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Empowered for Change 1.0 – Ekiti Connect

By May 3, 2019 No Comments
By: Olamide Adeyeye

LEAP, through its leadership development policy, is constantly seeking to support the growth of an ecosystem of young people who are driving social initiatives aimed at improving social-economic development within the African continent. In this regard, between 8th and 10th April 2019, LEAP partnered with Ekiti Connect to implement a Leadership and Civic training in Ekiti state tagged Empowered for Change 1.0.

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A session at the training

The programme trained over 130 youth (undergraduates and senior officers in the Nigeria police force). It was convened by Mr. Akin Rotimi – a 2017 Alumnae of LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Programme – and was aimed at inspiring and equipping young people in Ekiti State, Nigeria with leadership and civics skills that would facilitate both personal and community transformation. The intended outcome of this programme was to harness the energies – their “head”, “heart” and “hands” – of these youth to champion several pockets of change initiatives within their communities.
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L-R: Adeola Oyinnlade, Lead partner, Adeola Oyinlade & Co., a 2010 Alumnae of LEAP Africa & 2018 Human Rights award recipient from the International Bar Association (IBA) and Akin Rotimi – a 2017 Alumnae of LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Programme and organizer of the training.

The 3-day programme saw participants taken through leadership modules to enhance leadership and life skills in participants developed by LEAP. Facilitators included Familusi Babajide, Executive Director, Africa at Under 40 CEOs; Aladejana Oluwatoyin, Founder and CEO of ‘TalkAfrica with Toyin’; Adeola Oyinnlade, Lead partner, Adeola Oyinlade & Co., a 2010 Alumnae of LEAP Africa & 2018 Human Rights award recipient from the International Bar Association (IBA), Temitope Olonilua, CEO Teeloni’s Gifting company, to mention but a few.
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Olamide Adeyeye, LEAP Facilitator (middle), flanked by two other facilitators at the training.

In the midst of the narrative that has labeled the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) as complacent, corrupt and incompetent, State Intelligence Bureau – Julius Adewale Adedeji, the recipient of the US embassy Human Rights personality award for the most dedicated police officer in Nigeria was an inspiration to participants. A police officer who has a reputation for never receiving a bribe shared his story with the participants and further emphasized the importance of being a value based leader who upholds integrity as a core value irrespective of the corruption that exists within the system.
These set of 136 change agents in Ekiti state are championing several causes that are addressing a wide spectrum of issues in their communities and significantly contributing to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
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Participants during the training session

The joys, appreciation, and energies of the participants knew no bounds as they couldn’t hold back their unfeigned delight on how the programme was of a tremendous impact on their lives and agencies. Emphasis was, however, placed on the action steps required to be taken after the training and the need for them to not just debate the issues in our society but to take significant and productive steps in addressing these issues ethically.
In our next issue, you will meet some dynamic youth already spearheading change initiatives in Ekiti state. Their stories are inspiring and making a difference in children, girls, and low-income families.
These stories and many more have further strengthened our persuasion in the belief that the required development in Africa would be ushered in on the shoulders of young people who are inspired, empowered and equipped to chart the cause of transformation, one community at a time!

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