A Civic Engagement Activity by Faith Chiazor, 2023 EPLF Cohort Fellow
In accordance with the Fellowship’s dedication to promoting Civic Engagement, and with invaluable support from LEAP Africa and the Nigeria Youth Futures Fund, Faith Chiazor, an esteemed Fellow of the 2023 EPLF Cohort, organized a meticulously designed Civic Engagement Activity on September 19, 2023. This event served as a dynamic and profound seminar tailored specifically for secondary school students, with an impressive attendance of 168 young learners.
The primary objective of this activity was to enhance awareness among secondary school students about civic engagement and participation through engaging means, including quizzes and seminars.
Faith launched her Civic Engagement initiative at Government Secondary School, Tudun-Wada, Zone 4, FCT, a community she identified as underserved due to the rundown condition of their learning spaces, lack of adequate seating, and other evident challenges showcased in the accompanying graphics and videos. A total of 168 students enthusiastically participated in the seminar, which kicked off with uplifting songs and engaging activities to foster an atmosphere of enthusiasm. The core focus of the seminar revolved around the theme, “Cultivating a Youthful Spirit of Volunteering for Nation-Building.” Faith introduced the students to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), emphasizing the importance of their involvement in global objectives. The session delved into the numerous advantages of volunteering and leadership, highlighting how even students can make a significant impact in their community. The overarching message emphasized how these individual efforts can collectively contribute to nation-building.
To ensure active engagement, a learner-centered approach was adopted. Students were divided into three groups: 1 – Sustainable Development Goals, 2 – Leadership, and 3 – Volunteering. Each group actively contributed, with three students representing each group, sharing their existing knowledge on the respective topics. Their contributions were valued and celebrated with rounds of applause.
Throughout the session, students were encouraged to express their commitment to the path of nation-building. An impressive 102 students eagerly raised their hands and echoed words of dedication and affirmation, expressing their intention to contribute to the nation’s development.
The seminar included an interactive Q&A session where nine students had the opportunity to ask questions, seek clarifications, and receive answers. At the conclusion of the lessons, students were invited to come forward and summarize the key takeaways from the seminar, sharing their personal insights and understanding of the topics discussed. Three students representing each group volunteered to summarize the lessons, showcasing their grasp of the subject matter.
As a token of appreciation and support, Faith personally funded and distributed EPLF-Civic Engagement custom notebooks to all 168 students. These notebooks were provided as complimentary mementos, symbolizing a commitment to their education. Refreshments were shared with the students, volunteers, school administration, and supporting staff as a gesture of gratitude for their invaluable contributions to the project’s success.
Attendance and Participation
- Key Achievement: A total of 168 senior secondary school students participated in the program.
- Quantification: The program achieved a 100% attendance rate, fully meeting its target for senior secondary school students’ participation.
- Pre and Post-Evaluation Surveys
Comprehensive Knowledge Assessment: Before commencing the lessons, three group representatives underwent random pre-evaluation surveys to gauge their initial understanding of the topics at hand.
Post-Lesson Insight: Upon completion of the lessons, another round of surveys was conducted, with three group representatives summarizing the key takeaways to assess the knowledge gained and the increased awareness following the educational sessions.
Significantly Elevated Interest in SDGs, Volunteering, Leadership, and National Progress: A total of 102 out of 168 students, representing an impressive 61% of the participants, have demonstrated heightened enthusiasm for contributing to nation-building. They solidified their commitment by pledging to actively engage in volunteering, assume leadership roles, and support the SDGs.
The comprehensive evaluations revealed a remarkable transformation in all 168 students, accounting for a 100% increase in awareness and readiness to contribute to a brighter future. Their newfound determination is rooted in volunteering for change, championing the SDGs, and embracing leadership roles, all assessed through a rigorous process of random sampling and interactive Q&A engagement.
Lessons Learnt and Recommendations
She discovered a genuine eagerness among students for this dialogue, emphasizing the need for periodic engagement with them. Her interaction with the students during this project unveiled their considerable potential. In light of her experience, her recommendation for enhancement is to develop additional interactive activities to effectively involve the remaining 39%. These activities will further underscore the significance of nation-building and the crucial role students play in achieving it through leadership, volunteerism, and support for the SDGs.
The Emerging Political Leaders Fellowship Program should contemplate the implementation of a follow-up initiative designed specifically for these budding talents, particularly those whose passion for this path has been ignited. Sustainability is of paramount importance; hence, the EPLF should explore avenues to nurture and keep alive the ardor within them by instituting regular follow-up programs.