IIDN holds Good Governance Training with Children and Youths from the Makoko Area of Lagos State, Nigeria / by Chiamaka Mogo

 From right - IIDN President, Chiamaka Mogo, CEE-Hope Founder, Betty Abah, with children and youths in attendance from Makoko, Lagos State.

From right - IIDN President, Chiamaka Mogo, CEE-Hope Founder, Betty Abah, with children and youths in attendance from Makoko, Lagos State.

On August 3rd, 2017, IIDN partnered with the Centre for Children’s Health Education, Orientation and Protection (CEE-Hope), to deliver a good governance seminar, to twenty-five youth who are mentored by CEE-Hope. Twenty-four out of these children and youth are from the Makoko area of Lagos State, while one youth was visiting from Ogun State. Children and youth from Makoko were the pre-planned target audience for this educational seminar delivered by IIDN. Given the attendance record, that goal was accomplished. The audience ranged from primary, to senior secondary-school-aged persons. The latter were significantly more in number then the former.

Makoko is a low-income community in Lagos State, that is significantly vulnerable, due to minimal government intervention. Many in the Makoko communities rely on fishing for income. Also, Makoko, like some other slum communities in Lagos State, is prone to State-sponsored evictions.

CEE-Hope has an impressive and inspiring record of working with children and youths from Makoko, in the manner of mentorships and educational scholarships, amongst others. This is why IIDN approached the organization for what we envisaged would be an impactful partnership. In particular, a partnership that will enlighten this young generation from Makoko, on sustainable good governance measures and thereby, also sensitizing them towards the implications of better governance. The young people in every society, are that nation’s future and this is why one of IIDN’s main mandates is to educate Nigerian youths on good governance measures. 

The presentation made by IIDN, focused on four (out of several) main measures of good governance (accountability, transparency, equity and participation) as they relate to Nigeria, and the success of any society. When IIDN asked if any of them aspires to be a politician, there was visible hesitation and disdain to the idea of being a politician, and no one in the room opted for such an ambition. IIDN then asked if this was as a result of the way they observe politics being done in Nigeria, and there were nods of approval. 

We used our presentation to emphasize that politics can be a medium for positive impact, if it is done well. Thus, also, sensitizing the young audience to public governance roles. Certainly, significant amelioration in the way governments are run in Nigeria, can foster a change of that mindset on politics. Through our presentation, IIDN also explained to participants, that governance may be required in roles that are not politics-oriented, and emphasizing to them that where there is governance, there should be - accountability, transparency, equity and participation.

IIDN initiated a brief quizzing session after the presentation to test understanding. We are very pleased to report that participants were quick to pick up new information and quite engaging to teach! After our presentation, Betty Abah, Founder of CEE-Hope expressed interest in having IIDN participate during their girls’ ICT summer camp program that is to be held around mid-August of 2017. This invitation was for IIDN, another measure of an impactful event with the children and youths from Makoko. 

This seminar was sponsored by two of IIDN’s supporters - Eby’s Tea and the African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative (AFMESI).