People are important; our society at large plays a very important role in who we become as people. The society is ever increasing and expanding. It is safe to say that the whole world is a global society due to the advancement of technology, which has seen the inventions of things like the internet and the mobile phone. However, societies vary and contain subsets of human collaboration systems called communities.
The community and society are tools even if they are not seen as such. They play a major role in shaping an individual mentally, physically, psychologically and so on. It hones individuals and can be thought of as a catalyst for growth in its right. They can be advantageous and disadvantageous to a person’s growth. This dual nature can be manipulated to cause change whether negative or positive. It is safe to say that society and our communities can be used to influence us in many ways. It is for this reason that we believe that the community an individual is raised in, has a significant impact on one’s way of thinking, and to an extent, one’s ability to reach self-actualization. This can be seen in one’s ability to work, raise a family, build wealth and generally survive in the world outside their communities. This is a very relatable issue to every human being alive.
Our team went into research to understand what can be done to help the people of Makoko, Lagos especially the youths to achieve self-actualization and become best versions of themselves. Through 3 years of observation and research, our team identified a lack of ambition and purpose within the youths of Makoko who upon an endless vicious cycle of poverty, have lost the spark of ambition, making them susceptible to crime and other endangering lifestyles, and victims of vices.
Project A.C.E (Access, Community Development, Education) was designed to address and solve this problem in the Makoko society and help its youths. Project A.C.E is a 3 part project that addresses the need for achieving economic equality for Nigerians, particularly the youths, helping to provide access to opportunities, stir up community development initiatives and quality education. It is a sustainable project that was designed in compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has 3 parallel phases:
- Re-orientation: This phase involves re-orientation and mental conditioning mechanisms to enable the beneficiaries unlearn the unproductive ways of thinking that they have gotten used to over the years and relearn productive ways of thinking to imbibe a growth mindset
- Career Mentorship: Our beneficiaries are connected with figures within the industries they aim to operate in, for the sake of mentorship and/or apprenticeship. This helps to build their network, improve their skill-set and expose them to opportunities outside their community.
- Community Development: The beneficiaries undergo seminars that equip them with Project Management skills to enable them become active problem solvers in their community by coming up with, and running sustainable social projects/enterprises in their community.
The first phase of Project A.C.E kickstarted in 2019 with a Mental Liberation program targeted at changing and expanding the mindset of youths in Makoko. This program was well received and influenced a number of them and even led a handful of the youths to take up initiative and start the Makoko Student Association (MSA). We have been mentoring the team since then, and working on their individual educational and career plans.
We will also be kicking off 2021 the new year with a digital skills training that will educate our Project A.C.E beneficiaries in areas of IT such as Digital marketing, Social media management, Coding, amongst others.
Project A.C.E will ultimately economically empower the youths of Makoko and give them the needed mental re-orientation to become relevant and independent members of the society. We are starting small but we know we will impact hundreds of youths even beyond the borders of Makoko with God’s help and the support of our outstanding volunteers and sponsors.
We are currently on the look out for amazing organisations who would love to partner with us in the areas on training provision, sponsorship of laptop purchase and other logistics costs. If you would like to join us in making Project A.C.E a transformative program, kindly email us (firstname.lastname@example.org), we would love to share more details with you.
Thank you for reading!