A Civic Engagement Activity by Eluwa Tochukwu, EPLF 2023 Cohort Fellow
In steadfast dedication to fostering Civic Engagement, Eluwa Tochukwu, a 2023 EPLF Cohort Fellow, organized a Foundational Educational Seminar on September 29, 2023, centered around the theme: ‘A Pathway to A Responsive and Responsible Leadership.’ This transformative event, made possible through the generous support of LEAP Africa and the Nigeria Youth Futures Fund, drew an audience of over 120 enthusiastic students in the vibrant capital of Abia State, Umuahia.
The primary aim of this initiative was to instill in our emerging leaders the fundamental attributes of responsiveness, responsibility, and accountability in their leadership roles.
Facilitator Eluwa Tochukwu, an esteemed 2023 EPLF Cohort Fellow, and special guest Barr. Anderson Kelechi Akaliro, the honourable member representing Umuahia North (Ohuhu) state constituency, who was represented by the Former Director of Abia State Sports Council, Sir Ejikeme Ikwunze (Mr Football), enlightened the students on the significance of embracing leadership roles within their schools, families, churches, and communities. This engagement yielded several remarkable outcomes, including a commitment from the students to embody responsive and responsible leadership in their families, churches, and schools. Furthermore, the event successfully shifted the students’ perspective, emphasizing that public office should be viewed as an opportunity for service rather than a means to accumulate wealth.
Lessons Learnt and Recommendations
After an engaging three-hour session with these 120 students, it is evident that our younger generation possesses a strong willingness to learn but requires guidance and support. In light of this, we put forth the following recommendations:
- Establishment of Leadership and Mentorship Clubs: It is imperative to create leadership development and mentorship clubs within our secondary schools. These clubs should invite accomplished individuals from diverse fields at least once per term to provide guidance and mentorship to the students.
- Educational Endowment Fund: Our interactions revealed that a significant number of these students harbour uncertainty about advancing beyond secondary school due to financial constraints faced by their parents. Therefore, there is a pressing need to establish educational endowment funds to ensure that the educational aspirations of future generations are secured.
In the future, as an EPLF Fellow, and as a heartfelt demonstration of his ongoing support, he will establish leadership and mentorship clubs in the participating schools. Each term, he will personally visit alongside other mentors to provide continuous guidance and mentorship to these students, nurturing them on their path to becoming responsible leaders.