Our Journey to Building Future Leaders Against Corruption – Our Story

In the past, politicians would give us maggi to vote for them and we would sell our votes, but Step Up Nigeria came to our community and taught us to use our votes to ask for good services, now we know better.” – Integrity Women of Agunji

Oh wow! What a journey it has been! Step Up Nigeria has been on a mission for the past five years, fighting corruption and making a real impact. We are beyond thrilled with the progress we’ve made so far!

It all began with our Catch Them Young Initiative. Our goal was to educate young minds about corruption and the importance of integrity. We tested our anti-corruption tool, Emeka’s Money, in Abuja, Nasarawa, and Oyo schools. And let me tell you, the response was incredible! The children didn’t just understand the concept of corruption; they were motivated to fight against it. They even wrote their own “corruption” stories. It was amazing! 9-year old Jedidiah David wrote a letter to President Buhari, the former president of Nigeria, pleading that he address the issue of corruption and insecurity in the country. This letter was turned into a video and has gotten over 100 views on our YouTube channel, spreading awareness about the important issues mentioned in the letter.

Fast forward to today, and we have successfully educated over 51,000 children in anti-corruption education. But we didn’t stop there. We launched the Citizens’ Watchdog Initiative to empower more young people to act against corruption. We wanted them to campaign against corrupt behaviour and work with policymakers and politicians to improve the delivery of services. And guess what? Our efforts caught the government’s attention, leading to positive changes in communities like Makoko and Akeleku Sidi!

Our First-Time Voters Integrity Initiative was another big success. We empowered young voters to stand up against vote-buying and demand better services from their political leaders. And let me tell you, these young people are making a difference! They refuse to accept bribes and use their votes to bring about change. During the elections, first-time voters in Rinze and Mawere communities took to the streets to campaign against vote-buying. Also, the women in Agunji community were empowered as the voice of their community, demanding service delivery from their political leaders. These efforts brought about new developments within Agunji.

We also knew that change starts at home. That’s why we launched the Parent Anti-corruption Champion Initiative. We wanted parents to instil anti-corruption values in their homes and be role models for their children. After all, leading by example is the most powerful way to make a lasting impact.

Teachers play a crucial role in shaping young minds, so we developed the Teachers’ Training Programme and the Integrity Certification Programme. We trained almost 800 teachers to educate children about anti-corruption and promote integrity in schools. It’s amazing to see how they spread the message and inspire their students. Winners Schools, for example, took it a step further to create a week in the school curriculum to educate both students and staff on all things anti-corruption.

But we didn’t stop at education alone. We wanted to bring our stories to life. We turned our storybooks, like Emeka’s Money, Halima’s Vote, Tosin’s Story, and Ansa’s Speech, into films and virtual reality experiences. We created immersive learning opportunities that captivated and inspired young minds. And you know what? It’s working! Young people are acting against corruption, and we couldn’t be prouder.

We sincerely thank our incredible stakeholders, partners, and beneficiaries. None of this would have been possible without your support. We firmly believe corruption can only be eradicated when we all stand together and refuse to participate.

On the 27th of July, we’ll have a special event with our stakeholders to mark this milestone. However, we want to ensure that the public is not left out. Therefore, on the same day, we will be showcasing our anti-corruption tools, and this exhibition is open to everyone. More information will be provided via our social media handles.

As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, we invite you to join us in our mission. Let’s build a corruption-free Nigeria where integrity prevails, and our nation thrives. Happy 5th Anniversary to Step Up Nigeria!

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