to donate books to the Kutara IDP camp’s library and gave each child their own book.

“We believe that unlocking the imaginations of young internally displaced persons can help actualise a future that feels out of reach.

“The visit was made possible by Chijioke Ogbogu of Friends of Kutara and support from the Embassy of Ireland.”

Aside the donations of books to the children, library, and provision of shelf, ALitFest21 donated bags of rice, cartons of noodles and many other food items, they also provided sleeping mats, clothes and held a brief reading session with the children.

The theme for ALitFest21 is ‘Making Art Work’.

Bamas Victoria

Press Manager, ALitFest21

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Teniola Tayo

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