I Won an Award at YID Bootcamp Organized by Sozo Networks and Sponsored by the US Embassy
“Perhaps this is why superseding the technology itself, blockchain has become a social and economic movement, and we’re all united by the common understanding that this revolutionary technology offers a promise of a more transparent, efficient, and interoperable world. A promise that large organizations are not only run just on behalf of shareholders but run for the users themselves safeguarding their privacy and driving value back to those that create it.” (Brendan Blumer, CEO of Block.one)
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently announced that they are the first UN agency to receive, hold and disburse donations in cryptocurrency. They went further to state on their Twitter page that “it’s so important for young people and children”
Hitherto, some popular figures have expressed their mistrust and made negative remarks about blockchain and cryptocurrency. This has hindered its penetration to the places where it matters most. People would immediately become paranoid when you say “crypto”. In my country, police officers have been notorious for unscrupulously harassing young people who deal with bitcoin. The narrative is gradually changing. The bear market is gradually washing away the scams from the crypto market. The positive social impact of blockchain is being felt all over the world especially in places where there are economic instability and amazing projects like voice.com and other EOS.IO projects will soon start bearing fruits.
Being an ambassador at EOS Nation has given me the opportunity to be at the frontlines of blockchain innovation. It is so inspiring when you are surrounded by incredibly intelligent people who are making crazy innovations daily. At one point, I developed a desperate desire to contribute to EOS.IO and make a positive impact in my community. This desire led me to initiate a project called EmpowermeEOS. The goal of EmpowermeEOS is to use blockchain technology to combat poverty and unemployment. My quest to become a better social entrepreneur led me to apply for the Youth in Development Boot camp. I got in!
The Youth in Development (YID) Boot camp took place on the 16th to 20th of September 2019 at the ATED centre in PIND Facility, Warri, Delta State. PIND means Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta.
YID boot camps and fellowship organized by Sozo Networks and sponsored by the US Embassy is designed to provide youths with the knowledge, skills, and networks required to lead effective and sustainable community development initiatives. It is a four-days program followed by a three months mentorship (for selected fellows).
The four-day program is designed to equip attendees with skills in advocacy, strategic planning, design thinking, fundraising, and networking. For me, it was four days of maximum impartation.
The program was an awesome experience for me. I learned the intricacies of building a sustainable social enterprise. I learned a lot from the boot camp but the most important lesson I took home can be summarized in one word: sustainability.
During the boot camp, we were grouped into three teams and given a task. The task was simple.
Task: Identify a problem within the community, design a project to solve the problem, state how to get funders and how to sustain the project.
My group (group 3) decided to focus on the use of digital skills to tackle the problem of poverty and unemployment. We had 15 minutes to brainstorm and come up with a presentation.
I quickly got elected to be the spokesperson for my group and when it was time for our presentation, we made a wonderful presentation. You should have been there. The applause that filled the air as we rounded up, proved that our presentation was the best.
But we didn't win. According to Mr Ovo (the lead coordinator for the YID boot camp in Warri), group 2 won the task because their project had a sustainability model that was “solid”.
The Lesson: It takes money to run an organization and you don’t want to have your cap in hands requesting(begging) for funds from funders all the time. Sustainability is very important in social entrepreneurship. You need to be able to provide value to keep the organization running even when the funders are not forthcoming. You run an NGO, that means you are not-for-profit right? It does not mean that you are “for loss”. To remain in business, you should always consider the sustainability of the project and seek additional ways of making money to keep the organization running.
So how do you sustain a social enterprise?
The answer is simple: provide value! If you want to keep your initiative alive you have to ensure that it is providing value to the funders, your community or the public. Money will always flow towards value. NGOs need money. To be a non-profit does not mean that you are “for loss”. It is good to offer services and products as far as the profits are poured back into the organization to support the mission and vision. Social enterprises sustain their initiatives through funding from individuals and organizations. They get more funding through “more funding” from other individuals and organizations and by engaging in business activities and providing value to make a profit.
I made a crypto presentation at YID.
During the boot camp, I displayed a video presentation about my blockchain social impact project called EmpowermeEOS/EME.
EME is a project that tackles poverty and unemployment in marginalized communities in Nigeria by exposing youths to education, mentorship and opportunities in blockchain technology. I shared a video presentation about how we can use blockchains like EOS/BOSCore to empower young people and what my organization (EmpowermeEOS) is currently doing in Ibadan.
After the video presentation, I gave a little talk about blockchains and cryptocurrencies. I didn’t prepare for it because I didn’t know I would get the opportunity. But I did a good job.
Blockchain will provide the tools for exponential social impact. Dr James Thomason
I agree with Dr James Thomason that blockchain will provide the tools for exponential social impact. Before the dawn of EOS, blockchain was like a distant and phoney promise. EOS.IO has created a platform that has made projects like Effect.ai to get sponsorship from the United Nations. Effect.ai would be unscalable and unusable without EOS.
EOS.IO provides the foundation for sustainable, scalable and exponential blockchain social impact. (Click to Tweet)
I won an election and an award.
At the climax of the YID boot camp, Mr Ovo announced the winners of various award categories and asked the class to vote for the most active male. I was nominated and I won the election by a landslide. I’m grateful for the award and recognition and for the love of my peers at YID boot camp Warri.
The Humans of YID
My greatest achievement in YID boot camp is not the things I learned; it was the humans I met.
Adesua is the migrobiologist passionate about girl child education, she has a biogas/renewable energy project. Mrs Itunu is loquacious (in a positive way, lol) and proactive, she has a passion for educating young children. Tosan is the natural leader who automatically became the class captain.
Mr Collins is leading the (positive impact) charge in Warri with his “Clean Warri” and “Warri Reads” projects. Enayo Matsona is a Mandela Washinton Fellow, he shared his social impact stories and his experience at YALI to inspire us.
Emokiniovo Otarigho(Mr Ovo) was the chief coordinator for the YID boot camp in Warri, he is the Executive Director/Co-Founder of IDYL Initiative (Impact Driven Young Leaders Initiative) and someone you can call a super volunteer. He is a VOICE Ambassador (WAG-ARC/ VOICE Global, Netherlands), and also the Coordinator of Youth Anti-Corruption Network. He is an Alumni of UN Intensive Program- School of International Diplomacy, (Seton Hall University, New Jersey, USA), he is a Fellow of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI RLC) and also a Member, UN NGO Major Group.
Madam Florence Agbejule a.k.a Madam Flow is the Field Operations & ATED Centre Manager at PIND. She was one of the facilitators for the program. Madam Flow has over 20 years of experience practising law in the UK before she came back home to Nigeria. She encouraged us to be true to our passion and purpose and shared some stories about the challenges she faced when she relocated to Nigeria. I was really inspired by her firm resolve to uphold integrity at all cost.
Networking with other social change leaders was the most interesting part of YID for me. The Sozo YID boot camp has equipped me with more knowledge, skills and networks to pursue the vision of my initiative (EmpowermeEOS). I’m committed to paying it forward and I’m making some changes to the structure of my organization to ensure sustainability.
Please Donate to EmpowermeEOS
Please support us as we take a stand against poverty and ignorance with the aid of blockchain technology. Your donation will go a long way to educate someone and lift him/her out of poverty.
You can donate by sending:
EOS to empowermeeos
Bitcoin to 12k7Y3MQBGWDbFuhp92nh6GTzfCGB4uW9H