A team of four young persons from Maiduguri has won the $15,000 Education Category prize of the 2020 Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge 2.0. for providing basic education classes for vulnerable children and youths in Borno, UNICEF said on Friday.
UNICEF’s Communication Specialist, Geoffrey Njoku, who made the announcement in a statement in Abuja, said “Team MUDA”, comprising three males and one female from Maiduguri, won the global recognition for their innovative work in bridging literacy and numeracy gaps among conflict-affected children in North East Nigeria.
“The stage saw 60 creative young Nigerians aged 14 to 24 from conflict-affected communities in North-East Nigeria, and young people from Lagos in Team ALPHA, sending in entries.
“Mr. Haruna Ibrahim, Mr. Jubilee Ayuba, Mr. Abdulkadir Ahmed and Ms. Shamang Chat, won after emerging first in the national contest stage.
“At the global stage of the competition, Team MUDA and Team ALPHA competed amongst 72 teams from 36 countries. Team MUDA, one of two finalists from Nigeria, was announced overall winner in the Education Category.” the specialist said.
Mr. Njoku said the cash prizes, awarded to winners in all categories of the competition, was to enable them to incubate and expand their programmes for greater impact.
The Generation Unlimited Youth Challenge is a global initiative that provides young people a platform to offer innovative and scalable solutions to the most pressing challenge affecting them.
A total of 72 entries from 36 countries made it to the finals of the award, hosted by Generation Unlimited, with support from the UNDP, UNICEF, Plan International, and the World Organisation of the Scout Movement.
Reacting to the win, Mr. Ahmed, the Team Lead, Team MUDA, said emerging as a finalist with another team of young people from Lagos, was an exciting moment for the team.
“We thought we would not stand a chance; winning the Education Category on the global stage of the competition is a great surprise.
“When you see Borno on the map, it is usually about bloodshed. This is an opportunity to rewrite the narrative and tell the world that positive things can also come out of Borno, especially from youths”, he said.