ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2018

United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In the three months the application was open in 2018, students applied to join the Class of 2018 on 285 campuses across 57 nations. 30 campuses worldwide (just 11%) were selected to host the 402 Millennium Fellows in the global pilot this year.

The Class of 2018 is bold, innovative, and inclusive. During the Millennium Fellowship, Millennium Fellows' dedicated 48,785 hours and their 214 unique projects positively impacted the lives of 393,449 people worldwide.

UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT OGHENERUONA ONOTHOJA, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW AND CAMPUS DIRECTOR FOR THE CLASS OF 2018.

University of Ibadan | Ibadan, Nigeria | Advancing SDG 4 & UNAI 4

Millennium Fellowship Project: Focus and Rebirth Initiative (FARi)

Statement of Need
Recent increase in the activity of Boko haram terrorist insurgency, conflict and crisis in Northern Nigeria has lead to high rates of morbidity, mortality and disability, especially among infants and young children who are not able to fend for themselves.
Refugee camps set up by the government have been starved of resources and funds meant to be allotted to education and economic development by the government has been redirected to combating terrorism, causing economic displacement and constraint of resources to IDP camps (Internally Displaced People’s camps) setup by the federal government.
Families in bid of migrating to safer regions lose their jobs, and source of income. Low income homes settle for petty trade in rural and underserved communities with a favourable standard of living and send their children to beg for money on the streets as a means of livelihood. This is often the source of funds for the formal education of these children. Education in Nigeria even at the primary and secondary level is not free.
health, physical and mental pressure becomes on these children force many of them to drop out of school. The male children explore crime such as petty theft, and the female children go into prostitution – thus the vicious cycle continues. Poverty and illiteracy remains the key risk factors.

This has become one of the grassroots causes of child labour in sub-Saharan Africa – the region with the highest percentage of child labour in the world; 30% (48 million children) in urban slums, rural areas and marginalized communities (Unicef - 2016).

There is a growing need for private interventions and advocacy programs to secure the future of the nation’s economic growth and social security – ending poverty by investing in the children of today.
Activities
Our project involves data collection, monitoring and evaluation reporting.
Our 3 agenda program involves
Storm the Slum: we sensitize parents and community stakeholders on the importance of investing in the education for their children.
Supplying schools in slums and rural communities with our “educators starter pack”, - comprising of Spread sheet for data collection, Literature books and art supplies.
We train teachers how to use the spread sheet from the starter pack for data collection and monitoring of test scores and class attendance,
My mentor and me: We provide psychosocial support to the children; we listen to their burdens, visit their homes, and create an atmosphere of care, support and attention.
Readers are leaders: Teachers put the children into reading groups and we incentivize (scholarships, educational toys, school recognition, etc) them for using the literature resources we have supplied. Incentivizing study of books has made the children develop a healthy and independent reading habit.
Craft the Future: We teach the children to repurpose non-degradable waste in their immediate communities to sellable artworks with the art supplies we provided. The children enjoy this educational/recreational exercise as we have adopted it as a tool for methodological approach to psychosocial therapy for mental wellness of disadvantaged children. It gives them an opportunity to express themselves, to create and to bond with other children in their schools who are from higher social strata. We sell the recycle art to raise funds for more incentives and financial sustainability of our project (this means tuition fee for the children we work with and learning resources).
Measurable outcome:
Through our work we have mobilized over 2,000 books to be donated to resource constrained areas and been able to help children in remote communities reach a 30 minutes – 1 hour reading benchmark daily (150 hours a year). These children now read books literature books independently, with comprehensive understanding and 8% improved learning outcome.
Since our inception in 2017, we have worked with approximately 3,000 children in Ibadan, and Kogi State, Nigeria, aged 5 – 17 years old across 8 communities.
Children whom we work with previously spent 2-3 days of the week engaging in child labour out of school to support their parents. They now attend school all through the week except in emergency cases such as when a parent is ill, and this was well received by the community and parents because of the scholarship opportunities that we give to the children.

About the Millennium Fellow

Onothoja Ogheneruona is a final year medical student of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and TEDx Licensee, where he organises TED-like conferences to spark ideas and birth solutions to local problems by youths in his community. His passion for leadership, innovations and tapping into the potentials of youths has brought his team a number of accolades including...
world bank social inclusion heroes nominee (USA),
Nelson Mandela's Yali Fellowship, cohort 9 (Ghana),
Inspire Africa fellowship (Nigeria),
1st Prize, 234 Entrepreneurial Campus tour (Nigeria), amongst other's.
He continually seeks opportunities to strengthen his leadership skills towards contributing to development of effective educational programs and systems that will enable disadvantaged children and reach their full potential, regardless of who and where.

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