Abdulazeez Kaltumi, 27 (Kaduna)
Abdulazeez Kaltumi is a young female activist with a passion for humanitarian assistance, community development and civic engagement. She has been able to provide humanitarian support to the internally displaced persons (IDPs), who are victims of Boko Haram insurgence in Kiyawa local government area of Jigawa state of Nigeria.
She has made efforts to assist women and children on the streets, homeless, lacking access to proper health care services and shelter, by writing to corporate organizations, financial institutions, influential individuals and influential politicians in and around Jigawa state, soliciting for funds and material support to provide shelter, food, education and vocational trainings for the women and children. Also, the women are given grants to start their businesses. By her efforts, she was able to move many of these victims out of the streets, many children were enrolled in school, and a land was donated for building IDP camps.
Her success caught the eyes of the Jigawa state governor (Muhammad Abubakar Badaru) and equally got the support of the state government. In 2018 she received an award for the community activist of the year by the WOF awards in recognition of her untiring efforts to create an enabling environment for the poor.
Yetunde Fadeyi, 29 (Lagos)
Yetunde Fadeyi lights up rural communities without prior access to electricity across the country. She has spent the last 28 months providing sustainable solutions to the issues of energy poverty and environmental deficits in five major states in Nigeria.
The communities include Lagos (Sagbokodji, Bishopkodji, WhlaKodji, Akoponawa and Ganviekodji communities) and Oyo (Aba Oje, Ogundipe, Jagun communities) totalling eight communities. We have also prequalified 10 more communities in Ogun, Oyo, Kaduna, Abuja, and Nassarawa. She is also involved in promoting environmental sustainability as a lifestyle and business process, across all target audiences.
Through the work she does, eight 200-year-old rural communities in Nigeria were lit up for the very first time, amounting to over 7, 000 beneficiaries. Over 20 environmental sustainability campaigns have been carried out in urban and peri-urban areas, to address lifestyle issues and create awareness impacting a total of 9000 beneficiaries in Nigeria and Ghana. With 26 projects, she has been able to cover an estimate of 16, 000 direct beneficiaries.
Kelechukwu Nwachukwu Lucky, 25 (Abuja)
Kelechukwu Nwachukwu Lucky has for over five years organized an initiative to abandon female genital mutilation (FGM) in over 1,200 communities across six states in Nigeria. He has done this by leading over 500 communities to declare publicly their abandonment of this practice.
Through his extensive community programs on violence against women, he has saved over 9,800 girls and young women from being subjected to the knife. He has also contributed to national and international conversations on the need to end FGM from the community level. Through his work, many communities have now set up surveillance networks to ensure that no girl born in their communities are subjected to the knife. This speaks to the sustainability of his idea and how it can be of benefit to women and girls at scale.
Ten of the girls saved through his work and project when they were fifteen have now graduated from the university and are pursuing further studies. These girls have now taken the campaign to end Female Genital Mutilation further and are now role models to the community members.
Tony Joy, 27 (Ondo)
Tony Joy is the director of Durian Nigeria, a non-profit specialized in harnessing waste to create wealth within rural communities. Durian train women and children in rural Imaafon, Akure to make jewellery, furniture cups and cutlery from bamboo. They also make school bags, and packaging from waste clothes and pure water sachets. Revenue gotten from selling the products empowers the women and educates the children. Tony and the Durian team teach in a low-cost training centre made from plastic bottles, tyres, wood shavings and other waste materials.
Between 2018 and 2019, she has reached 337 people directly in the local community through trainings and grassroots outreaches with an operating budget of $30,000. 72 women and girls (out-of-school), and of this group, 40 are now earning at least N10,000 which is 50% additional income each month. This increase in income has translated into better access to basic amenities such as health care for these women. Moreover, 25 children are now back in school as a result of the new income earned by this cohort of women. The women have also become more independent because of the table banking system they run. This allows them to be in control of their finances. This training has also affected the lives of the 25 young girls who would have otherwise been affected by early childhood marriage, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual abuse and drug abuse.
Through the rural children learning space, she and her team have been able to train 1550 children in the community. The children, for example, learned how to make school sandals from simple materials and many children take pride in wearing these sandals to school. Through various partnerships, she was also able to provide 100 back-to-school kits between 2018 and 2019. These kits include school bags, notebooks, pens, pencils, and school sandals.
Through her engagement in Imaafon community with her team, she has been invited to start projects in 3 other communities, spread across 3 states in Nigeria—Osun, Ekiti, and Oyo.
Elvis Akpobi, 31 (Delta)
Elvis Akpobi is an ECOWAS fellow, a youth advocate and leadership enthusiast. He is the president and convener of the Not Too Young to Lead Initiative, a grassroots movement inspiring youths to take up leadership role in the country, and through this platform he drives youth movement as an advocate of youth mainstreaming in leadership, with a focus on sensitizing youths and empowering them to develop high moral ethics for self-empowerment.
Some laudable community impact project he has pioneered include:
PROJECT: Training and equipping of youths in Solar panel installation
IMPACT: Thirty (30) youths trained in and empowered through this initiative and are now productively engaged. This has led to significant job creation and self-reliance on these vulnerable young people
PROJECT: Scholarship scheme for vulnerable and less privileged orphaned youths
IMPACT: Twenty (20) beneficiaries have been sponsored through challenging stages of their education. Ten (10) were enrolled for JAMB and WAEC, and 10 have received necessary funding for their school supplied to enable them to focus and prepare for their final year exams without the burden and worry of school supplies and funding.
PROJECT: Anti-cultism and drug abuse campaign tour
IMPACT: Twenty-two (22) secondary schools reached in Delta State with direct impact on a cumulative of over 5000 students in their transitory stage to the university who are now more enlightened and equipped to face peer-pressure of university freshers.
PROJECT: Special Campaign Against Human trafficking
IMPACT: Four hundred (400) young people partook in this special intervention project, and a good number of struggling youths who are at the verge of making a wrong decision got the courage to opt out of trafficking plans there were already in motion, these were further handed over to professional guidance counsellor to take it further.
PROJECT: Skill Acquisition training program
IMPACT: A total of about forty-five (45) young people trained in selected 3 communities across the 3 senatorial districts in Delta State. 20 of these youths have been engaged in further internship / apprenticeship to develop this skill further and make a living for themselves and contribute to their immediate community.
PROJECT: Fully funded Leadership and capacity building training boot camp
IMPACT: One hundred and twenty (120) youths were taken through a 3-day intensive training and development program, 50% from Delta State and 50% selected from different states, and this brought an opportunity for a cross cultural mix and leadership exchanges amongst the participants.
PROJECT: Not Too Young to Lead Initiative Campaign for leadership inclusion
IMPACT: Five (5) young house of assembly members and young special advisers were successfully appointed through the Not Too Young to lead Movement, thereby giving youths a strong inclusion in governance in the state and ensuring the core interest of the youths in well represented.
Isaac Success Omoyele, 28 (Lagos)
Isaac Success Omoyele has committed himself to ensuring children from the “slum” get access to good education and mentoring, as well as empowering their parents to elevate their socio-economic status.
At age 22 in 2013, Isaac founded Dreams from the Slum (DFTS) Empowerment Initiative to contribute his quota to solving the problem of poverty and reducing the high number of out of school children in Nigeria which contributes to the sustainable development goal 1 (No poverty) and goal 4 (Quality Education).
His initiative uses formal, informal and apprenticeship education as a tool for transformation, promoting literacy among the economically disadvantaged. DFTS also runs an educational centre which houses a library, a low-cost school, and a training centre.
Every year, his initiative supports a minimum of 5,000 people (Women & Children) with provision of scholarships, Educational materials, business start-up grant and food supplies in three states across Nigeria (Lagos—Araromi Community in Ajegunle; Benin—Uhogua IDP camp; Ibadan—Oje Community).
Isaac is a world at school Global Youth Ambassador; holds a certificate in grant writing and social innovation from Appalachian State University and UN University of Peace; he is an alumnus of Leap Africa Social Innovators Program, Aileen Getty School of Citizen Journalism (Israel), Tansian University, Lagos Business School, and the Commonwealth Discovery Young Leaders Program.
Stephen Teru, a recent graduate of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). During his service year in the Old Netim community situated in Akamkpa LGA of Cross Rivers, he volunteered his carpentry skills to furnish a health centre and the classrooms of two schools in the local community where he was posted. He produced desks; tables; benches; and shelves for over 80 students in the two public schools — amid a dearth of resources required for the project. This was prompted by his observation of poor facilities in the two schools, which can’t adequately support quality learning by the students.
He made 20 two-sitter benches for the comfort of the 40 secondary students. For the primary, he made five benches and tables, each of which could take around 10 students. He also made shelves for books. Also in a dilapidated health centre in the community, he constructed a shelve for their drugs and equipment which gets soaked when it rains.