There are some opportunities that change your life forever. You feel like, your soul is set on fire and there’s more fuel to your desire – they remind you of the reason why you do what you do.
I was so sure I was going to receive a rejection mail when I applied to be a ONE Champion in 2017. I mean, I had received several rejection emails prior to that time and so in my mind, this was just going to be yet another one. I definitely wasn’t going to die, was I? So I said to myself, “Why not still give this a try and have some hope too while you’re at it?”
I filled the application form and submitted it. A few weeks later, a miracle happened… I got selected, wow! I was really excited that I was going to be a part of something seemingly bigger than me; a part of a cause worth fighting for. I promised myself to do my best because such privileges are rare. At the induction, I got to learn a lot about ONE and the work they do, my role as a Champion and I met several inspiring young people who represented different parts of Nigeria. I may not have perfectly performed my duties, but I made sure I did ALL I could.
I successfully organized a ONE event in Kaduna State on the International Day of the Girl-Child 2017. Many thanks to my lovely friends who volunteered and helped to ensure it was a success. I also made use of my social media platforms to advocate.
One major highlight was when I represented ONE at the Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference 2018. That was a major experience for me; I was interviewed by Aljazeera, BBC and Agence-France Presse. I also got to meet and listen to dignitaries, celebrities, young leaders and global icons like the ONE Campaign CEO and other amazing members of staff. Rihanna, the President of Senegal and the Minister of education (Senegal), Cuppy (a Nigerian celebrity) among other very important personalities including my President-crush; Emmanuel Macron.
I will never forget my experience at the GPE Conference because I was given the platform to speak on behalf of millions of young girls across the world and we, young people, were really heard!
I was one of the 2017 Champions who had the privilege of returning as a Champion in 2018. I continued playing my little part and advocating for the causes that were dear to me. Although ONE was involved in a few campaigns, I stuck to the one I resonated with the most – the campaign focused on girls and women. In my second year of being a Champion, I was nominated to be on the African Leadership Institute Youth Advisory Board and fortunately for me, I got selected. I also got to be a part of the World Teachers’ Day and #VoteYourFuture Campaign activities. They were all impacting and we recorded measurable impact. I was also one of the young women who collaborated with ONE to write an open letter to world leaders to demand for progress and not just promises to ensure that gender equality is achieved. I was also a spokesperson for the International Women’s Day Celebration 2019 and got to speak about our letter and IWD #BalanceForBetter on Channels Tv, Arise News etc. ONE made it possible for me to be featured by Europe Aid and European Union (in Nigeria) in the #InspiredByHer campaign.
Towards the end of my second year as a Champion, I got to speak at the 2019 ONE Champions Training Francophone West Africa and Nigeria. I was really honored because I met vibrant young people hungry for change and I also had the opportunity to share my experiences with them. One major thing that kept me going was the passion I had to make positive impact. It wasn’t all rosy but it was definitely all worth it.
I have met some of the most amazing friends that I have through ONE. I have also been given several opportunities because I am a part of this global family.
To the young people out there, I’d say, when you get the opportunity to serve and amplify your voice, do it well! It’s less about the title and more about the responsibility. Do it well whether or not you get paid. It is only a matter of time; your seed will grow.
Words really fail me when it comes time to expressing how I feel about this amazing organization. ONE has played a great role in changing my mindset about how to effectively advocate and demand for change both locally and globally. I will forever be thankful to ONE and her amazing team because they are some of the best people I have ever met!
To be a member and stand the chance to engage with policy makers, receive certificates of appreciation for your work, wear cool T-shirts, write with/ on branded pens & note books, amplify your work and advocate with amazing people like yourself, click here