According to the Greek Philosopher Plato,” Education is teaching children to desire the right things”. Today on the blog, we talk to a young woman who is trying to do just that. Adeyinka Adefemi is coordinator of Making A Difference Network, (MADN) who has featured on the blog before. She talks about MADN’s latest project Teach Values Add Values (TVAV).
Hello you are welcome to the blog once again
Thanks, it is always a pleasure talking with you
So let’s start with this, What is the motivation behind the Teach Values Add Values project?
The thing is as someone who has been working with young people for a while, I am saddened by how morally decadent behaviour is now seen as normal amongst youths, especially adolescents in the city of Ibadan, where I reside. Over the years I have observed that many young people have the wrong mindset and it affects them when they make critical life decisions. Interacting with Youths at different levels soon allowed me to find out that there is problem with their values base. We know the full adults are almost not malleable anymore, so We decided We were going to try and make a difference with the ones who were still malleable, the youth in secondary schools. The ones who had started operating their value systems consciously /unconsciously but need the right orientation to steer them on the path that would be right for them, and to help them make good life decisions
What makes this project different from the other projects you have organized for secondary school students.
Teach Values Add Value project is intensive, it is not the regular one off seminar or workshop that MADN has had with secondary school students. It takes the matter of value re orientation gradually with the students over a period of time to ensure we make a difference and the students do not remain in the same state we meet them in. What MADN hopes to do this time around is to carefully ensure that the good values in these students are nutured and encouraged to grow but the wrong values in them are nipped in the bud.
So when will the Ibadan Teach Values Add Values project start which category of schools will it cover? Also how long will the project run and what will be its scope (is it just a social values course or volunteers will teach real school subjects too)?
The date and time is on hold for now, because TVAV is an extensive project that requires extensive planning, so for now we are reevaluating things to ensure maximum effectiveness for the project. You will get a date once we reach a decision on which days will be convenient for both the schools and the volunteers we have on ground. The schools we desire to cover are public secondary schools in the six urban Local Government Areass in Ibadan. It would run ideally for 8 weeks, and No, it covers only social values.
What makes this project different from the other projects you have organized for secondary school students
The last Teach Values Add Value we had was purely volunteer driven. We had no sponsorships, but that not by choice. Even though that one still sort of still had the desired impact on the students, but this one is a larger project, so yes we would like sponsors. As for how people respond The response is dependent on the approach and it has often been great. They see in the end that it is good for them as students, the teachers also see that it is good for the school but we still have one or two schools who have little interest in projects like TVAV especially if it is not driven by a high powered sponsor or an international organization. It is a pity that some even believe that TVAV wasn’t needed despite the disciplinary cases they were handling.
There are several NGOs in Ibadan and its environs who also have interest in impacting values to young students Have you made contact with other NGOs/individuals who organize initiatives like this in Ibadan and its environs?
Of course we are still working on possible partnerships. GEMSTONE have shown an interest albeit informal, especially when I mentioned that the Ten Values Creed would be great help to @d_madn #TeachValuesAddValue project. We made use of the Creed in our previous projects. We are talking to a couple of others, and hopefully I will have some positive news for you soon.
Good work all around, now given that this work is volunteer driven, what efforts have been made to publicize the project, especially for people who might want to volunteer for the event or contribute to it in some other ways?
Well the publicity is only Social media for now Facebook, Twitter, instagram and bbm. Well we are still raising awareness for TVAV but when we finalize a project time frame, we may of course look at publicizing it in other media too.
So given the kind of students you will be dealing with, What qualities/expectations do you want from anybody who has an interest in volunteering for the project?
Anyone who wants to volunteer for TVAV should be passionate about social change and willing to make sacrifices and to help others. They must be approachable friendly and patient instructors, who can deal with secondary school students and their problems. Also we expect volunteers in the project to be people who walk their talk and as the maxim goes “you do not give what you do not have”. In short, what we need is individuals that are down to earth with values worthy of emulation
It has really been a great time talking with you Adeyinka
It is been a pleasure for me too, and hopefully we are going to have more to talk about on this.
If you have any interest in the Teach Values Add Values project you can call Adeyinka Adefemi on +234 (0) 8185181717, or send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, also follow Making A Different Network on Twitter at @d_madn, or Like them on Facebook facebook.com/makeadifferencenetwork.