On September 26, a team of six facilitators from Rwanda and South Africa started a leadership training program with students of the AUN Academy.
The Change Makers Leadership Program (CMP) provides an opportunity for youths to acquire leadership knowledge and skills that will assist them in addressing the physical and social needs of their community as well as promote relationships among people.
The week-long training is segmented into two components: train-the-trainers (two days for the teachers) and youth workshop (four days for the students).
Welcoming the delegation to our university community, Vice President for University Relations, Abba Abubakar Tahir, said the university is very appreciative of the initiative.
“I am privileged to express our deepest appreciation to the program’s initiators, facilitators, trainers, and other stakeholders, for identifying our school systems to inaugurate this very strategic and sustainable community service program.”
He assured the organizers that the impact of the program would reach those in the university community. “As an institution focused on community engagement and service learning, I wish to assure you that after this inaugural training, beneficiaries would immediately reach out to other schools and communicate our mission to expand the benefits.”
The founder and Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre, Tali Nates, described the program as unity-building.
“We developed a program that looks at youth leadership but looking at it through the lens of past histories. We wanted to look at a difficult past in three case studies in Africa, locally in our country, and globally.”
Ms. Nates also spoke on why this program is vital for the young people in Nigeria.
Director of the Kigali Genocide Memorial and Regional Director of AEGIS Trust, Freddy Mutanguha said the initiative started from a seminar that was aimed to combat violent extremism and promote pluralism: The Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria. He said it was at this seminar that he met Dr. Obioma Uche of AUN’s Petroleum Chemistry program and many other colleagues.
“So that was how we got the commitment to work for peace for Africa. When we discussed this and came up with the program, we piloted it in schools in Rwanda and South Africa. “The result showed that this program has value to change the minds and hearts of Africa’s youth.”
Among the participants was Angela Odah, the Program Manager at the NGO that provided the funds to cover some associated costs.
One of the participants, a teacher with the AUN Academy, Paul Kase, said that a program such as this is beneficial as it helps encourage peace and unity in Nigeria.
Vice Principal of the Academy, Praise Abdulkarim, said the two-day workshop was very enriching. “The participants are excited. It is a whole new experience packed with inspiration.
The Change Makers Program is focused on youth leadership, learning from past histories and encouraging peaceful co-existence among diverse African societies.
Reported by Omorogbe Omorogiuwa