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AAUA Students Bag 2022 PlasticWize Fellowship

Amidst the prolonged ASUU strike, students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA), have been selected for the 2022 PlasticWize Fellowship.

The fellowship is organised by the U-recycle Initiative Africa, a youth-led NGO with the support of the Government of Canada and Challenge Works through the Afri-Plastics Challenge.

Through one of its social media accounts, U-recycle Initiative Nigeria disclosed that applications were received from over 700 female undergraduates across 120 tertiary institutions in Nigeria, but only 30 students and six universities were selected after the rigorous 3-stages.

The young female undergraduates from AAUA who made the list are Oluwanifemi Adesina, 300L Law, Christiana Fatomisin, 300L Biochemistry, Nwosu Precious, 300L English and Literary Studies, Lolu Aladeselu, 300L Law, and Deborah Fapohunda, 400L Law student.

These students were chosen as part of the 30 female undergraduates who will implement the fellowship goals in the six selected universities in Nigeria.

Selected universities are the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Adekunle Ajasin University (AAUA), Ondo State, University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife (OAU), the University of Benin (UNIBEN), and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH).

The Executive Director of U-recycle Initiative, Africa, Oluwaseyi Moejoh, reiterated that beyond the PlasticWize project, the organisation is geared towards promoting youth development and empowering women and girls.

“At U-recycle Initiative, we believe that plastic pollution is not just a challenge but an opportunity to bring about innovative solutions that tackle pollution at its root whilst promoting youth development and empowering young women.”

“We look forward to collaborating with our fellows to catalyse to meaningful impact through the PlasticWize campaign. We look forward to creating impact projects with them–coaching them to become key sustainability leaders now and in the future,” Oluwaseyi noted.

In an interview with some of the fellows, they unveiled their experiences during the selection process and how the goal of the fellowship will be implemented.

Deborah Fapohunda, the team lead for AAUA fellows, described her experience during the selection process as interesting and very tasking. She mentioned that they were asked to join a 4-day-long boot camp where they were open to various training sections.

“Though the selection process was a tough one due to the demanding tasks given to us, it was fun at the same time. I gained a whole lot of knowledge from the speakers. I concluded that even if I wasn’t selected as one of the fellows, at least the training was gain for me.”

“I felt so excited when I was selected because I will be a part of the team that will be pioneering this form of change in my university, and as the AAUA team lead, I expect to gain more leadership experience, effective communication and teamwork.”

Deborah added that other students within the university community would be selected to get the fellowship up and running.

“There is a call for 150 other students within the university community to be ‘ACTIVATORS’ in the fight against plastic pollution. The ‘ACTIVATORS’ would work together with the PlasticWize fellows to ensure that there is a considerable spread of environmental sustainability influence within AAUA and beyond,” Deborah disclosed.

Nwosu Precious, a 300level student of English and Literary Studies, said her experience during the selection process was intriguing. She commented that it was a whole lot of brainstorming activities which heightened her thinking capacity.

She further said her contribution towards the success of the fellowship would be to participate in the workshops actively and educate and enlighten people about the dangers of plastic pollution.

Another fellow, Oluwanifemi Adesina, a 300level Law student, said she was thrilled to have been selected, which was only achievable through hard work and team spirit.

“The selection processes were amazing and educating for me. Though I was nervous at some point, it went well, and I am glad we were selected because we worked hard for it.”

Oluwanifemi explained how she was going to contribute to the success of the fellowship in (AAUA) with her team members.

“It’s teamwork, and as a fellow, I will work with my colleagues to carry out all our projects, bring up innovative ideas, and also work hand-in-hand with the team.”

“We are already planning our first project, and at the end of all four projects, I am looking forward to seeing (AAUA) students cultivate a change towards plastic pollution,” she said.

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