The Sir Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship programme has bridged gap of unity among youth from diverse ethnic, religious and sociocultural backgrounds, while imbibing them with leadership trainings, a fellow has said.
Speaking after a community service week, Tolulope Adetunji selected from Oyo state for the third cohort of the programme, told Blueprint in Kaduna that the one year training, designed by Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state in 2018 to prepare youth from across the country for leadership position, is uniting the youth, while teaching them quality service delivery.
“Sir Ibrahim Kashim Fellowship is an initiative of the Kaduna state government under the leadership of Governor Nasir el-Rufai to equip young Nigerians from across the country to be efficient public servants. It is a one year non partisan programme that allows young Nigerians to understand the inner workings of public service by understudying veterans in public service.
“There are four components of the programme, we have community service; education component; quarterly service to MDAs to have first time experiences on the job; we have a situation where 15 young people from across the country live in one place for one year to enable us learn about other people’s culture, to bridge that gap that we used to have about superficial differences.
“With the fellowship component, we get to understand one another and have a better unity in the country. The programme we had in Asikolaye area of Kaduna is the second phase of our community service week, after the community service we had in 2020. We unveiled Asikolaye primary health center in Kaduna. We renovated the health center and donated KV solar panels in conjunction with our development partners.
“This solar panels will help the community augment their access to the national grid. We also donated solar panel refrigerator to help keep their vaccines and other drugs safe because this is the first call before any other health centre. We are hopeful that a lot more will be done to bring awareness to this community. The people in the community will take ownership of the project and patronise the facility.”
Speaking on the activities of the weeklong service week, the agricultural extension graduate from University of Ibadan said, “we have eye testing in Mahuta community, in conjunction with the National Eye Centre, minor eye issues will be attended to; people who need reading glasses, Vitamin A to improve their sight.”
She said they were at the Kaduna state special school for persons with impaired hearings, a boarding school, to give reading devices and guide helping equipment to help the students do things on their own without assistance. They also provide medical assistance to people with impaired hearing in Badiko. “We hope to impact on more people in this community and get philanthropists to assist them.”
The masters degree holder of development studies from Nigerian Defence Academy, said the activities were rounded up at the Correctional Centre, where they worked with the state ministry of justice to help pay the fine of some inmates, who need to pay fines, to secure their freedom.
She said the Fellowship programme has taught her that leadership is service to humanity, while she has learnt resilience, toughness and not taking no for an answer.