GYF and IITA partner to promote relevant cross cultural environmental education in Nigeria

1 June 2018

Representatives of the Greening Youth Foundation went bird watching at the IITA lakeside during their courtesy visit to the IITA Forest Center, Ibadan on 21 March 2018. Photo: A. Ajayi

Atlanta, GA – Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) will collaborate to develop and implement culturally-relevant environmental education materials, projects and activities for underserved youth and young adults in various states throughout Nigeria.

The partnership between the two organizations will promote next-generation, environmental stewardship in Nigeria by fostering advocacy and awareness of needs for natural resource protection at local and national land sites while providing opportunities for youth employment and internships that will lay a foundation for future appointments in the domestic and international natural resource management sector.

Angelou Ezeilo, GYF’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer said, “GYF is very excited to embark upon this knowledge exchange journey with IITA. As IITA has such a strong presence in Nigeria and has been working with youth and young adults for many years, this partnership furthers the mission of GYF to reach underserved youth across the globe, to foster an appreciation of the natural world and to promote careers in natural resource management. I am confident that this will be the start of a mutually beneficial relationship for both organizations and the communities they serve.

An upcoming pilot project will train three IITA interns who in turn will touch over 2500 elementary school students during the first year of the program. GYF will work with IITA to customize its existing Forever Green Curriculum and train IITA interns to present lessons at local schools in the project areas in Oyo, Osun and Ekiti States. Environmental education materials include such topic areas as recycling, sustainable forestry and agricultural practices, connections with the natural environment, climate change and natural resource management careers. Once trained, interns will be certified and authorized to deliver the curriculum materials. To finalize the learning exchange, certified teachers will travel to Atlanta for a month-long internship, where they will work with their American counterparts to co-teach the curriculum in the US. At the completion of the knowledge exchange, IITA interns will be fully equipped to deliver the West African version of the curriculum in Nigeria or other countries. The pilot of the program is planned to start in January 2019.

According to Adewale Awoyemi, Manager of IITA’s Forest Center, “The IITA Forest Center has extensive experience in raising awareness about environmental conservation among school children. In achieving this, the center has 20 School Conservation Clubs in Oyo, Osun and Ekiti States in southwestern Nigeria and runs one of the best bird clubs in Africa, the Ibadan Bird Club, to build capacity among future leaders. I strongly believe that this collaboration between GYF and IITA will produce better outputs, which will be locally adaptable.

IITA is a non-profit organization that generates agricultural innovations to meet Africa’s most pressing challenges of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Working with partners in 36 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, it improves livelihoods, enhances food and nutrition security, increases employment, and preserves natural resource integrity. Through its IITA Youth Agripreneurs initiative (IYA), underemployed university graduates are engaged through sustainable agriculture, forestry, environmental education and youth entrepreneurship activities. IITA is headquartered in Ibadan in Oyo State, southwestern Nigeria (West Africa).

The Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) is a national leader in connecting young people from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds to natural resource management careers across the United States. GYF provides programming to over 5000 children, youth and young adults annually, and manages over 500 interns and service crew members on projects in 48 states and the Pacific Islands. Program activities include its Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship Program, a nationwide program that links college students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities to National Park Service sites that focus on the African-American experience and culture; Public School Initiative that provides environmental and wellness programming to elementary school students at public schools and recreation centers throughout the Metro Atlanta; Urban Youth Corps, a conservation workforce development program and the newest Tree Care Management Program that provides soft skills and hard skills tree care management training to low-income, young adults. The Foundation currently maintains its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with satellite offices in Arlington, Virginia and Ikoyi, Nigeria (West Africa).

Find out more at https://www.gyfoundation.org/news-articles/

WHAT: Greening Youth Foundation and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Partnership to Promote Cross Cultural Environmental Education in Nigeria
WHEN: January 2019
WHERE: Ibadan, Oyo State, southwestern Nigeria (West Africa)
WHO: Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) and International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Contact information:
Yero Winborne, Greening Youth Foundation, ywinborne@gyfoundation.org, 404 254-4827.
Adewale Awoyemi, Forest Center, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, PMB 5320, Oyo Road, Idi-Oshe, Ibadan, Nigeria. http://forestcenter.iita.org/index.php/contact/

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