(CP-Africa) - LEAP Africa recently held its 2010 Annual Nigerian Youth Leadership Awards at the Muson Center, Lagos. Sponsored by the Ford Foundation, the event was well attended with Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola and Former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu serving as the event’s key note speakers. At this year’s event, five young Nigerians were recognized for implementing “social change projects with significant impact” in their local communities. Get inspired! Read all about the change projects of this year’s winners below!
NYCC is made up of a group of young Nigerians who are providing solutions to the climate change crisis. Acting locally and internationally, they combine forces to organize programmes, influence government and implement concrete solutions. NYCC works in schools and communities across Nigeria, empowering young people to create solutions for climate change. As a result, the initiative provides a robust platform where youth led organizations working on sustainable environmental issues interact and learn from each other. This strengthens their coordination and gives them a united voice to address climate change issues, as it affects the socio-economic growth and development of Nigeria.
In an effort to empower youth, NYCC held an “Awareness to Action” programme in partnership with similar organizations to train 40 youth between the ages of 18 and25 years on the process of recycling paper. At the end of the training, 10 beneficiaries received Paper recycling equipment to recycle paper for production of paper products including greeting cards and picture frames.
Through NYCC Esther has educated over one thousand five hundred (1500) youth through peer group training and online social networks on climate change issues. NYCC is currently collaborating with Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change (BNRCC) to implement a Climate Change Youth Communication Project to increase its reach to more Nigerian youth. Esther was recently selected as the Nigerian representative for the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN). In addition, she represented Nigeria at United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Esther is a 2009 Dekeyser & Friends Foundation Fellow. She also belongs to several environmental and youth organizations. For more information on Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC), please contact Esther at email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Ehidiamen, Age 26
Initiative: Dis Generation
Jennifer Ehidiamen is a Mass Communication graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. A combination of her passion for youth development and journalism propelled her to utilize the Media as an advocacy tool for youth development and empowerment. In 2007, Jennifer launched Dis Generation, a column in The Nation newspaper created for Nigerian youth. The column with over 60, 000 readers gained popularity with youths around the world through The Nation newspaper’s website, as well as through Jennifer’s Youth Making Change blog. To date, about 189 youth advocates actively interact on the blog, which was inspired by the opportunities created through the column to take action to effect positive changes and contribute to the development of their communities.
In addition, Dis Generation, in collaboration with local NGOs mobilized 270 readers of the column to participate in developmental projects. These include, an annual International Youth Day, conferences and community service projects. Given her commitment to providing practical solutions to the challenges faced by youth in her community, Jennifer launched “Before Graduation” (www.beforegraduation.com), a project which designed to address the degenerating education system in Nigeria. The project links Nigerian youth to internship opportunities online to augment their classroom learning. 10 students from Yaba College of Technology and Obafemi Awolowo University benefited from the initiative. In 2009, Jennifer was selected to participate in Atlas Service Corps Fellowship Program in Washington DC. This provided her with the opportunity to volunteer full time with One World Youth Project (OWYP) as a school Partnership and Communications Director for twelve months. During the period, she implemented projects aimed towards the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Jennifer also covered the 3-day President’s forum with Young African Leaders, which brought young leaders, including three Nigerians, to meet President Barack Obama. The coverage gave youth in Nigeria the opportunity to have a detailed report on the event through the online platform. Jennifer views Journalism and Communication as a tool to disseminate information, connect, advocate, collaborate and increase support and services while building a social change movement for participatory development in Nigeria. She has received awards including Green Yaggy Award of Achievement (2008) and Omololu Falobi Foundation Essay award (2008). For more information on Dis Generation, please contact Jennifer at email@example.com.
Adeola Oyinlade, Age 29
Initiative: Know your constitution on UNILAG 103.1 FM
Adeola is an undergraduate of Law at the University of Lagos who initiated Know Your Constitution on UNILAG 103.1 FM. to inform and educate listeners on their rights as contained in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and other laws that relate to human rights. The radio programme features seasoned lawyers who educate listeners on the legal implications of issues that they are faced with on a daily basis. Beyond the radio programme, the initiative has a pool of lawyers who provide pro bono support to low income individuals and families whose rights have been infringed upon. Through the radio programme which is aired once every week, Adeola supports the Lagos State Police Command’s efforts to respond to the security needs of Lagosians. Listeners have the opportunity to call the police dedicated hotlines during emergencies. Consequently, more individuals have received the assistance of the police as a result of the intervention. Know Your Constitution has an estimated listener base of one million. Adeola has received many awards and recognition for his contributions including African Newspaper of Nigeria Plc. (Saturday Tribune) Youth Achiever and United Nations Young Ambassador for Peace 2010. He has written articles to promote national and international issues including good governance, economic and social development, peace and security, human rights, democracy, rule of law and The United Nations Millennium Development Goals. These articles have been published in Nigerian and international print media, as well as online magazines. For more information Know Your Constitution on UNILAG 103.1 FM visit, www.adeolaoyinlade.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miudeen Salau, Age 28
Initiative: Grain revolution (Students in Free Enterprise)
Muideen is a graduate of Electrical M and Electronic Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University who is c ommi t t e d to t h e economic empowerment of local farmers. As an undergraduate in 2007, Muideen and a group of students initiated the Grain Revolution project under the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Chapter in Obafemi Awolowo University. The project aimed to utilize Nigeria’s abundant land and human resources to address the global rice crisis, and ensure rice sufficiency in the country. Through his initiative, Muideen partnered with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to empower 73 local farmers in Iwoye Osun State to commence rice production through workshops and seminars. In addition, Grain Revolution links the rice farmers with Veetee Ofada Rice Limited which buys the variety of rice (WITA 4) produced by the farmers, thus encouraging increase in production. As a result of the intervention, the success story of these rice farmers from an obscure village has encouraged five Neighbouring villages to partner with the initiative to grow rice farms. The Grain Revolution project is currently providing sustainable economic opportunities for 200 rice farmers in Osun State. The Grain Revolution project has won several international awards. Muideen also received the Youth Ambassador for Entrepreneurship Development Award (2008) from the Withworth Entrepreneurship Consultancy of London. For more information on Grain Revolution, please contact Muideen at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chinasa Ukandu, Age 22
Initiative: Sports Leaders Program (SLP)
Chinasa is a young Nigerian who is passionate about sports. Propelled by her believe that sports can and should Cbe used as an effective tool to inspire youth to achieve their dreams, she initiated the Sports Leaders Programme (SLP). Chinasa reaches out to youth in public and private schools with the skills that she acquired as the President of “Youth Sports Initiatives” (YSI), an offshoot of a British Council project titled “Community Action Through Sport” (CATS). Committed to equipping youth with leadership and life skills, SLP achieves its aim by actively engaging students in sports, while imparting these skills. In collaborations with the British Council, 3WM Sports Consulting , Physical Education teachers and Burleign Sport College in UK, SLP also accommodates the less privileged youth by providing opportunities for education and development through sports.
Since its inception in 2007, SLP has trained 280 young leaders under its “Sport Leadership” course, over 1500 pupils through the “Fit For Challenge” (FFC) programme and 300 through ’Play2live’ programme. In addition to the objective of SLP, these progammes utilize sports as a tool to support the development of primary schools students. It also provides information on HIV/AIDS to youth.
One of Chinasa’s major achievements was the successful inclusion of Millennium Development Goals issues into the British Council’s CATS project agenda during the British Council Debate to Action programme in 2005. Chinasa represented Nigeria at an International Young Leaders event in Loughborough, United Kingdom and has participated in several youth seminars. She volunteered at UK School Games 2009 and served as a coordinator, Sport Relief Mile Event in Nigeria 2010. For more information on Youth Sports Initiative, please contact Chinasa at email@example.com.
About LEAP Africa
Founded in May 2002, Leadership, Effectiveness, Accountability & Professionalism (LEAP) Africa is a nonprofit organization, which is committed to developing dynamic, innovative and principled African leaders. LEAP recognizes that leadership development is critical for nation building and wealth creation. As a result, it offers leadership training programmes and executive coaching services for business owners, social entrepreneurs and youth. Since its inception in 2002, LEAP has successfully launched programmes for entrepreneurs and youth in sixteen Nigerian cities in collaboration with non-profit and leading financial institutions.
For more information, visit LEAP Africa online at www.leapafrica.org
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