One Year Later
Since returning home from Philadelphia, what has been your most successful achievement or accomplishment related to leadership in civic engagement?
I successfully held and event as soon as I returned where I hosted about 97 children with disabilities in arts workshop as well as teachers and parents of special needs children in symposium. I had speakers and experts of the special education sector across the country collaboration. We had talks on how parents can make their homes inclusive and sessions on how teachers can have inclusive teaching methods, as well as school managers to design inclusive education policies and framework for their schools. I also attended an event where I did a presentation on inclusive information management and how to provide people in rural areas with access to information – through the African union.
I worked on an education project to support bills for access to education and helped with the development of a code of conduct to guide behavior within learning spaces which the government adopted. I had a collaboration with government agencies responsible for education services to discuss and develop ideas on early detection and management of cases for special needs children and transition of children in normal schools to reintegrate into a better environment for them.
I have worked on a video series on tips for parents to provide care for children for people at home with activities, arts to engage at home, yoga poses and other things to help with mental health. We have a new video every few weeks for access to information and information sharing. I have helped to provide work books, radio classes, and ways to engage with the radio station for the kids being at home with no online platforms for public schools.
How have you engaged with fellow MWF alumni since returning home?
I have established rapport with other alum working in the same sector as me since being home and collaborated with some of them. There was a conference in a university on mental health and I was in collaboration with other MWF to participate in that. There is also another fellow who is working with the government and I have helped them by helping map out families that have special needs and could benefit from their program. I have collaborated for reciprocal exchange together with another MWF alumni and we were fortunately successful and will be doing the project with another Nigerian alum and my peer collaborator from Philly. I have tried to attend many events organized by other MWF alumni and I also am working on starting video home based therapy I am doing that I mentioned before with 2 contributors who are fellow alumni.
Have you maintained contact with people from the Philadelphia area, if so, who and how?
Yes! I am doing the reciprocal exchange with my peer collaborator Alicia and have remained in touch with her. Also, one of the Brown Bag facilitators – her name is Francis – I have been in close contact with and am thinking about working with her and hoping to collaborate because what we do is related.
What do you miss most about Philadelphia and Drexel?
I miss the people – I am so happy we had the opportunity to meet. Anne and Adam and how they put everything together was amazing. I miss that everything and everyone was warm and open, people want to know you better and to help you which is rare. I also miss the city of Philadelphia itself.
Talk about your 3 biggest take-aways from your time at Drexel and the Fellowship.
1- How to design a strategy for community engagement, identifying key players, etc.
2- How to leverage on network that I was able to make. I learned that every opportunity comes from this networking.
3- The importance of collaborations and how that helps you with your projects both in knowledge and in funding and making things happen.
What would you pass on to future Drexel fellowship cohorts?
I would recommend identifying/ mapping organizations that inspire you. This was a useful thing for me. Philadelphia is a big city filled with so many organizations, so having an idea of your interests and what types of organizations you want to contact helps you strategically when you get there.
I want to express my excitement of updates on what others are doing. It inspires me and empowers me to do more! Knowing you have a community that you can rely on and that will help you drives you forward and is amazing.