From Petrus Obi, Enugu
All the major campuses of the numerous higher intuitions in Enugu State were literally shut down recently when Voices for Change stormed the state capital for the launch of its online free academic programme designed to provide further education for students and youth in general.
From the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Enugu campuses, the Enugu State University for Science and Technology (ESUT), to Institute for Management and Technology (IMT), among others, students trooped out to the Toscana Hotels Enugu where the launching of the Purple Academy took place.
Speaking, Modupe Taiwo, who works for Voices for Change explained that the Purple Academy is an online course that helps young people and even adults to develop a sense of equity in the society, respect for others; as well as help young people to understand their potentials, clarify their values for them to be able to stand for what they believe in.
“In Nigeria we believe that we should start thinking of a world where everybody gets the opportunity to be who they want to be; to develop their capacity and potentials and take responsibilities for ourselves.
“That’s why we are particularly working with young people because we believe they are in a stage of growth; they still have an open mind and they are willing to learn. They also want to unlearn things they feel are not helping them to develop.
“So, we have put this content of the Purple Academy together; it’s an online programme with six modules at the moment; we are still developing more contents. But we are launching it today so that young people can go into it. It talks about leadership; helping them to develop their leadership skills, communication skills, helping them to also understand what it means to have a healthy relationship.
“A relationship devoid of violence, where everybody respects and values each other; this is the kind of environment we want, this is the kind of society we want so that in the next 15 years the situation in Nigeria will change.
“People will value each other; there will be respect; men and women will live in harmony, they will live in unity, they will see each other as equal parts that should bring whatever they have to the table and live the life they will enjoy,” Taiwo said.
She also said that they were helping the young people to transform and become productive adults.
“Sometimes when you learn on your own there will be questions on your mind so we are also encouraging young people, friends, classmates, course mates to get together; they all go on it online and then when issues arise they can discuss it amongst themselves.”
Also speaking, Dennis Onoise, who works with Voices for Change as outputs leader noted that Voices for Change believes that gender is not all about women but a matter of men and women working together to address the negative social norms that appear to be creating challenges for men and women.
He stated that it is not only women that are actually suffering from the issue of gender discrimination, saying that “men are also suffering from it because negative social norms sometimes tell a little boy who is growing up that boys should not cry; that boys are not supposed to show signs of emotions. And we grew up that way thinking that boys are supposed to be super human.”