Students in Nigeria enrolled in a camp where they learned through various activities how to help their peers, families and communities.
Our children are our hope for a better Nigeria. We must begin as a matter of urgency to guide them to become active global citizens, learning to use their initiatives to solve problems in their family, community and country.
Usually, during the summer vacation, students engage in various activities that do not contribute so much to their development.
They often have tuitions during holidays that repeat the subjects learned in school, without considering whether they need to acquire life skills to help them become adults who can contribute to society and relate with persons from a diverse background.
Just before the summer holiday this year, Alice Frank Apejoye founded Wit21 Hub with a team of other young people in her community, including myself, to bridge this learning gap.
Wit21 Hub is a learning centre founded with a mission to equip children and young persons with the right mindsets and skill-sets, exposing them to resources and ensuring an enabling environment for accelerated development.
Students who were on holiday in the beautiful city of Nsukka, South-East Nigeria, enrolled for a two-week summer camp. Publicity was done across various schools and organisations.
We had a diverse team of volunteers and facilitators who were trained by us on child protection and safeguarding and facilitation as a skill before the commencement of the programme.
Students learned various skills to enable them to become global citizens. We exposed them to themes like active citizenship, where they learned about global agendas like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which, according to our pre-survey, the majority of our students had never heard of.
We held interactive sessions on leadership, self-discovery, financial literacy, public speaking, menstrual health and hygiene, music, etiquette, creative thinking, and entrepreneurship - where they learned Ankara craft, baking and web programming.
We ensured that all sessions were activity-based and incorporated so many team-building activities. This was new to the children and they found it really interesting. They were a lot of board games to play with to boost creative thinking.
The entire camp was learning mingled with lots and lots of fun!
At the end of the summer camp, evaluation and feedback from the students was overwhelming:
Daniel Prudent Chioma, 14, said: "Before the camp, I didn't know what it meant to work as a team, I had never heard about anything like SDGs nor active citizenship. But now I know how to work in a team and know about SDGs."
Eze Chiamaka, 13, said: "In the course of the summer camp, I learned about teamwork which we lack in a lot in places like our schools, churches and even in our country. We lack teamwork and because of this nothing works out. With all the skills and knowledge acquired, I am sure that I can help myself and my parents and I will be a better citizen of my country."
Ejimkonye Doris, 15, said: "I will use all I have learned here to establish an organisation like Wit21 Hub, to empower the youths of Nigeria. I have discovered my purpose in life and my life has changed forever.”
The students who attended the camp from two neighbouring communities in Nsukka were from Onuiyi and Ugwuachara.
Wit21 Hub is currently running a safe and inclusive neighbourhood space in Onuiyi and Ugwuachara communities, where children meet bi-weekly to have team meetings on how they can solve problems in their community and also learn new skills from each other and facilitators.
This adds to their knowledge of 21st-century life skills to ensure that they are contributors to positive social change.