3 sisters, triplets, Risi Sheri and Ruka Ademola are spear-heading a social change in leadership and development. The three sisters are graduates of The University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. Their parents immigrated to the United States from Nigeria before the triplets were born. The sisters have visited their family in Nigeria regularly since 2002.
iLead Nigeria Social Innovation Project is designed to solve the inadequacies of the Nigerian Educational system. Nigeria educational system gives little or no room for exploratory learning and mostly hinders self-discovery due to its strict general requirements. iLead Nigeria aims to provide leadership development workshops to Nigerian youth in order to affect positive change in their environment.
Risi came up with the idea for the program as a senior at Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School. Her graduation project looked at educational methods to help Nigeria youth. As part of the project, she donated school supplies and developed a leadership curriculum.
Together the 3 sisters have improved on the curriculum. The curriculum includes public speaking and career development lessons, and seeks to help the young students further develop traits such as courageousness, persistence, patience and hard work. The women hope the Nigerian students will use what they learn through the curriculum to become community leaders or leaders in their careers who will speak out about injustices.
Their philosophy involves mobilizing the Nigerian youths to become the positive change they hope to see in their community, encouraging the student to define their own identity and embrace it. They are also taught leadership styles and allowed to research and clinch whichever suits them. The program is concluded after the students must have chosen and executed a community service project and practiced the leadership skills learnt.
Risi says ‘”Our hope is to build a new generation of effective leaders. We also hope to inspire Nigerians of the diaspora to come back to their home base to impact the youth. We have solidified partnerships with two reputable educational services, Edwards Educational Services and Ignitus Worldwide. We also have one member from Nigeria’s House of Representatives (federal level) on board with the project.”
So far, about 300 students from different schools in Ibadan and Lagos of South West Nigeria have benefited from this initiative.