Lessons from Rio 2016 – Quality Education will bring out the excellence in Africa

For the past 10 days, the flames of excitement have been consistently fanned by enthusiasm, energy and panache in the midst of the most colourful city in South America: Rio de Janeiro, where more than 11,000 athletes have assembled to engage in the world’s biggest sporting event – Olympics.

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A lucid representation of excellence is perceptible with a quick glance at the medals table.

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Perhaps, there is a correlation between the strongest economies of the world and the nations that jumped to the top five positions on the medals table. Maybe, they are just popular names we hear everyday.

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Michael Phelps: Passion – Humility – Education – Love – Practice – Success.

The top five nations on the medals table in ascending order are: Germany, Russia, China, Great Britain and United States. According to an economic report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – a ranking of the world’s largest economies which is usually updated twice annually with the latest one released in April 2016; four countries among the five at the top of the medals table occupy the top five spots in the ranking. In descending order, the world’s largest economies are: United States, China, Japan, Germany, and United Kingdom. This only portends that these countries understood the nitty-gritty of excellence; they paid the price of preparation and harnessed all the resources at their disposal to achieve their goals.
With just a couple days to the closure of the 2016 Summer Olympics, some countries are yet to win any medal and only one African nation is in the top 30 on the medals table:

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David Rudisha, the giant among the giants.
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Jemima Jelagat Sumbong, the future is brilliant. 

Kenya (19)

Brilliant performance of the athletes can be linked to the state of development in their countries. The underdevelopment in Africa can be associated with the poor quality of education available. One of Africa’s brightest leaders, Nelson Mandela, is the author of one of the world’s most powerful quotes on education; “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Africa needs to morph into a conglomerate of developed nations. This change can only be realized when education is given top priority in decision making and financial appropriations. A change that heralds rapid development can be initiated when quality education is fully embraced.
Africa is one of the world’s richest continents in terms of natural and human resources. In the pursuit of quality education and higher standard of living, best brains from Africa have migrated to other countries. Migrations to developed nations imply that they contribute immensely to the economy of their new countries. This is one of the reasons why developed nations with favourable immigration policies will always top the chart when it comes to the rankings.
A sneak peak at the best universities in the world can give an idea of where the best of educational facilities and resources are obtainable. According to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2015/2016, the United States serves as home to six universities that are among the top 10 in the world. China has two universities in the top 50, Japan has two universities in the top 100, Germany hosts nine universities in the top 100 and United Kingdom has three post-secondary institutions in the top 10 in the world. The depth of qualitative education in these countries may be one of the factors that have enabled them to be in control of the world’s largest economies. Perhaps, they invested heavily in education because they have a perfect understanding of the words of the Greek philosopher, Aristotle; “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.”
Quality education in Africa needs a surge aided by financial commitments from private donors and government agencies. South Africa and Egypt are two African countries that have found their spots on the world map, because they paid attention to quality education. South Africa is a home to six universities that comfortably occupy the top 800 in the world with University of Cape Town in position 120. Egypt also has three universities in the top 800 while Nigeria can only make boast of one university in the top 800 in the world.

Conclusively, Africa is a name that resonates with excellence and brilliance; a habitat for great minds that can truly change the world. For the excellence in the loins of African youths to reach the continental stage, qualitative and standardized education must be made available to all and sundry. This will strengthen our economy, prepare us for the future and birth more athletes worthy of Olympic medals in Tokyo 2020.

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Let us keep in mind that all is possible under the control of the Almighty.

Osho Samuel Adetunji

World Humanitarian Day: The World We Love To See

According to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, the World Humanitarian Day is an annual reminder of the need to act to alleviate the suffering. It is also an occasion to honour the humanitarian workers and volunteers toiling on the frontlines of crises. It is a unique opportunity to pay tribute to these dedicated women and men who brave danger to help others at far greater risk.

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In celebration of this special day, volunteers of OneAfricanChild Foundation raised a voice on the kind of world they would like to see, as humanitarians and active citizens.

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I’d like a world where children can sleep at night and meet their dreams in the morning. A world of peace where their right to Future is respected.

~ Rene Ndebi

I would like a world where humans will learn to take personal responsibility for their actions and decisions, not blaming it on the government, religion, upbringing or other external forces.

~ Abisola Adewale

I dream of a world where every child has a bright future, where each of their dreams are fulfilled regardless of gender, religion ethnicity or race. A world full of opportunities that would help them dream BiG and achieve BiG.

~ Halima Twabi

I want a world where every youth has access to the social/economic services he/she needs.

~ Daud Idi

I would like a world where every youth would stand for what is right, deploying their abilities for the betterment of the state of the world not involving in terrorism!

~ Kotila Olumuyiwa

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I would like to see a world where no one is looked down upon. A world of more Equity than Equality. A world full of Social Justice and not Social Vices. A world of Social Impact I must say and not Crises.

~ Dwamena Akenten

I would like to see a world where everyone sees opportunity in every situation because there are several other people who are willing to assist them. A world of possibilities amidst challenges.

~ Emmanuel Ohis

I would like to see a world where everyone is encouraged to maximize their potential, a world free of partiality.

~ Folasayo Ayoola

I’d like to see a world where children no longer learn under trees or have to cross crocodile filled rivers to reach school.

~ Korine Nereah

I’d like to see a world devoid of geographic segmentation. A world not like this 🌎 but like this 🌕. I mean a world like a whole white GLOBE where I can’t be said to be Nigerian🇳🇬, you Ghanaian🇬🇭 and the next man Indian🇮🇪. An encompassing world where there is peace beyond the borders of racial and tribal segregation!

~ Mujaheed Yusuff

I would like to see a world where there is no pain, no suffering, no rape, no robbery, no kidnapping, no Human trafficking, no worries…no fear. A world with more of God. A world where everyone matters, a world where  children don’t cry…A happy and peaceful world is what I would like to see.

~ Tolulope Abimbola

The world I want to see is one where everyone know their worth and understand they are a big part of the puzzle.

~ Tosin Ogunsanya

I would like to see a world where everyone has access to quality education and good standard of living.

~ Samuel Osho

I’d like to see a world void of oppression. A world where no one is looked down upon. A world where everyone treats everyone well. I’d like to see a world where no one is poor. A world where everyone is comfortable and has access to the basic needs of life.

~ Damilola Akinbowale

The world I want to see is one with less corrupt systems.

~ Laolu Korede

I would like to see a world where there is individual freedom and where every person has the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.

~ John Shivisi

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A world where no one is left behind, where no man is oppressed, where inequality and child’s exploitation have no place. This is my dream world.

~ Roland Aiwone

I would like to see a world where we treat each other with love and care.
A happy world,
A quiet world,
A beautiful world,
A world that doesn’t differentiate rich from poor.
A true world,
A holy world,
A bloodless world,
A world where the leader serve their people
A world without no suffering and pain.
A world full of shining colours everywhere,
A world fully dedicated to love,
A world knows only the way of humanity
A world which starts its day with a smile,
A world which ends its days with a thanks to the Almighty,
A world which sleeps at night in a tuneful song,
A world where there is no gender crime
A world where all children can go to school and be successful together irrespective of our status,tribe and ethnics.
A world where everyone opinion can be respected.
A beautiful world for us all!!!

~ Segun Okeowo

I would like to see a world where everyone’s opinions count. And no one is shouted down. A world where everyone truly has a voice.

~ Blessing Uwisike

I would like to see a world where the rights of children are mostly prioritized at all spheres of a society.

~ Salomy Fombe

I want a world where the facts that we were raised from different backgrounds, by different parents and with different manners are recognised.

~ Joy Adebiyi

I would like to see a world where Love reigns fully.

~ Pemi Lawal

I would love to see a world where everyone’s rights are respected. Where education is respected as fundamental and access to such provided. Where children are eager to learn and reading culture improved. Where corruption and loss of lives is no more a norm. Where people no longer seek death as an escape route due to harshness of things. Basically, a world where love and peace reigns.

~ Ujunwa Umeokeke

I want  world where  girls are not held back from reaching their full potential: either by themselves, their families or their communities. A world in which girls can stay in school, get access to health services, get married and have children when they choose, realise their economic potential and their dreams: because they demand it and because the others in their lives demand it, for them too. I just want everyone to know that education is the only solution to a better life for us all. We must never forget that an educated mother will
result in a healthy, educated and prosperous family.

~ Jennifer Umeh

I want a world where no one is distinguished based on race,colour or sex.

~ Opeyemi Abujade

I would love to see a world where boys are encouraged to stay true to their potentials.

~ Arthur Isaac

I dream of a world where every individual can learn to love and embrace their uniqueness.

~ Rapheal King

I want a world where girls and boys have equal access to education and opportunities.

~ Victoria Ibiwoye

Today, we celebrate our volunteers and the sacrifices they make daily to transform their communities. We also consider their declarations as essential for peace and stability in our world.

Happy World Humanitarian Day from OneAfricanChild Foundation! 

Mukuru Rehabilitation Center: OAC Kenya Trains Former Street Children on Self-Awareness

We are excited to share the success of our first project at Mary Immaculate Rehabilitation Centre, also known as Mukuru Rehabilitation Center.

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The home was established in 1995 for the many children who were wandering and living on the streets of the adjacent industrial area. It caters for up to 57 boys of ages between 9 and 15 years, who participate in a one year long program. The center conducts non-formal primary teaching for those whom it is appropriate, and carpentry and art for the older boys. After lunch they engage in extra curricula activities such as art, music, football, gardening, scouting and some craft work. Tackling the habit of substance abuse is a challenge for most of the boys in the program. Group and individual counselling is an integral part of the program and is carried out on a very regular basis. The program aims to re-integrate the boys to their family where possible, or to a meaningful life off the streets, in boarding school or in employment.

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Our objective was to build the children’s identity, increase their self-confidence and inspire them to be better individuals in life. The general goal was to teach the children about being aware of their own personality including their feelings, strengths, weaknesses, thoughts and beliefs; and to help them have a better understanding of themselves and those around them. This was to enable them build their self-esteem and have a better personal identity.

Lessons on self-awareness and self-regulation were drawn from our Education for Sustainable Development Curriculum, facilitated by our volunteers.

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With regards to the objectives, 57 children were trained from the curriculum which enhanced experiencial learning as students were engaged on critical thinking and mind engaging games. Also, the students were inspired to become better and active citizens and to aid in the development of the society. The training session successfully applied Global Citizenship Education which is about preparing students to tackle societal challenges through critical thinking, without fear, and to be aware of themselves and others.

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There was a positive feedback both from the students and the OAC volunteers. Most of the students enjoyed the sessions and wanted the volunteers to make another visit to their school.

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Stephen Mulwa , a 15 year old boy had this to say:

“The project was good and I learnt the importance of teamwork, I also learnt how to work together with other students to help each other and lastly, I learnt that we should always cooperate to make our work easier.”

“I learnt the value of self-awareness and its importance in my future life.”
said John Kihara, a 12 year old student of the school.

Feedback from other students:

“I enjoyed most of the lessons and activities that we were taught and I felt very excited and creative while doing the project”.

“My friends and I are very happy that our visitors came to our school today. I was able to build a house using a newspaper and my team won the competition and we were given a packet of sweets”.

“I built a house using newspaper although it was difficult at the beginning, we managed to make it stand. I was able to practice teamwork.
The building of the house using newspaper was fun but I did not like the fact that our team lost in the competition and so we were not given sweets”.

Feedback from our facilitators:

“I got a better understanding of the children’s psychology and I will use the lessons learnt in my place of work.” ~ John Shivisi

“I have discovered that the kids are ready to do what they are instructed to do as long as the instructions are given and understood.” ~ Jeffrey Kosgei

“I have learnt a lot from fellow volunteers and the kids as well. I enjoyed myself, working with the children and it gave me a satisfactory feeling of giving back to the community.” ~ Brian Juma

“I discovered that the children have great talents and skills such as rapping, drawing and even playing football.” ~ Korine Nereah

“I have learnt how special the children are and how fortunate I am to be able to create an impact in their lives.” ~ Agatha Wanzala

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the adminstration of the school who have granted us this unique opportunity to reach out to the students. Also, to our volunteers for a job well done!

Training on Self Awareness at Collège d’Enseignement Général de Vèdoko, Benin Republic

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We are super excited to announce our first training session at Collège d’Enseignement Général in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

This is to implement the Education for Sustainable Development curriculum developed by organisation to prepare children for a sustaining world. The new curriculum covers training modules on Global Citizenship Education and Peacebuilding. It also includes exciting experiential activities aimed at making learning creative and transformative for our target groups.

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The two hour training session on Self Awareness was able to take the learners on a reflective journey, starting with an awareness of their identities, passions, preconceptions and limitations. We believe strongly that leadership education should begin with knowledge and understanding of self as this is important to make important choices in life and to become proactive change agents in the society.

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We are grateful to the Educate Children Foundation, a local organisation working to promote quality learning through the use of Information Technology for their assistance in locating the school we visited and for their active participation throughout the training process.

Enhancing Life Skills Through Sport for Children and Youth

As said by Jacques Rogge, former president of the International Olympic Committee, “The world of sport is not separate from the rest of the world. Sport breaks down barriers, promotes self-esteem, and can teach life skills and healthy behavour.

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Celebrating the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace with Members of Commonwealth Youth in Nigeria.

At OneAfricanChild Foundation for Creative Learning, we believe that through sports, children and youth learn values and skills that will serve them well as they prepare for the rest of their lives. These life skills must be transferred to learners as early as possible in order to make them proactive and valuable to the society.

On the International Day for Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) organised by the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Working Group, OneAfricanChild Foundation, represented by Ms. Victoria Ibiwoye, facilitated a working group discussion on Enhancing Life Skills Through Sport for Children and Youth.

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Life skills are those skills that enable individuals to succeed in the different environments in which they live, such as in school, home and in their neighborhoods. These skills can be Physical for example, throwing a ball or jumping roles. It can also be Behavioral for examples, effective communication  with peers and adults or respect or cultural and religious difference. It can Cognitive, for example, making effective decisions.

Some important life skills which sports can teach  us include: dealing with difficult situations in life, building self confidence, learning to make sacrifices, learning to work as a team, learning discipline, making good choices and much more. Sports can also build children to become proactive leaders, addressing real-world problems with their critical thinking and problem solving skills. These life skills are important to ensuring peace coexistence and prosperity in the world.

One must note that it is not the physical activity itself that transfers life skills but the application of the principles learned through participation to other areas. Thus, engaging in sports can enhance leadership competencies and promote human capacity development throughout the life span of the learner because of the application of lessons learnt to life situations. For  such transfer to take  place, it is necessary to help children recognize and apply important skills  that  they have acquired through sport  in other life areas.

In Nigeria, sport needs some high-level advocacy. We must help people, especially parents see that it is not a waste of time. Beyond taking on sports as a professional career, it can also play important roles in the live of children and youth, preparing them to be active and responsible citizens.

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“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision.”
-Muhammad Ali (World HeavyWeight Champion Boxer)

World Heart Connect Movement

This week we happy to share about a new initiative launched by a member of OneAfricanChild Foundation, Ms. Lola Odeniyi, Founder of World Hearts Connect Movement (WHCM).

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WHCM carried out its first project on the 8th of October 2015 with the theme “Mailing God”. This project has blessed the lives of over 100 kids who were taught about strengthening their relationship and communication with God so that they can grow up to be responsible and fulfil the purpose of God for their lives.

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Ms. Odeniyi was inspired by the movie ‘Letters to God’. Her desire is to bring young people closer to God and realise the true purpose for their creation. Part of the project implementation was the distribution of free Bibles, and provision of mail boxes in schools to encourage the kids to write to God on anything bothering them and then we return to their schools to address these mails (in strict confidentiality).

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This program was held in a primary and secondary in Okwuzi community in Rivers state. 

Lola Odeniyi:

I really can’t begin to explain how God moved in this program. From the worship and prayer session with the kids, to the interactive session, to the movie session (where the kids watched an animation on the love of God), to the Question and answer session, to the games, to the edibles, to the Bible distribution and much more, IT WAS PACKED!

These kids were so excited and many of them didn’t want to go home even after the program, we were on with pictures and more pictures. 
Basically, we not only felt the love of God move but He stayed with us and still is.

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ADVANCING CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION IN AJEGUNLE – NIGERIA

October 1st is the Independence day of Nigeria and also the United Nations International Day for Aged People.

To commemorate this day, One Africa Child Foundation in collaboration with Dreams from the Slum Initiative organized a special timeout with 103 underprivileged children living in Araromi Community of Ajegunle in Lagos.

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The timeout was tagged Children, Education and Patriotism as the children were taught extensively on why they should embrace peace at their tender age.

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One of the kids by name Grace Aruwayo said

“I do not like Boko Haram, and I don’t like how they kidnap children too.”

They were further edified as Omoyele Isaac Success (Founder, Dreams from the Slum Initiative) shared from the Kiddies ROR book, giving them reasons not to engage in fight, stealing and other wrong activities.

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According to him, early education is important as children grow, so that when they are older they will become great citizens of this great nation.

Also, Tobi  Bamuyiwa (Director of OneAfricanChild Foundation, Lagos State Chapter) explained that one of the core  objectives of OAC is to give access to quality education for children in every community.

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The children residing in Araromi community are very passionate about education and optimistic about the future. They are in lack of writing materials, school books, uniforms, shoes and other basic needs.

“The parents in this shanty need orientation and sensitization on the importance of education. We want their children to outlive their parents.” ~ Isaac Success

Mr. Isaac also shared with One African Child about a mini library in which their organisation is about to set up in the shanty. He stated that it would make the children in the community concentrate more and develop a better reading culture.

As part of One African Child’s #BackToSchool Project, learning materials were donated to the children to better educate them on how to be active and responsible citizens in their community.

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Taking a glimpse across the canal just behind this community, I see the divide between two worlds in one city. While live goes on on one end, it is another story at the end of the city.
The children of this community are the ones whose voice are often unheard. We are glad that OAC is giving an opportunity for young people to dream again and realise their purpose ~ Victoria Ibiwoye