Having demonstrated commitment and reasonable advancement in their post-semester one activities, CANVASSITY Pan African fellows from 6 different African countries arrived in Addis Ababa with a lot of expectation for a one-week institutional learning visit to the Headquarters of the African Union in Ethiopia. This is done in partnership with the African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat, Department of Political Affairs, African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. During the learning visit, fellows will meet with the different units of the AU and other regional institutions to learn about their roles in advancing democracy and good governance.
Youngstars Foundation unveils Faculty team for CANVASSITY Pan African Youth Democracy Fellowship Season 2, Semester 1.
Date: 20 – 24 February, 2017
Youngstars Foundation unveils CANVASSITY Pan African Youth Democracy Fellowship Season 2, Semester 1 Participants.
41 delegates from 11 African countries.
Date: 20 – 24 February, 2017
33 Nigerian participants from 17 states across the six geo political zones of Nigeria and 2 international participants from Liberia converged in Abuja Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, for CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship between 20th and 23rd September 2016 at NBC Centenary House 33 Lusaka Street Wuse Zone 6 Abuja.
CANVASSITY is an innovative youth centric program designed to increase the capacity of youth to effectively engage and support government institutions deliver impactful governance, raise efficiency and improve accountability.
The second semester of CANVASSITY was a huge success even though 19 participants that participated in the first semester did not meet up with the required activities to qualify them to attend the second semester. More so, 9 of the participants that qualified to attend the second semester could not make it due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. Thus, we had 19 new participants that joined the second semester. The new participants had the opportunity to witness first semester delegates make presentations on their PiOs, Community Outreach (Crowd Pulling Events) and Youth-Government Engagement experiences.
During the 4 days program, participants went through 8 sessions covering topics like: Emerging Societies and Emerging; What is Democracy? Its History and Purpose?; Key Ingredient of a quality Democracy viz-a-viz Participation; Exploring Transactional and Transformational Leadership Types; Integrity Mapping; Engaging Government Institution Toolkit; Does Disability Hinder Leadership Capacity; Character Traits and Motivational to be A Good/Bad Leader in Africa Public Service Arena.
Speakers included: Kingsley Bangwell – Team leader, Youngstars Development Initiative International, Abuja; ‘Sola Fagorusi –Programs and Media Manager, Onelife Initiative for Human Development; Mrs Ekaete Umo, advocate, activist, educator, and researcher, Founder and Executive Director, Family Centred Initiative for Challenged Persons (FACICP) and Benjamin Dankaka, President, Global Leaders and Readers Club and YALI Fellow 2015.
There was an Experience Sharing Panel- “Is Government Well Positioned to Deliver Impactful Governance?’’ with four CANVASSITY leading engaging governance participants David Germu-Liberia, Victor Anderson Enim, Ruth Eyitayo Lawal and Auwal Adamu Muhammad all from Nigeria. On the third day of the training/ workshop,there was a CANVASSITY paint exhibition where 13 students showcased their canvas drawings, and shared their experiences on engaging government with the public. There was a courtesy visit with lots of excitements from the participants to DAAR Communication Plc complex, owners of AIT- Africa Independent Television our media partner, the delegation was received by top management of DAAR Communication, including Mrs. Tosin Dokpesi Wife of Owner of DAAR Communications PLC. Participants shared their experiences and DAAR Communication expressed their commendation of CANVASSITY and promised sustained media support for future editions
CANVASSITY is an initiative of Youngstars Foundation, funded by National Endowment for Democracy NED USA with African Independent Television (AIT) as the Media Partners.
Youngstars Development Initiative international Abuja, Nigeria with support from the NED – National Endowment for Democracy USA launched a new program called CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship after the successful retirement of DESPLAY Africa, Nigeria’s foremost and longest annual youth democracy program, conducted annually non-stop from 2005 to 2015. CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship Academy is designed creatively to increase youth capacity to effectively engage and support government institutions deliver impactful governance, raise efficiency and accountability.
44 African youths (33 males and 11 Females) visited Calabar, the capital city of Cross River State for the first semester between 23rd and 26th February 2016 at the Mirage Hotel, Calabar Cross River State, Nigeria with 43 Nigerian participants from 21 states from the six geo political zones of Nigeria and one international participant from Mosterrado, Liberia for the training. The theme for semester one was “Understanding Democratic Governance and Institutions”. During the sessions participants were trained on how to engage, visit and collaborate with government agencies to address social problems.
CANVASSITY semester two had a total of 35 participants (24 Males and 11 Females) from 17 different States across Nigeria and FCT Abuja, and 2 international delegates from Liberia. The second semester training workshop took place at the NBC Centenary House, 33 Lusaka Street Wuse Zone 6 Abuja, Nigeria from Tuesday 20th – Friday 23rd September 2016, Semester 2 theme was “Engagement Skills and Leadership Development”. The major objective of this semester was to help participants understand the concepts of leadership, and engagement skills that are required to visit, engage and collaborate with government institutions to address social concerns.
Components of CANVASSITY
Democracy Works Canvas (Artistic Illustration) – This is actually the brand/trademark of CANVASSITY, and the paramount activity expected from participants. Each participant is to work with a local artist to develop a drawing illustrating the social problem and create an ideal solution, and to present the drawing to the preferred government agency in the course of seeking collaboration. A total of 23 canvases capturing different issues were received.
Passing-it-On (PiOs) – It is a mandatory step down activity requiring every participant to converge and pass on what they have learnt at CANVASSITY to at least 40 youth in their place of residence. During the PiO, participants are also required to display their Canvas to their attendees. This activity is scheduled to happen within an 8 weeks’ time line, ending April 31st. 28 Pass-it-On (PiOs) were conducted and reported by participants with 1309 persons in attendance. One of the highlight of the PiO event was the coverage granted by Sokoto State Radio House (Radio Rima) to Anas Sanusi Gusau, a CANVASSITY delegate from Sokoto State, which reached hundreds of thousands of listeners, thus generating much interest in the CANVASSITY project in the region (North West).
Youth Engagement with Government- This component is truly the thrust of CANVASSITY, as it encourages participants to identify a government MDA and engage them with the aim of collaboratively trying to solve a social problem. Each delegate was to use his canvas drawing as the entry point and engagement tool. 20 participants engaged with different government MDAs in an attempt to solve problems identified with different negative and positive feeds from their experiences shared. Worth mentioning, 44 participants went on a half day internship in ten Government institutions during the first semester in Calabar as part of their Youth-government engagement training.
Community Outreach Events (Crow Pulling Events)- This is the activity that required delegates to look out for Crowd Pulling Events that will gather 300 persons and more, and display their canvas drawing as a way of creating more awareness and support for the problem they are working with government to solve. Most importantly, during the crowd pulling event, they will get people to sign a sheet with their names, number and emails supporting their campaign. 17 CANVASSIY delegates attended and leveraged on 19 Community Outreach Event reaching over 7,000 persons.
We finally broke the jinx after several attempt, the 2016 International Learning Visit delegates travelled to the United Republic of Tanzania. It was the first time our delegates are travelling out of West Africa. The delegates departed from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria on the 21st of August 2016 to Julius Ayerere International Airport Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and returned safely via same route on 26th August, 2016.
Although 19 participants that participated in the first semester did not meet up with the required activities to qualify them to attend the second semester. More so, 9 of the participants that qualified to attend the second semester could not make it due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. Nevertheless, we had 19 new participants that joined the second semester. On the third day (Thursday 22nd September 2016) of the training/workshop, there was a CANVASSITY exhibition where 13 students showcased their canvas drawings, and shared their experiences on engaging government with the public, and there was a courtesy/thank you visit to DAAR Communication Plc complex, owners of AIT- Africa Independent Television our media partner. The delegation was received by top management staff of DAAR Communication, including the MD, DAAR Communications PLC Mrs. Tosin Dokpesi. In other to highlight CANVASSITY participants’ projects activities to engage a broader audience, beginning from the first week of April 2016, Youngstars Foundation has produced and uploaded a total of 16 Episodes of CANVASSITY TV Series on her Online TV- Youth TV Africa capturing the experiences of CANVASSITY participants. The video skits gave voices to young people’s ideas about democracy, good governance and their contribution to nation building.
CANVASSITY ‘’Democracy Works Canvas’’ (Artistic Illustration) of Victor Anderson Etim depicting the insufficient learning materials and tools, and the unconducive learning environment which make students not to maximize the best in classes and as a result lead to exam malpractices as well as low quality of student in our primary and secondary schools. The Canvas also proffers solution of how multimedia (texts, audio, images, pictures, animation, video and sound are more interested than ‘chalk and talk’) can aid teaching and learning in the classroom. More importantly, teachers will have more approaches to stimulating students’ passion for learning, and teaching will bring students into a class where they can interact with the teacher and the subject. Because multimedia teaching is more intuitive than old ways; teachers can simulate situations in real life. In many circumstances teachers do not have to be there, students will learn by themselves in the class.
About CANVASSITY ‘’Democracy Works Canvass’’
Democracy Works Canvass is an artistic illustration of problem identified by delegate in their community or space which they will visit, engage and collaborate with the government agency responsible for that social problem to resolve within a 6 months’ time frame. The drawing also contain the solution or ideal situation if the problem is addressed
Martina Odok, a CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship 2016 participant is depicting the problem of unemployment, unemployability and the ideal situation of Skills and Youth Entrepreneurship on her “Democracy Works Canvass“, which she is using as a mass civic mobilization tool to share her plan of collaborating with government to address her community concerns. She intends to engage the Plateau State Ministry of Youths and Sports, the NYSC Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Department and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) to address this problem.
About CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship
CANVASSITY is designed to increase youth capacity to effectively engage and support government institutions deliver impactful governance, raise efficiency and accountability. Each CANVASSITY participant, after the first workshop shall identify one government agency or institution he or she shall engage with to solve a particular pressing problem in society. Each participant must physically visit and engage with a chosen government institution of their choice. This campaign shall also have a visual arts component where the problem being addressed shall be captured in a drawing or pictorial visual as tool of engagement and advocacy to the government agency, media and members of the community/stakeholders.
Canvassity is an initiative of Youngstars Foundation with support from the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington DC, USA
Daniel Esimaje Magboruko CANVASSITY ‘’Democracy Works Canvas’’ illustrates how bad policies, lack of government support and poor local production affects the behavior and competition of various government and private organizations, and its impact on society (poor infrastructure, unemployment, poverty, loss of innovative skills and talent, uneasy access to product and service). His Canvas also pictures the ideal situation where good policies, government support and excellent local production brings healthy competition among various government and private organizations.