Step Up Nigeria is a little over a year old, and our work in tackling corruption through anti-corruption education for young people has been noticed and praised locally and internationally; we even got nominated for the 2019 Anti-corruption Excellence Award.
2019 was a rewarding year for Step Up Nigeria, we reached over 5000 students with anti-corruption education including out-of-school children and trained over 50 teachers directly on approaches to teaching anti-corruption. One of our young champions addressed world leaders at the UNODC HLPF on Education for Justice, another champion from the same school (The Battle Axe High School) won the international youth call for proposals with her poem on corruption. We launched a new storybook and 2 comic books, and we expanded our operations to 2 new states. We have so many stories to tell from last year and more exciting plans for this year but for now, enjoy reading through our top 5 highlights from the year 2019.
- We reached over 5000 children with anti-corruption education! Including out of school children
In partnership with UNODC and the MacArthur Foundation, Step Up Nigeria reached over 5000 children with anti-corruption education last year. These children were directly sensitized on the real costs of corruption and the importance of integrity through participatory book reading sessions and book dissemination sessions with innovative tools. We distributed copies of our anti-corruption storybooks to over 3000 children as we taught them about the importance of acting with integrity. We also expanded our interactive sessions to 250 out of school children in IDP camps and juvenile centers in Lagos and Abuja because we believe that every child must understand the negative impact of corruption in society to take a stand against it.
- We expanded to Lagos and Kaduna State and 4 new members joined the team
Last year, we expanded our operations to Lagos and Kaduna states because we believe every Nigerian child should have access to anti-corruption education and literature. It has been fulfilling to see the results of our engagements with students, teachers, and governments in both states and we hope to expand to more states this year.
Our team grew this past year as well, what started as 3, has now become 7. We are grateful for a young, creative team that works tirelessly to ensure that we meet our goals and we look forward to all that this year has in store for us at Step Up Nigeria.
- Institutionalizing anti-corruption education in schools through teachers’ training sessions, and partnerships with education stakeholders.
One of the goals of our Catch them young initiative is to see to it that anti-corruption education is institutionalized in public and private schools in Nigeria. In 2019, we partnered with schools,
teachers and education stakeholders in three states to institutionalize anti-corruption education. With commitment from 60 of our partner schools to roll out the program in their schools this January 2020, we will be able to reach even more children.
We also partnered with stakeholders in the Education sector including; the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) and the Lagos State Ministry of Education in Lagos, the FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) and National Association of Private Schools (NAPPS) in FCT, and the Federal Ministry of Education in Kaduna State towards partnering with schools under their jurisdiction.
In particular, the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) in Lagos has been our foremost partner in institutionalizing anti-corruption education in their schools. After being trained by Step Up Nigeria, AFED trained other teachers in their schools on approaches to teaching young people anti-corruption education through creative tools and approaches.
- We launched Tosin’s story and TACS comic books.
Last year we added 2 new comic books and 1 storybook to the tools we use in engaging young children on the dangers of corruption and the importance of integrity. The storybook titled Tosin’s story is a modern parable about the impact of corruption in journalism; it teaches children the importance of speaking the truth and exposing corruption through investigative journalism. The Anticorruption Superheroes (TACS) tell the stories of Tope, Aminu, and Amaka, 3 children who take little steps towards eradicating corruption in their society on their many adventures. You can order Tosin’s Story online now from Jumia or call: 0901677843 if you would like to purchase physical copies in Lagos and Abuja.
- Our Young anti-corruption champions went to Vienna!
11-year old Naomi Oloyede and 13-year-old Blessing Ejindu are students of the Battle Axe High School in Abuja. In May, we partnered with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to pilot Education for justice tools in the FCT. We held a debate competition at The Battle Axe high school on the motion ‘As a young person, there is nothing I can do to stop corruption’ and it was there that we found Blessing and Naomi. Naomi stood out by charging her peers saying; “You are not too young to stop corruption, tell your parents that you want to stand for what is right and you can stop corruption”. We then held a creative writing session at their school where Blessing Ejindu’s Poem on corruption came out tops. We submitted her poem and presented Naomi’s video to the UNODC and both girls were selected to attend the HLPF in Vienna in October to present their poem and speech. Blessing and Naomi are now Step Up Young Anti-corruption champions taking daily steps to stop corruption in their schools and community. We hope to raise more young champions in 2020.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive. Some other big things that happened included securing a grant from the MacArthur Foundation which has helped us to improve the scope and impact of our work. We also featured on a panel at the launch of the 2nd corruption survey report and we partnered with the UNODC to pilot Education for Justice tools in the FCT.
In all, 2019 was full of a lot of progress and growth for us. We have already dived into work for 2020 and we plan to surpass the achievements of the last year.
From all of us at Step Up Nigeria, we wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.