By Biodun Awosusi
We are really glad to nominate five brilliant young people from the network to be part of the Youth Advocacy Group for Education First, the UN Secretary-General’s Global Initiative on Education. These are dynamic young Africans working to increase access to education, improve the quality of education and foster global citizenship. They were carefully selected from the numerous request for nominations we received. We look forward to positive response from the UN Youth Advocacy Group Selection Committee.
Here is a short bio of each person in his/her words:
Adebayo Ayobami Emmanuel (Nigeria)
I am currently a 500 level Medical student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, who is interested in contributing my quota to the process of making the world a better place to live in for the entire human race, both poor and rich.
In the year 2011, I, as the Local Organizing Chairman of the REAP Project of XCEL FOUNDATION, an NGO set up to promote academic excellence and entrepreneurial skills among students, successfully organized the 2011 edition of the annual project in which over 40 students from the 24 secondary schools in Ife Central local Government, were awarded various prizes in a bid to promote education and academic excellence through reward. That jumpstarted my interest in the promotion of education and excellence among school children, and that’s why I have decided to volunteer my skills and abilities to this cause, as I also look forward to further developing my leadership skills and characters.
Kalongelwa Bertha (Zambia)
‘I ‘am a self-motivated young lady, hard-working, articulate, goal oriented, honest, trust worthy and career driven. Igraduated from University of Zambia with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Public administration in 2011. I proceeded to the Institute of Directors to receive a certificate in Corporate Governance. I have served in various leadership positions which enabled me to advocate for education and youth empowerment.
I was an executive member of the University of Zambia Political Science Association. I served as Students Union Publicity and Information Secretary for the University of Zambia Students Union between 2009 and April 2010. I just completed my tenure as Board Vice Chairperson of the National Youth Development Council. In these capacities, I joined my team members to promote the ideals of democracy, youth empowerment and increased access to affordable accessible education by Zambian students. These efforts were widely published in national dailies.
In 2009, I proposed an Education Act to The Parliamentary Committee on Education. I serve as committee Member of the Technical Committee on Youth Empowerment and employment Strategies in the Ministry Of Finance in Zambia.’
Abongwa Victor (Cameroon)
Abongwa Victor is a 23 year old Cameroonian with a Bsc in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Buea in Cameroon. He is extremely passionate about Sexual reproductive health and rights(SRHR) and has over nine years of experience. He has been actively involved in addressing SRHR issues in Cameroon and also at the international levels.
He has also trained over 89 juveniles at the Bamenda central prison on basic SRHR (Life skills, dating, HIV/AIDS). He has worked for “Vacances sans SIDA’ for five years educating people on correct and effective condoms usage, and also importance to do the HIV test. As founder of Big Steps Outreach Network (BONET), he was responsible for training the over 23 volunteers in this institution who have over the past months worked with young people at the HOTPEC orphanage, the Boastal Institute, Wokoko school for the deaf, Bulu blind center, giving them trainings on sexuality, sexuality in the African context, Abortion, dating, growing up and life skills to over 500 young people in all these institutions.
Ayodele Doyinsola (Nigeria)
I am Ayodele Doyinsola, a final year law student in Obafemi Awolowo University Ile Ife south West Nigeria. I am a highly motivated young lady with a keen interest in education especially for women and girls. I am motivated to provide leadership everywhere I find myself. I emerged as the Editor of my local fellowship in 2009. In this capacity, I led the editorial group members to publish the first magazine titled ‘Crystal’. We profiled leaders of worth in Africa and Diaspora to inspire undergraduates for achievement in education and community development. From 2010 through 2011, I served as the general secretary of the same fellowship.
I volunteered as logistics head for XCEL Foundation in 2011 for its REAP Project. REAP is Reward Excellence among Peers in secondary schools. The project identified and rewarded 40 students from the 24 secondary schools in Ife Central local Government, South West Nigeria. It was a fulfilling event for me as a participant and for the students we rewarded. I believe we can expand this mission to other parts of Nigeria and even Africa.
David Ishaya Osu (Nigeria)
David Ishaya Osu born on October 27, 1991, is a Nigerian writer, poet, inspirational speaker, vocalist, guitarist, free-lancer, broadcast buff, youth and women advocate. He is currently a student of Urban and Regional Planning, Federal University of Technology Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. His journalistic and literary pieces have appeared in several national dailies and journals, both online and print.
In 2011, his poem, Seasons at Peasant’s Palm, won an Honourable Mention for a National Poetry competition in honour of Prof Remi Raji at 50. David participated in the 2011 LUMINA Literary workshop facilitated by Prof Unoma Azuah in collaboration with the LUMINA foundation, organizers of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. He has used these skills to promote education at fora.