In August 2023, the African Youth Leadership Hub (AYLH) Nigeria, an affiliate of the African Leadership Organisation (ALO), embarked on a mission that not only aimed to enhance the environment but also to sow the seeds of leadership, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. This ambitious endeavour marked AYLH Nigeria’s first major project, aligning with its core focus on leadership development, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 4, and 7, and entrepreneurship. At the heart of this initiative is the goal to empower one million young Africans over the next decade, guiding them towards ethical leadership in all facets of the African experience.
AYLH Nigeria’s tree-planting project represented more than just an environmental endeavor. It was a tangible expression of their vision to engage, enlist, educate, and empower young Africans. Through this project, AYLH Nigeria aimed to showcase its commitment to the community and its dedication to fostering ethical leadership.
Sowing the Seeds: Collaboration with Secondary Schools
The execution of the tree-planting project unfolded through collaboration with three carefully selected secondary schools, each representing a different region of Nigeria. The planting of twenty (20) economic trees in each of the schools was done during the exercise. The participating states included Lagos State, Kaduna State, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, representing the South West, North West, and North Central regions, respectively. The chosen schools were:
The project took root on August 10, 2023, in Abuja and Kaduna, while Lagos followed suit on August 11, 2023. The choice of these locations allowed the initiative to have a far-reaching impact across diverse regions of Nigeria.
Of course, no endeavor is without its share of challenges, and AYLH Nigeria’s tree-planting project was no exception. Some of the key hurdles faced during the project’s implementation included:
The timing of the project coincided with the long vacation period in public secondary schools. This posed logistical challenges, as school activities were temporarily halted.
Efficient communication was crucial to the project’s success. Unfortunately, there were delays in delivering letters to schools, approving authorities, and other stakeholders. These delays impacted planning and coordination.
Internal communication within AYLH presented its own set of challenges. Members lacked timely and effective communication regarding project details and updates.
Lessons for the Future: Recommendations for Improvement
In light of the challenges faced, it is imperative to learn from these experiences and ensure smoother project implementations in the future. Here are some recommendations:
To address the challenge of delayed communication, it is advisable to send letters and notifications to stakeholders one or two months prior to project commencement. This proactive approach will allow for better planning and coordination.
Effective communication and organisational skills are vital for the success of projects like these. Therefore, training should be conducted for all AYLH executives on topics such as effective communication, ethics and safeguarding principles, emotional intelligence, and other relevant areas. This will equip the team with the necessary skills to navigate challenges effectively
1.0 Photo Gallery from Abuja, FCT – North Central Region
Pic 1. The North Central Regional Coordinator educates the students on tree-planting
Pic 2. Group photograph with teachers and AYLH Champions Club members
Pic 3. The Regional and State Coordinators show the students how planting is done
Pic 4. The National General Secretary, AYLH Nigeria leading by example
Pic 5. Students carrying out tree planting in Abuja, North Central Region
2.0 Photo Gallery from Lagos State – South West Region