Oyindamola Ajala, a senior secondary school one (SSS1) student of George Green Baptist College, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, during the long holidays in 2018, after five weeks of coding classes at a Summer of Code, organised by Children that Change the World (CTCTW), gave an impressive presentation of her news website which she had built from scratch all by herself using Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) programming languages.
The intelligent young girl had just weeks earlier been enrolled for the training by her mother at the beginning of the long summer holiday. However, months before then, she had formed a unique bond with the CTCTW team having followed the weekly radio broadcast that focused on teaching teenagers like herself the art of critical and creative thinking as well as complex problem-solving and won a scholarship for her participation in an edition of the on-air quiz session.
By the time she learned that technology is a key tool for solving societal challenges, through digital sensitisation from the same CTCTW team, it was all sealed for her. She had begun to see her dreams of making an impact in her community and the society at large as a possibility, using both technology and critical and creative thinking.
It was no wonder that when Oyindamola moved to senior secondary school two (SSS2)] in 2019, she was eager and confident enough to participate in the annual innovation challenge organised by the team at CTCTW- Ogbomoso Innovation Challenge (OIC), a brainchild of Ennovate Lab, Ogbomoso.
The Ogbomoso Innovation Challenge is the first of its kind in Nigeria being a location-centred initiative that seeks to make the 21st century skills of critical and creative thinking as well as problem solving the new normal for Ogbomoso’s teens. The first edition was held in 2018 and Federal Government College, Ogbomoso came tops to win a N150,000 prize while Pine Valley High and Gomal Baptist College came second and third respectively.
Their winning entries included smart solutions like a Bluetooth-enabled household electricity control mobile app, an educational plan for nomadic Fulani children in Ogbomoso, and an organic pesticide made from Neem tree extracts.
Oyindamola had steadily followed what the CTCTW team was doing and she must have felt at home with innovation, creativity, and impact which are some of the core values of the team. This was evidenced when Oyindamola’s team came out as one of the tops three teams at the 2019 Innovation Challenge with their innovation on an Artificial Intelligence-powered floor cleaner. Other schools that emerged as winners include Mighty Miracle College and Anglican Model College.
This is only the beginning of Oyindamola’s journey and she is just one of CTCTW’s success stories as there are thousands of children like Oyindamola who have in the same or other ways, interacted with the CTCTW team within and without Ogbomoso.