“An active citizen promotes the quality of life in a community through both political and non-political process developing a combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to work to make a difference in the society." (EUCA)

“Active Citizens are people who feel inspired. They are people who feel motivated and empowered to make a difference. People who have the drive and the know-how to make sure ideas don’t just remain ideas. Active Citizens don’t wait around for change to happen, they make the change to happen." (British Council)

The Active Citizen Fellowship is designed for young civil society leaders in Nigeria, who have demonstrated passion and commitment in the past to promote democracy and improve the quality of life in their communities through their initiatives. The fellowship offers opportunities for the fellows to learn more about citizen engagement and advocacy from industry experts.

STORYTELLING | CITIZENS ENGAGEMENT   |   ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP   |   ADVOCACY  |   FUNDRAISING

BENEFITS

Fellows would have the opportunity to learn from highly experienced industry experts. One participant will receive a N50,000 grant and all participants will have premium access to itakeactions.org for one year, worth N15,000, to run their campaigns and mobilize citizens for support.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Apply if you are not more than 45 years of age, you run a registered nonprofit organization in Nigeria, you can dedicate two hours weekly for online training and meet-up, and you have access to a computer with a webcam and good internet connection.

June 15: Application opens

June 30: Application closes

July 5: Selected fellows announced

July 5 – 10: Orientation week (Virtual orientation/meet-up on July 10 by 6 pm)

July 11 – 17: Week One (Virtual training/meet-up on Sunday, July 11 by 7 pm)

July 18 – 24: Week Two (Virtual training/meet-up on Sunday, July 18 by 7 pm)

July 25 – 31: Week Three (Virtual training/meet-up on Sunday, July 25 by 7 pm)

August 1 – 7: Week Four (Virtual training/meet-up on Sunday, August 1 by 7 pm)

August 14: Virtual graduation by 7 pm

Orientation week is the week before the fellowship starts proper. During this week’s virtual meetup, the fellows will have the opportunity of meeting with other fellows. In addition, the fellows will be introduced to the itakeactions.org platform and learn how to use it to run campaigns and mobilize citizens’ support. The platform is the primary tool for the fellowship.

The first week of the fellowship will focus on storytelling. First, the fellows will spend time with an experienced communications expert to learn how to tell stories that touch the heart. Then, the fellows would use what they have learnt by writing a story to convince the public to support their Tweet campaign on itakeactions.org. The fellows would score a point for every one citizen that answer their call for actions.

The fellows will spend time with a seasoned advocacy expert and consultant to learn about engaging with the government the right way. Then, to put to use what they have leant both in the first and second weeks, the fellows will create a petition campaign on itakeactions.org and mobilize citizens to sign the petition. Finally, points would be allocated to the fellows based on the number of citizens that signed their petition.

The focus for the week would be fundraising for causes. The fellows will learn from someone who has mobilized millions of Naira locally using online and offline strategies. The Fellows will work on a fundraising campaign for their causes through itakeactions.org. And points will be awarded to fellows based on the number of citizens that supported their campaigns.

Week four is the final week of learning. The fellows will have a session with an industry expert leveraging active citizenship in his/her work to learn more about how to leverage active citizenship as a programming strategy. Fellows would thereafter share a video story of how the fellowship has impacted them and their work so far and what a N50,000 grant would do for them if they emerged as the grant winner. The video stories will be put to a public vote through itakeactions.org. And as usual, points will be awarded to each fellow based on the number of people that voted for them.

All the points accumulated from week one to week four will be summed up, and the fellow with the highest overall points will receive the N50,000 grant.

The fellowship officially comes to an end, and the winner of the N50,000 grant will be announced. In addition, all fellows will receive their fellowship certificates, and their profiles will be added to our Active Citizenship Hall of Fame. Finally, all fellows will be added to the fellowship life-long learning community.

We invite all active citizens who have a registered non-profit organization or social enterprise to apply. The application is open until 11:59 pm (Nigerian Time) on June 30, 2021.

Charles is the founder of Noble Missions, an organization dedicated to empowering young people in Africa with digital tools and opportunities. He enjoys designing and implementing projects that directly impact marginalized groups. He is also a Transparency and Accountability Practioner in Nigeria and a Rhize Global Coaching Fellow. Charles is an alumnus of Y Combinator Startup School, Accountability Lab Incubator, Founders Cafe and Startup Africa.

Gabriel Okeowo is the Principal Lead/CEO of BudgIT Foundation, a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. He is responsible for the organization’s program development, operations management, as well as fundraising and strategy development.

Crystal Chigbu is a Social Entrepreneur, Speaker, Coach, Author, Wife, Mother, Founder and Executive Director of The IREDE Foundation. She is a Development Consultant with a focus on children and teens living with disabilities.

Wemimo Elizabeth Onikan is a communications professional, with over 11 years of experience in the non-profit, public and private sectors. She has led communications for high impact, performance-based projects in Africa and North America, leveraging her expertise in strategic communications, media engagement, impact documentation, qualitative research and storytelling. She currently works with a PR firm and is based in Ontario, Canada.

Femi oversees Malala Fund’s campaign in Nigeria for new sources of finance in order to reach the SDG target for all girls to receive free, safe, quality education. He is a tech-savvy development practitioner with 12 years of experience in government relations, project management, grant making and development communications.