The President of Boston-based foundation, Nigeria Multi-Service Association, NANSA, Godwin Nnanah has outlined the purpose and advantages of ‘Writing for Righting’ program for youths in New England region; comprising the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Nnanah said for many years, the foundation has organized a ‘Writing for Righting’ competition among the youths in colleges.
He said the body is now out to encourage the youths by putting cash prizes to it.
So high school winners, typically about six of them each, will get $300 or $500.
With a plan that recognizes the outstanding performance and for college students, each of them gets $1,000
“One of the things we did was to really develop this writing for righting prize into a write and for righting program, which becomes a huge mentorship program.”
He said the program evolved the need for the whole concept of writing for righting, explaining that, is also up to empower young people to be able to communicate for social change.
“The whole idea of this program is a mentorship program designed to help young people realize the power of their voices, that they have a voice. Those voices could be made audible, could influence policies, influence social change, influence transformative realities for the communities they exist in.
“It is a mentorship program designed to help them appreciate that they could be voices for social change, helping them fashion themselves with the tools at their disposal. We’re trying to help the young people understand that they could be powerful instruments for social change.
“There is also the elemental, happy young people to learn their voices, if you don’t tell your stories, others will do it for you. And when they do it for you, it’s going to be a distorted story.
“You ask the best person to tell your story and you can help the world understand the unique challenges you are facing.”
He maintained that there is the concept of citizen journalism which is something that is profound, that can make a whole lot of change.
“We’re trying to help the young people understand that they could be powerful instruments for social change.
“In Africa, much of Africa’s history is where oral history evolved. Where we derived information from people telling stories, life experiences, life realities, and use that as a foundation for informing change and shaping chains for the future.
“The other notable thing too is to realize that you can shape and reshape cultures. So, all of these in the program are embodied as an empowerment program.
“It is so the primary goal is not to start to get everybody to be Chinua Achebe, but if they eventually become that great because we want it to be, that much more than that is to realize the power of shaping your own.
The power of owning your space reflecting who you are shaping your narrative, and shaping cultures and reshaping cultures are so fundamental to change. So, when we talk about communication, we’re not essentially saying you’ve got to have the biggest eloquent, the most beautiful asset that we are seeing you’ll have to communicate walking change, and having those kind of life realities that we want to see,” he concluded.
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