HOW I CAN CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF THE ASABE SHEHU YAR’ADUA FOUNDATION TOWARDS BRINGING IGNORANCE TO A STANDSTILL
-By Oladapo Busayo
I have been a victim of ignorance at a point in my life until I had the opportunity to learn. When I learnt that felling trees affected climate change, I immediately planted flowers in my front yard. As a growing teen, I spent most of my holidays in the farm beside my house and took it as a point of duty to do my best on the farm in order to help the environment. I did this because I had been taught and given the chance to know.
Over the years, one thing has continued as a growing threat to most developing countries and the world at large; and that is ignorance. Ignorance is an inconspicuous malignant tool that fuels vices of society lag and lack of public knowledge that would lead to the developments of these countries. According to a survey by the United Nations carried out in 2015, there are about 38% of adult African illiterates, two-third of which are women. Although, the number of illiterate people in these countries has greatly reduced over the years, it remains important that we ask the big question; why exactly are people ignorant? The answer is not farfetched. One of the main reasons for illiteracy, the world over, and particularly in Africa; is the lack of access to proper education and information and the will of those in power to invest more in this.
Ignorance lays waste to the cornucopia of untapped talent that is possessed by countries either developed or developing, and this venture is paramount. Ignorance continues to loom in all areas of many developing countries especially in areas concerning the children, youths, and women. It is an accepted fact that the future of every nation depends on the empowerment and global intellect of her youths, as they would be passed the baton of power someday. Still, most developing nations do not do as much to see to it that their youths are globally trained and well equipped with vital information and the education that would bring about their relevance to the society. In addition, when it comes to women empowerment, not much has been done over the years; as most cultures have even carved a niche for the female gender towards the family life. Most societies believe that a woman’s education should be limited and that if she must work, then it has to be under the supervision of a male figure; this type of ignorance has limited the potentials of the girl-child.
A United Nations (UN) statistics states that there over 62 million girls all over the world who have no access to education. In a bid to address this, new goals like the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 4 which states, “To ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning,” and Goal 5 which states: “To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’’, were drafted. The ignorance of nations and those of the youths all over the world needs to be eradicated and the movement has begun.
In light of this, few individuals and groups have taken a stand to bring Ignorance to a standstill, one of these few groups is the Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua Foundation (ASYARF), which over the years, has been effortlessly working towards achieving it aims, and mission with successful impacts in developing countries and beyond. The foundation continues to see to the empowerment of youths, children, and women amongst a plethora of other goals. In its bid to curb ignorance, the ASYARF works in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has been clear in its underlying message that every society can outlive its years of ignorance.
Being a girl, I am motivated by Dr. Hajiya Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua, the founder of this global based foundation, who has made me realize the role women can play in effective public enlightenment and nation building. I am also willing to get involved, as one of the first thing the foundation passes across to me is the fact that every girl-child can achieve a lot and can lead the frontline of nation and capacity building.
One of the legacy the foundation would outlive is the attainment of the #Asabe4dfuture; which is the impact it has made on thousands of people around the country and the fact that it does not just live only for the benefits of today, but that of the future generations.
As part of the team for the 2016 National Model United Nations (NMUN), a simulation of the United Nations involving international students instead of professional national diplomats addressing global issues in a real world context, I have the opportunity of being a member on the committee for the United Nations Development Programme. My topic includes “Ensuring Women’s and Men’s Equal Participation in Democratic Governance, Enhancing South-South Cooperation, and Peacebuilding and Empowering Youth for Development, and my research has made me realize the vast potentials towards resolving global issues as a diplomat and the need to enlighten the public on these issues as well. This research which further led me towards the work of the ASYARF, made me not only appreciate the foundation’s goal, but understand that the ASYARF can provide me a platform towards addressing global issues and proffering solutions for them. In the long run, I see myself as part of the foundation- as part of these change agents that have left their mark on the stand of time and are still doing so. I hope to apply as a volunteer after an experienced participation in the NMUN in order to serve at the foundation and lend my voice, full intellectual experience, and capabilities to our nation through its platform if given a chance.
I believe in the foundation’s missions and goals, as it goes in line with building not just better societies but sustainable ones at that. I understand that rather than raising the sea level, I should raise my voice, just as the foundation is doing towards creating more public enlightenment in sectors that have been overlooked or stereotyped over the years in developing countries. I believe I can continue this legacy by becoming an ambassador for the ASYARF on both the local and international scene and help set up programs that would go a long way and in line with the foundation’s aim to curb ignorance in the society. I have started and would continue to publicize the foundation’s image and impact in being a leading global voice in areas of public enlightenment and adding more value to both developing and developed societies in order to revive the dying values towards a strong, united, and more focused humanity and to create a healthy and secure future for all.
The ASYARF has done a lot in the areas of Women, Children and Youths, Climate Protection and Earth Justice, Health, Provision of Clean and Sustainable Water, Frowning at Child Abuse and Injustice in line with its mission. It has also worked in areas of poverty reduction, peaceful co-existence, humanitarian services, disabilities, conflict resolution, good governance, electoral workshop training, and sensitization on voters registration exercise including combating and research on HIV/AIDS in line with its goals. In years to come, this would become an inevitable part of the society, due to the foundation’s growing impact on the youths and the countries at large. All these goals which are also in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) remains of interest to me as an aspiring international law student and advocate. I hope to join the foundation in seeing to more attainment and impact of its goals, and draft laws and resolutions that would also help in the achievements these goals.
I believe in #Asasbe4dfuture and I know that the future of Africa and the world over starts by taking a stance with the foundation and continuing its legacy. I hope to be part of the foundation and create more global awareness for its works, not just as an individual, but also as a girl, and to let people know that just like Dr. Hajiya Asabe Shehu Yar’Adua, females all over the world can lead a frontline positive and impactful change.
I will contribute my skills, intelligence, passion for change and the need to uphold the legacies of the foundation now and in the future. I remain certain of the fact that the ASYARF has started on a course that is youth involving. It understands and has taken into cognizance the importance of the utilization of the youths to continue its legacy, and like every other willing youth around the world, I hope to join the ASYARF in its mission to bring ignorance to a standstill, as I strongly believe that the foundation would last beyond the gains of the present. #Asabe4dfuture