INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION
By Victoria Ibiwoye from Lagos, Nigeria
On this International Day of Education, our Legacy Award recipient Victoria Ibiwoye explains how she leverages the power of education to transform the lives of children, especially of those from the most marginalised communities.
24 January 2020
Victoria received her Legacy Award for founding the One African Child Foundation to address the inequality in education.
Through activity-based workshops on global citizenship education as well as life skills and peace building in violent communities, the One African Child Foundation has worked with and trained over 4,000 children from disconnected communities. Furthermore, they’ve provided mini grants to 25 young change makers across Africa.
Victoria is also a youth representative of the SDG Education 2030 Steering Committee and is a strong voice for education both in Nigeria and globally.
This is her story.
As a child, I never understood what it meant to live in a society that is unequal.
I did not have a luxurious childhood growing up, however, my siblings and I had the necessities provided to us by our parents. They invested a lot in our education and wellbeing, making sure that we were happy and content. They also made the big move to a different location, all to give us a better life and future.
Looking back today, I feel grateful for the education that I received.
It certainly opened my eyes to see the world and gave me the opportunity to do something for the thousands of children in my community, and millions of children around the world who have little or no choice to make the kind of transformation that I did.
According to recent data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, about 258 million children, adolescents and youth are out of school.
The data confirm recent projections showing that without a shift from ‟business as usual”, one in every six children aged 6 to 17 will still be out of school in 2030 while only six out of ten youth will complete secondary education.
One African Child Foundation
I started OneAfricanChild Foundation for Creative Learning in 2013, to address this inequality and ignite hope by leveraging the power of education to transform the lives of the most marginalised children.
Education can lift individuals out of poverty, raise ethical and responsible citizens, and build resilient societies.
Education is not a cost but rather an investment that yield returns. Although, it is important to make laws and policies recognising education as a fundamental right, without taking action, our laws and policies would be ineffective.
Our work with communities is so important because it enables us to reach those at the bottom of the pyramid who are disconnected and provide them with the necessary skills to become leaders and active citizens.
Whereas all our projects are youth-led, it goes to show the power of young people to lead and drive change. Thus, you’ll find our youth leaders in grassroots communities and also at high-level consultation, calling on leaders to take concrete steps to act on their promises.
“Education is not a cost but rather an investment that yield returns.”
On International Day of Education, we must recognise that it takes a village to raise a child.
Whilst it is the responsibility of governments as duty bearers to ensure access to equitable, quality and inclusive education for all, we as citizens, parents, teachers, school leaders, public institutions and civic society organisations must stay accountable as much as we urge leaders to stay accountable.
Everyone has a role to play in achieving the goal and targets set out for education in the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.