Jul 20, 2020

Taking a LEAP forward, inspiring a new generation

With a groundbreaking ceremony for the LEAP Institute in November 2019 in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos Nigeria, championed by President & CEO of Mastercard Foundation, Reeta Roy, LEAP Institute is on the rapid journey to realization. The journey of being a premier resource centre for developing dynamic, innovative and principled leaders who will drive Africa to achieve its full potential.

The LEAP Institute is LEAP Africa’s proposed leadership centre for developing the next generation of Pan-African change agents across all sectors to champion the course of a new Africa. This project is a step further towards the LEAP’s goal of raising innovative youths with an entrepreneurial mindset to catalyze the continent to prosperity and provide solutions to Africa's problems.

Statistics show that 1 out of every 10 secondary school in Africa will not make it University. They exit secondary school into the world of work. How is the secondary school curriculum preparing them for this reality? There is a lack of leadership development training institutions and curricula that can help them achieve their dreams or life ambitions. 

There are many young people in Africa, who have brilliant ideas capable of transforming millions of lives and creating a huge impact across the continent. But these ideas, in most cases, are abandoned for lack of proper training and structural support. They are constantly in search of resources to help them navigate the complex life challenges that confronts them on a daily basis because there is no well-equipped institution in West Africa that can provide a holistic training, research and curriculum development for personal, organizational and community development. Young people need assess to Leadership development institutions and localized curricula that mirrors their realities, challenges, practical to their individual situation. 

This the gap the LEAP Institute seeks to fulfil.

LEAP Institute will be a fully equipped academic platform for developing highly-skilled professionals who will lead cutting-edge research in the state of the youth affairs, social entrepreneurship, nation-building, advocacy and policy development and act as resource persons for government, the social and the private sector. It will also strengthen ecosystems in leadership, business sustainability, youth and social development in Africa by serving as a hub bringing key industry stakeholders to discuss and proffer innovative solutions to pertinent issues across Africa. The project is a five-year plan which is expected to be completed by 2025.

By 2025, LEAP expects to have impacted 10 million Africans directly and gained quantum leap in building ethical leaders and businesses to drive Africa’s realization of its full potentials. This vision is only possible through the support of both local and international organizations, partners and individuals that share our passion for an Africa that will lead a new frontier for good governance, inclusive growth and economic prosperity.

Positive transformation in Africa may seem like a dream to many, but for us, we believe nothing is impossible when we work together. We invite you to make the LEAP institute a reality and give access to free and affordable leadership training to young Africans.

 

Join us on this journey to inspire a new generation of Young, ethical leaders for Africa!

Jul 13, 2020

How iLEAD Students are Learning through the Odds

iLEAD Students engaged in a leadership activity
iLEAD Students engaged in a leadership activity

It is often said that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonades out of it. COVID-19 is obviously a part of life's lemon that brought a halt to activities across every facet of society including education.

Our Fellows (in the iLEAD Fellowship) who work in underserved communities in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria have had to adapt to the times and re-strategize to keep the learning going for their students in Senior Secondary School (class) 3.

Our strategy was to take learning online using digital channels. For a lot of the students, Facebook was the best option as other channels/Apps require much internet data and an android phone which most of them do not have. Facebook was generous enough to create a free feature that enables many of the students to participate with small phones without internet data.

So the students were added to a group chat where they hold peer learnings on their core subjects including English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Civic education and others with support from our fellows. With this digital opportunity, we were able to revisit other modules in the curriculum such as values, time management, pathways (post-secondary school);  and we are supporting them to apply these learnings for their personal and community development.

Considering the realities of the lockdown occasioned by the novel Coronavirus, this online learning is indeed pertinent for the students as it helps to refresh their memories on all that they have been learning and it particularly helps them fine-tune their preparation for their final examinations.

Our students are excited to be learning online; Abasifreke said "virtual learning is a dream come true"; instead of chit-chatting with friends online.

 Fola said "we have been coming together to share knowledge"; 

Matilda said it has helped her revisit her old notes.

Although the pandemic is gradually revealing that education in Nigeria is becoming a privilege rather than a right as it ought to be, we are putting in efforts to make this work for the underserved youth. 

You can join us to beat the virus by supporting us to increase the number of students who have access to this platform, provide more digital tools thereby exposing students to more opportunities to learn.

Join us today. Please visit www.leapafrica.org to learn more about our programmes.

Jun 19, 2020

COVID 19 Response: The Impact on a Female Inmate

LEAP Africa, working with its network of social innovators and Alumni members are reaching vulnerable people in underserved communities and correctional facilities with food, relief items, awareness and sensitization with the aim of giving hope to 4000 households across Nigeria during the pandemic.

Locked up in a cell with 58 inmates, with the original capacity house only 10. Having to wait hours before being able to use the bathroom due to the strain congestion has brought on the prison facilities. Eating cassava flakes and pap without sugar or any form of supplements because these are considered as luxury and unavailable in the prison. 

Going on weeks without bathing with soap or having to use wrappers as sanitary towels which have resulted in all sort of bacterial infections induced by the unhygienic state of the facility. With restrictions on visits to prison due to COVID-19, LEAP Africa is breaking the barriers to bring hope to inmates in Nigeria’s correctional facility in Abuja through Hope Behind Bars Africa. 

 

Rahila is 18 years old, she was charged with murder and has been in prison since she was 15. Rahila grew up in a village in Nasarawa state; Northern Nigeria. Brought up by uneducated parents, she never had the privilege of getting formal education herself. 

At 13, Rahila lost her father to an unknown disease and a few months later, she was married off to a man thrice her age by her father’s brother. For 2 years, Rahila suffered the anguish of being sexually violated by her betrothed husband; beaten and dehumanized. Amidst these, Rahila became pregnant, had a child who later died at 4 months. 

 

A fight that would see Rahila sent to prison broke out with her betrothed husband’s first wife. Rahila ran to a neighbour’s house after the fight and on her return, her rival’s child had fallen into a well and drowned. Unfortunately, Rahila was accused of the crime and in one fell swoop, she was taken away to face the law.  3 years later, Rahila is still awaiting trial for culpable homicide punishable by death. 

 

With restrictions of movement due to the pandemic, LEAP Africa and its network of social innovators are providing relief materials for over 4000 households across Nigeria. Rahila is one of the beneficiaries, with the generous donations of food and sanitary items to the Keffi prison by Hope Behind Bars, a LEAP Africa social innovator, Rahila is breathing the fresh air of hope in detention. For the next 3 months, Rahila can use sanitary pads rather than old wrappers for her monthly cycle. For the first time in 3 years, Rahila and 269 other inmates would now have more food options available to them just because LEAP Africa cares.

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