Kenneth Afor |
Three Nigerians have been inducted into the Malala Fund’s Education Champion Network charged to accelerate progress towards girl’s secondary education in the country.
Among the Nigerians are Hamzat “Hamzy” Bala Lawal, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Connected Development Initiative (CODE), Benjamin John, Programs Manager, Restoration of Hope Initiative (ROHI) and Olabukunola “Buky” Williams, Executive Director, Education as a Vaccine (EVA).
Hamzat, 30, is an astute advocate, data analyst and media commentator whose organisation, CODE since 2012 has been using open data via technology through his Follow The Money initiative to increase government accountability in institutions. Hamzat and his team will use the initiative to track the state government’s spending on education and encourage state officials to invest in gender-responsive school infrastructure.
John, through his organisation ROHI has been championing the advocacy for the adoption of the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD) in Adamawa and Borno state. With his Malala Fund grant, he will will advocate for Adamawa and Borno states to sign the SSD and create guidelines for its implementation at the state level. ROHI will also train state level officials on the SSD guidelines and establish SSD desks in the state governments. With this over 372,000 girls will be able to be safe while schooling in Adamawa and Borno if the law is passed in those states.
Also, Buky will use her Malala Fund grant her organisation EVA, to mobilise girls and community leaders to conduct a state-wide campaign for the implementation of free secondary girls’ education in Kaduna state where an estimate of 691,000 girls will benefit from her camping . EVA will train girls to use social media and radio to share personal stories about girls’ education.
According Maliha Khan, Chief Programmes Officer at Malala Fund, 19 other inductees from six countries will carry out the same task in promoting girl’s education in their respective countries.
“We launched the Education Champion Network to bolster the work of local activists. As individuals and collectives, these Champions are making progress for girls at local, state and national levels. As COVID-19 threatens to force millions more girls out of school, Champion-led programmes and advocacy work is now even more important. We are proud to welcome this cohort of innovative advocates into our network, as well as expand our support in sub-Saharan Africa with our first Ethiopian Champions,”she said.
Nigeria among other countries such as; Afghanistan, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Pakistan and Turkey now support 58 advocates in those countries.