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Monday, December 23, 2013

Every girl needs a Shero

"The problem with our system of formal education is that very little consideration if any is given at all to out of school teenage girls. Technology makes it possible for education to come to them – no matter where they are, at a farm, in their shops, in their backyards or while nursing their new born.

 
Social media can be a neutral player when used correctly, out of school teenage girls can get information and learn in an inclusive environment where they are not labeled or made fun of, or dropping out or bullied into conformity."


Every girl needs a Shero

Offer: Applications Now Open for the 2014 class of the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative | World Pulse

The Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative, an initiative of the U.S Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria, fondly called CYFI is now accepting applications from youths currently based in Lagos, for the 2014 fellowship class.

This fellowship provides funding, mentorship and networking for inovative Nigerian youths passionate about bringing about change in their communities.


Application closes on the 3rd of January 2014.



Offer: Applications Now Open for the 2014 class of the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative | World Pulse

Climate Change and People With Disabilities (PWDs): Awareness, Vulnerability, Adaptation | World Pulse

"Even though it falls under the purview of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), to ensure the safety and protection of PWDs during emergencies, no one could give me the figure for the number of PWDs who were successfully rescued/evacuated or who have lost their lives during recent flooding in the State. This reflects the dearth of adequate record keeping at the very least and non-performance on the part of this agency towards ensuring the safety of PWDs."


Climate Change and People With Disabilities (PWDs): Awareness, Vulnerability, Adaptation | World Pulse

Education of the Differently Abled Girl-child: To What End? | World Pulse


"When we educate differently abled girls, we probably are not doing it, so as to enable them become the next CEO or ED of a multinational company, but we are first and foremost guaranteeing them their basic, inalienable rights as humans and we are helping them reaffirm their worth and build their confidence in themselves and their capabilities which are limitless"



Education of the Differently Abled Girl-child: To What End? | World Pulse

Bose Speaks in Death | World Pulse

"*Bose allowed me record our interview for two reasons:
• She needed help urgently and she wanted me to share her voice with anyone who might be able to;
• She wanted other women to learn from her life story, so that they do not to fall victims of the same fate as she did.

In the interview, she tells a story of how her husband made her leave her well paying job immediately after he got a job; how he made her have three abortions while he was making babies with another woman; and how she could no longer have children of her own because of the abortions she’s had."


Bose Speaks in Death | World Pulse

We were trafficked. Now we are illegal migrants | World Pulse

As a peer educator on Illegal Migration Awareness and Alternatives to Violence with the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) a non-governmental organization based in Nigeria, I have had the opportunity of speaking with survivors of child trafficking and illegal migration.
The stories of three young women have remained with me for over a year now.
*Christy was 12 when an aunt visited her hometown, Benin City from Spain. The aunt who was very impressed with the way she looked and how she has developed physically expressed her interest in returning abroad with her, promising to adopt her upon her arrival.
Christy was excited; finally, she would fly in an aeroplane, meet a Caucasian man and have children with long silky hair. Her parents were beside themselves with joy. Christy could finally bring them all out of poverty going back five generations and take her other siblings to Europe too.
As per the aunts request, Christy would live with other girls about the same age as she was with an agent in Lagos for a certain amount of time. She will be ‘polished’ and socialized into behaving, speaking and dressing to fit the profile of a European girl. She would not have contact with her parents or anyone from home; this was necessary to prepare her for a life of focus and independence abroad.
When it came time for them to depart Lagos, they did not leave by aeroplane. Instead, they used back roads to neighbouring countries and waited in makeshift tents till night fall to cross international borders. Exposed to the elements, hungry, thirsty, she just wanted to go back home to her family, but there was no going back.
Six months into their journey, their guardians and escorts – six men announced to the 12 of them, the need to ‘begin practicing’ the trade they would be doing in Europe. They were subsequently gang raped night after another night."



We were trafficked. Now we are illegal migrants | World Pulse

The ALUU Four: Its Higher Significance


Just over a year ago, four young men in their late teens and early twenties, all students of the University of Port Harcourt, were brutally murdered in a community called Aluu in Port Harcourt, Nigeria following an allegation of robbery. Barely a few days afterwards, the internet and social media platforms were inundated with videos and pictures of their murder. Once the Police had established that these young men in their prime were no robbers, a public outrage for justice followed. They were ordinary students who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.


On reflection, it appeared that most of the outrage was not as a result of the horrific way they were lynched and set ablaze by an angry mob, it was actually because they were in fact ‘four innocent young students’ who were wrongfully “convicted” by jungle justice and “summarily executed” by an angry mob. The truth is, countless number of young men whose name we may never learn have been victims of this same fate for offences ranging from alleged stealing of soft drinks or money to sexual assault. And despite the mass outrage, many more men have been murdered the same way since the Aluu Four tragedy.


Even more gut wrenching are videos of young women being stripped naked and subjected to the most humiliating and inhuman treatment because they allegedly stole a blackberry phone or were ‘indecently’ dressed. Some of the videos feature voices of members of the crowd saying things like “that serves them right! They should know better than steal next time.” And sadly we hear of ‘Curative’ rape for lesbian women and most times the perpetrators are never caught or prosecuted even when in some cases their faces and voices were captured on camera.


Nelson Mandela once said that The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children [youths].” The Nigerian government indifference to the barbaric treatment of its young people is symptomatic of its true character – ‘it does not care’. The government has ensured young Nigerians stay hungry, jobless, out of school and ultimately idle and unthinking. Young people feel vulnerable, disempowered and systematically brainwashed into believing that they will never be good enough to take on positions of authority as youths.


While the young Nigerians waste away, filled with anger and frustration; leadership continue to rests on the tired and corrupt shoulders of people old enough to be our grandfathers and grandmothers, and tired enough to be retired and out of office. Yet they stay on; yet they squander our future wealth, energy and resources. Young Nigerians are now so morally desensitized, mentally numb and intellectually bankrupt that if they were ever called for jury service, to preside over a case in a mob court, of their fellow youths, the accused, stand no chance. The only sentence to be handed down is death, carried out in the most gruesome fashion, with ‘No appeal’! Young Nigerians have lost faith in the Nigerian judicial system – because the courts never seem to deliver ‘proper’ justice. After all, many corrupt officials are let off with a slap on their wrist for embezzling billions of dollars. 


If we have learnt anything from the ALUU four, it is that we must channel our anger towards the right causes and people. Those who would rather have us kill ourselves so they can continue their maleficent looting. For change to occur, the Nigerian youth must personalize this tragedy, because each of them can potentially suffer the same fate. They should pause, think, think and think some more. It could be me today, you tomorrow or a young woman/man whose only crime was being a Nigerian in the midst of an angry Nigerian mob.


It is not about not being in the wrong company, it is not about having a good reputation always. It is that if at anytime, our reputation or moral character is ever called into question, we will never get a fair trial amongst our peers - our jurors, our spectators; our executioners!


But all said and done, I still have faith and explicit trust in my peers – the Nigerian youth- that they have the abilities and capabilities, not only to turn around the tide of anger, violence and jungle justice but also to join hands in building the Nigeria we wish for ourselves and our children. We can save ourselves today and transform tomorrow for the next generation: A corruption free Nigeria – one where the judicial system is highly revered and respected and one where rule of law reigns and respect for lives and human rights is the hallmark of daily coexistence; yes A Nigeria where young people of all backgrounds are celebrated and enabled to be active participants in democracy and governance at all levels. 

That’s my dream.

God Bless Nigeria!