As part of its strategy to expand to Nigeria with core focus on supplementing youth education by promoting critical thinking and community activism amongst Nigeria’s secondary school students, Canada-based Unveiling Africa Foundation (UVA) founded by Nigerian-born, youth activist Chizoba Imoka, is organising two essay contests targeting secondary school students in Lagos and surrounding areas. The essay contest is scheduled for launch on Children’s Day, May 27, 2010. The titles of the essays are:
Junior Secondary School: “Nigeria at 50, Nigeria of my dreams.”
Senior Secondary School: “What is the role of secondary school students in Nigeria’s development?”
According to Ms Imoka, also UVA Director of Operations, the Foundation is perfecting plans to mark the official launch of Unveiling Africa Foundation Nigeria with a teenager’s nation-building symposium on “The role of Nigeria’s secondary school students in Nigeria’s development” to coincide with Nigeria’s golden Independence anniversary on October 1, 2010. In Ms Imoka’s words, “Unveiling Africa will be hosting 50 public and private schools across Lagos.
The purpose of this event is to spur critical thinking amongst secondary school students in Nigeria about social issues in the country, as well as providing tools for enabling positive development and change within the community. I also hope that the symposium will build relationships and mentorship networks amongst secondary school students and role model Nigerians.”
She continues: “Amongst other things, it is our belief that the implementation of these initiatives will be the beginning of the birth of a generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, community activists and fearless leaders in our society. Ensuring a bright future for Nigeria is paramount and requires an early induction into critical thinking and community activism amongst its citizens.”
While inviting the general public in Nigeria to learn more about the essay contest and the organization as a whole by visiting the website www.unveilingafrica.org and by contacting her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ms Imoka is confident that the two events lined up for 2010 are critical steps to laying the much-needed foundation for Nigeria’s future. “It is our belief that Nigeria’s bright future is guaranteed in the hands of the upcoming generation which are the Nigerian children,” she enthuses, adding: “To enable this generation deliver a bright future for Nigeria, we strongly believe that there is a need for the Nigerian child to be inducted into a culture of critical thinking, community activism and problem solving in their developmental years. Teenagers are defined as individuals between the age of 9 – 18 years or students in JSS1 – SSS3.” Prizes for the contest include: N75, 000 – N150, 000 Scholarship, Dinner with the Future Awards Alumni Network, and Mentorship Opportunities.
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, UVA works collaboratively with community members, students and faculty groups at the University of Alberta, Canada, to hold educational symposiums, debates and to coproduce events centred on Africa and global issues/awareness. Most importantly, the forum has provided an avenue for African youths in Diaspora to develop knowledge, passion and commitment to the development of the continent. Till date, over $4,500 (approximately N675,000) has been donated to the development of the African continent. Unveiling Africa Foundation Canada has also earned the attention of international organizations such as ‘Make Poverty History,’ and influential Africans such as Dr Philip Emeagwali. UVA’s commendable work in Canada has also attracted the attention of international media such as Gateway newspapers, Express News, The All Africa Network and much more. It first major international event in Canada was anchored by notable Canadian broadcaster, Canadian Television (CTV)’s Josh Classen.
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