Kwara State Governor, Alhaji AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has expressed the readiness of the state government to provide scholarships to outstanding fellows that would emerge from the second edition of the Countryside Emerging Leaders Fellowship (CELF) taking place in Ilorin, the state capital.
The Convener of the Fellowship programme, Mallam Lawal Olalekan Olohungbebe, who announced this at a press briefing in Ilorin yesterday, said the government is committed to providing scholarships to all outstanding participants from across the 16 local government areas of the state.
Olohungbebe, who spoke on behalf of Haashim Initiative for Community Advancement (HICA) and Hannis Institute for Development Studies (HIDS), the corporate organisers of the Fellowship, said the objective of CELF is to stimulate and inspire creativity and critical thinking among young participants selected from across the state.
Speaking further, the convener said the media briefing was called to formally kick-start the second edition of the programme tagged: ‘CELF 2.O’, with the theme: ‘Nurturing Potential and Delivering Growth’.
Olohungbebe disclosed that CELF, as an educational intervention, is aimed at building the capacity of young people, particularly in rural areas to drive development in their various communities.
According to him, “Considering the very limited opportunities available in rural communities, the quality of the education young people receive in rural areas, the level of exposure and the remote possibility of furthering their education after secondary school, are the areas CELF is conceived to breach for young people living in those communities.
“We believe that with the right guidance and support, they can take charge of their lives right where they are and use CELF training to turn around the fortunes of their families and communities.”
The convener added that the CELF 2.O has a new approach and focus, as applicants would now be required to submit a letter of intent alongside other application documents, while the focus of the Fellowship itself would be to deliver training on entrepreneurship, mentorship, personal and community development.
Olohungbebe, who also acknowledged donations and support made by individuals, corporate bodies, civil societies, community-based organisations and other partners, said the impact of the maiden edition of CELF has endeared the Fellowship to a greater number of partners, who have now come on board to offer their absolute support for the second edition.
He commended the state Governor, AbdulRasaq, for his donations to the participants last year and his greater commitment towards the success of this year’s edition.