My ONE Champion Experience, by Zaraphat Njehwi Haruna

Opportunities usually comes our way so that we can either change, grow, impact, or just be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Becoming a ONE Champion for me, was more than an opportunity. It gave me a leverage to be surefooted. This is because I met a lot of amazing young people just like myself, who are doing remarkably well in and outside the country. Believe me, it was a nuance to the notion I used to have about my beloved country, indeed ONE made me to understand that wherever we come from, shouldn’t stop us from forging a shared interest.

Working with TransparencIT afforded me with the opportunity to become a One Champion. Because what we do at TransparencIT aligns with one of the core values of ONE, in that we strive for a better justice and service delivery in the nation. Working with a team of dedicated professionals has helped me to appreciate the purpose driven spirit that resides in our Nigerian youth; it made me desire to want to forge ahead and work with like-minded people in seeing that justice for the common man can be attained.

Let me begin by telling you a little bit about ONE. ONE is global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty so that everyone, everywhere can lead a life of dignity and opportunity. ONE wants a better, more defined Nigeria, where we are all equal and where each one of us can achieve our full potential. ONE is driven with the purpose of solving specific problems, to strengthen and encourage civil society and also to promote and consolidate democracy.

The highlights for me during the training of becoming a Champion were meeting young persons who are committed in the growth of their communities. I was also privileged to listen to keynote speakers such as Professor Chidi Odinkalu of Open Society and Justice Initiative. He hammered on the importance of accountability and democracy in our nation today. He said that the first lesson of accountability is to call something by its name and that until we stop asking “where are you from”? and start asking “where are we heading to”? we won’t be able to change the narrative of this nation. He stressed that we all need each other and we need to articulate ourselves for the future of our country.

Another interesting personality that I met was Mr. Chude Jideonwo of Red Media, who gave a keynote address at the closing dinner that sent chills down our spines. He reminded us of those values that should guide and drive our work. He elaborated on the need for true change in us and our community because making change is as important as sustaining change. We can choose to be yet another Nigerian government, another NGO administrators or business owners, but it’s another choice to be truly significant, truly transformative and historical. What matters are the choices we’re going to make and be.

Indeed, to have an opportunity that defines who we are is paramount. Creating the opportunities is what makes us great because pioneering the change that we need and deserves goes beyond ourselves. A time has come when we can’t afford to be pitfalls in our government, in our institutions and in our homes. There is need for a demographic shift in every aspect of our country and that is why organizations like TransparencIT, Connected Development, and ONE are created. Our problem of extreme poverty and competent justice delivery can be averted, and sometimes all it takes is a small group of people here and there, who are determined to make a change.

Ms. Haruna is a ONE Champion and Communication Associate at TransparencIT

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