Activism is a vigorous action channel to create a change or shift in policies. Activism is a process not just an action, it consists of different actions. When there needs to be a change in a system, activism is always the medium for change. Using Nigeria as a case study, Nigeria has moved from different phases of policies and changes and one very active medium of these changes has been Activism. You are often not ready to make a change if you are not an activist.
Activism can be carried out in different ways depending on the issues and the effects or impact it wants to create. Let us look at a few of them that can be used in our daily activities.
TYPES OF ACTIVISM
- Self Advocacy: This is a one-man-led action designed to effectively communicate one’s interest, desires, or rights.
- Group Advocacy: This is a structured action or set of activities involving a group of people with common interest and desires channeled at influencing public policies and laws.
- Citizen Driven Advocacy: Enables people within a specific local community to amplify their voices and make decisions on diverse social issues that affect their lives.
Activism is a legal medium or process to change policies and laws. In the case of Nigeria, I have deployed citizen-driven advocacy to effect communal social change as a development worker. Let me share my experiences with you in my journey as a citizen advocate.
Nigeria is a great nation, but millions of its citizens cannot resonate with the reality of a failed country. As there are no reasons why over 86 percent of its gifted population live below #500 ($1). Nigeria is a wealthy nation, but hunted by the inability to be intentional with its selection of leaders to preside and manage the enormous natural and human resources. Every election year we are overpowered by the same reality of sticking to leaders who have lost their conscience and lack the capacity to ensure equality of access to basic social amenities.
Young men and women have raised their voices in different aspects of protest. The most recent was the #Endsars Protest. This protest was properly organized without any form of violence and deep in my heart, I desired that the voices of youths would be heard.
For over a week, the movement received fortifications and support. We were as close as our minds convinced us that we were. Our youths were ready to change the narratives until our leaders killed and smashed our hopes. Nailing the future of its youth population bulge on the pillars of the Nigerian Flag.
As a development worker, I have avoided the media platform because of spontaneous inner anger that is driven by series of field interventions that I have engaged in, having actively participated in and led about 200 development campaigns across 8 Africa countries and over 200 rural communities, gathering first-hand data on massive inequality and human deprivation of basic social amenities and thus an opportunity to air my view on any media platform be it radio or TV will result in an explosive rant. Anger lies in the bosom of every Nigerian citizen.
No matter how secure you are, the crippling state of the Nigerian system catches up with you either directly or indirectly. Most households have lost lives to poor health care services, stray bullets have killed countless uprising talents.
Education which is expected to be the hope and foundation for building a sustainable and globally competitive nation has been denied the growing mass of young people in Nigeria.
With a deep-seated passion to drive change at all levels, especially across marginalized communities, I channeled my anger into finding solutions by designing programs to support diverse initiatives in order to cushion the effect of poor leadership, accountability and transparency across communities in Nigeria and Africa.
As part of citizen-driven advocacy strategy, I deploy program design skills to strategically map out guidelines that project and frame an idea into tiny segments that will aid the timely achievement of the project impact within agreed cost. As simple as this may sound, this takes a lot of ideation and design thinking protocols. Most innovative people lack this skill and usually have a broad result that they seek to achieve without a well charted out step by step approach.
It also incorporates project implementation and decision-making skills. From experience, I have learnt that decision-making is the most valuable skill for every project manager. To successfully design result-oriented programs, It is important to acquire a project management skill that will comprehensively provide you with hands-on experience in other relatable fields.
One major way to advocate for change beyond participating in organized protest is for every Nigerian youth and citizen to be actively involved in casting one’s vote during elections. Voting is a vital right an individual enjoys as a citizen of a community, goes a long way to influence the leadership positions across communities.
“Activism, My Way” is a series that is designed to share with you my journey as a development worker, how I have successfully designed and implemented over 20 development projects, how I strive to live a balanced life, as a working wife and mother, how I stay fit and sane while contributing my quota to changing the world.
In my follow-up articles, I will take you through my design processes including implementation and field experiences with accompanying human angle stories from benefiting communities.
Everyone at every point in time needs to get involved in activism whether at personal or citizen level to effect change in their lives and communities. I look forward to hearing from you on how you have become an activist.
Source: social care institute for excellence
*** Lucy Jamess Abagi is a passionate and result-oriented Fundraiser, Development Programmer and Innovator. Over the last five years, she has gathered vast layers of experience in managing diverse development programs, bid writing, responding to diverse solicitations by international donor agencies and writing winning proposals.
Facebook – @LucyJamesAbagi