Shifting the narrative on education in Africa
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As a child, I really struggled at school. Not only did I have difficulties with the curriculum, but I also found fitting in and communicating with my teachers and peers quite tough. It wasn't until I was older that I found out about Dyslexia. It made me think to myself, what if we had an education system that incorporated innovative approaches to learning so that no child is left behind?
As someone with first-hand experience of the benefits that education can bring to Africa, I decided to launch the OneAfricanChild Foundation in 2013. OneAfricanChild is a youth-led organization that focuses on providing children from low-income backgrounds with skills in global citizenship and peace education, empowering them to become sustainable thinkers and agents of change.
Our aim is to foster creative thinking and innovative practices in children so that as they grow they learn to think for themselves, take initiative and act sustainably. Through our activity-based after-school programs and mentorship initiatives for both students and educators, we're trying to reshape the way education is developed in Nigeria so that it benefits both the individual and society. We've also launched an Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Professional Learning Network to provide creative learning toolkits to local educators and empower youth facilitators to plan and co-teach engaging lessons on ESD. So far, we have organized 6 ESD training for 85 youth educators in Lagos.
It hasn't always been smooth sailing. When I began the organization, I was in my second year at college and the majority of our volunteers were also in full-time education. We were young and passionate about what we do but we also lacked a lot of skill, particularly in leadership. I was determined to succeed though, so combined my studies with a teaching job in order to develop new skills. Then, in 2015, I was given the opportunity to participate in a UNESCO training on Global Citizenship Education in South Korea, something which really enabled me to return to my community and start implementing the innovative approaches needed to influence our education system.
Education is far too important to be left solely in the hands of governments. We, as youth leaders, must work together to ensure that education for sustainable development can be accessed all over the world, and we must start with our own communities. I believe that education has the power to change the African narrative from war to peace, from weak to powerful, from a low-income to an industrious and thriving continent. The younger generation can shift this narrative if we start investing today.
Victoria (23) is the Founder of OneAfricanChild Foundation, an organization which enables youth to build the leadership skills needed for a peaceful and sustainable world. She holds a degree in Law and enjoys working with local and international organizations to maximize youth impact.