A delegation of participants from the maiden edition of CANVASSITY Youths Democracy Fellowship Academy is visiting Dar es Salaam as part of a (1) one week International Learning Visit aimed to increase their capacity to engage and collaborate with government institutions to increase accountability and efficiency in governance. The delegation is being accompanied by Kingsley Bangwell, Executive director Youngstars Foundation and Adaje Sunday, Head of Programs and the program administrator.
Anas Sunusi Gusau, Martina Odok Owa, Kufre Efre Etim and Martha Ihotu Odoh are all participants of CANVASSITY and will be visiting various public and private institution as well as other youth NGOs/CSOs in Dar es Salaam. The Learning Visit will provides cross- border youth civil society learning for delegate to gain broader perspectives on democracy work, and increase their capacity as democracy activist.This component of CANVASSITY was introduced with the sole aim of providing delegates a first-hand experience of another democracy within Africa.
CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship Academy is a program innovatively designed to increase the capacity of youth to effectively engage, collaborate and support government institutions to achieve improved governance impact and raise accountability and to inspired young people to be more complimentary.
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Ruth Eyitayo Lawal’s CANVASSITY ‘’Democracy Works Canvas’’ depicts the consequences of unemployment, poverty and loss of innovative skills and talent among youths and young women. The Canvas also pictured the solution, which is commercial agriculture in a rural subsistence agricultural setting through provision of comprehensive, proven and state of art agricultural services to farming community by government MDAs, NGO and development partners.
Ruth is engaging and collaborating with the Plateau Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Agricultural Services and Training Centres (ASTC) and other NGOs like Women in Agriculture and Youth Empowerment Foundation to address this national and community concerns.
Mohammed Sani Garba’s, CANVASSITY ‘’Democracy Works Canvass’’ illustrates the negative effect of violent crimes (Political Thuggery and Armed Robbery) occasioned by illegal drug intake among youth and possession of illegal firm arms, as well as the solution to the problem (Education, Sensitization and Disarmament).
Muhammad Auwal Adamu’s CANVASSITY ‘’Democracy Works Canvas’’ illustrates a lack of suitable/adequate learning infrastructure, equipment and tools in our basic schools (primary and secondary) in urban and high-poverty areas that are plagued by dilapidated physical buildings (peeling paint, poor lightening and non-functioning sanitary facility), overcrowded classrooms and teaching aids (textbooks, ICT facilities, audio and visual materials) that threaten the health, safety and learning opportunities of pupils and students.
Muhammad Auwal Adamu has started engaging relevant government institutions responsible for handling these problems including the Local Government Education Authority (L.E.A), which is charged with discipline and transfer of primary school teachers and non-teaching staff within their areas of jurisdictions, the payment of primary school teacher’s salary and allowances, and retraining of teachers; State Universal Basic Education Board (S.U.B.E.B) is a nine year basic educational programme launched to eradicate illiteracy, ignorance and poverty as well as stimulate and accelerate development; State Ministry of Education, a government institution charged with formulating state policies on education in line with Federal policies.
Ibrahim Abdulkadir’s ‘Democracy Works Canvas’ is depicting the withdrawal of funding by international donor organizations and how to keep over 3 million HIV/AIDS patient alive and fight the scourge in Nigeria. His visual art is also urging the relevant institutions to take over those responsibilities by expanding their budget to avoid the risks of possible spread of the virus.
About CANVASSITY Democracy Works Canvass
After the first workshop, every CANVASSITY participants is expected to 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 alss involves a creative arts component where the problem being addressed is captured in a drawing or pictorial visual as tool of engagement and advocacy to the government agency, media and members of the community/stakeholders. Learn more >>
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 program seeks to encourage young people to be more complimentary of government and not to be always critical. After the first semester, 20 participants have sent in their Democracy Works Canvass (Artistic Illustration), while others are still working with local artist. Democracy Works Canvass is the visual communication strategy of CANVASSITY, where each participant is to identify a problem in his/her community and the solution or ideal situation if that problem is addressed which they shall collaborate with a government agency to address during a 6 months democracy works duration.
Passing-it-On (PiO) is one of the most important component of CANVASSITY. Pass-it-on 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 Canvass to their attendees. Thus far, 15 PiO have taken place across Nigeria and Liberia reaching an estimated number of 2,000 youth.
Thus far 5 Community Outreach Events have taken place after semester 1 with estimated 1,500 endorsement. This is the part of the component of CANVASSITY program where CANVASSITY delegate leverage on Crowd Pulling Events that gather 300 persons and above and display their Canvass as a way of creating more awareness and support for the problem they are working with government to address. Most importantly, during the crowd pulling event, they will get people to sign a sheet with their names, number and emails supporting their campaign. Please, find below some sample pictures of Community Outreach Event that happened after semester 1.
Only 7 participants have written letters to government agency requesting a visit as part of their Youth Government Engagement activity. We are reaching out and encouraging them to make the effort and not to be attached to what the results may be.
It’s noteworthy to mention that, Anas Sanusi Gusau, a CANVASSITY participant from sokoto State and a student of Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto state has engaged both the Ministry of Education Sokoto State and Ministry of higher education in Sokoto state as well as Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto. As a result of his Engagement with Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, he was privileged to be among the delegates sent by the University to be her envoys to His Royal Highness, The Emir of Kano Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi Lamido II, to deliver a letter of Appreciation, following his taking part at her Convocation Ceremony and 40 years Anniversary. During the visit, they consulted with the Emir about educational development, and he raised some salient issues that will improve the educational standard and Development, for example quality of teachers and teaching tools.
Below is the group photograph taking after the courtesy visit with members of the committee on Education:
Another CANVASSSITY participant from Bauchi, Comrade Auwal Muhammad Adamu was on the Bauchi Radio Corporation (BRC) as part of his youth government engagement activity; he talked about effective citizen’s engagement and youth participation in governance challenges and solution to increase transparency and accountability.
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. Inspired to encourage young people to be more complimentary of government and not to be always critical, the program received 168 applications from interested youth, from which only 45 were selected from Nigeria and Liberia to attend the first semester of the training.
Community Outreach is one of the major components of CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship. After the first semester of CANVASSITY, participants are expected to leverage on 2 crowd pulling events with a minimum of 300 attendants each to share visions of collaborating with government to address community concerns. Thus, after the first Semester of CANVASSITY Youth Democracy Fellowship, Anas Sanusi Gusau, a participant resident in Sokoto State, Nigeria leveraged on a crowd pulling event (Matriculation and Orientation of 2015/2016 academic session) on Sunday 13th March 2016 at the main campus of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, where he got 321 persons endorse his proposed community government collaboration project – The Effect of Mass Media on Youth. He plans on engaging the Ministry of Information and Orientation in Sokoto State on this project.