Advocacy in Sub-Saharan Africa: Here are the Tips You Need to Know.
Writer: Fikayo Agha - Nigerian Advocates Editor: Dorpaima Lumban Gaol - Project Officer of Global Schools, SDSN
Prior to starting my role as an advocate of the Global Schools Program, I participated voluntarily in the 2019 Youth for Global Campaign (Y4GG). A campaign by AIESEC (a youth lead organization), this program aims to educate and sensitize high school students about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Engaging with this campaign made me realize that students need to be exposed to global issues and assisted me in mapping out effective ways to complete my role. I will briefly highlight the ways that I implemented advocacy effectively for the Global Schools Program.
Reaching out to my alma mater. This one of the first and easiest points of contact I could make as I had direct contact with the school administrators. Their reception towards the Global Schools Program afforded me influence to other schools.
Reaching out to educational institutions. I utilized the influence of my alma mater to reach more educational institutions to have the access and opportunity to do advocacy in promoting SDGs. This method enables me to 'kill 100 birds with one shot'. I had the opportunity to reach out to educational bodies of over 700 schools across the country. This allowed me to gain access to the appropriate authorities and the right influence to push the Global Schools Program. I spoke at regular meetings, distributed a hard copy guide on how to get started with the Global Schools Program, and created a follow-up sheet to keep in touch with the implementation of the program.
Physically visit (if possible) and bring a printed letter with you to introduce the Global Schools Program. A day’s visit did not do justice to getting the Global Schools Program implemented. However, I did get the opportunity to speak with school members during staff meetings, formally introducing the Global Schools Program.
Collaborating with other Advocates. I collaborated with a few Advocates in my country and assisted in speaking engagements with Educators.
Engaging students with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Some of the Educators were inspired and impressed by my passion to be a change-maker and further introduce an innovative model of education in their schools. Several Educators organized speaking sessions for me to engage with their students, teaching them about the SDGs, how they can be active global citizens and effectively lead change in their local communities.
To the next cohorts of Advocates, I hope this piece serves as a guide in your advocacy. I wish you all the best of luck and successful tenure as Advocates for the Global Schools Program.