The third edition of the Countryside Emerging Leadership Fellowship (CELF) would hold between December 1st and 14th, 2022.
This was according to the Chief Volunteer, Mallam Lawal Olalekan Olohungbebe who, on Wednesday, 16th November, 2022, addressed the press at the corporate office of the NGO located at Suite 38, Kwara State Library Complex in Ilorin.
Olohungbebe, who appraised the impact of the two previous editions of the program, said CELF has delivered scholarships to 16 young people from across the 16 local government areas in Kwara State. He also expressed appreciation to the governor of Kwara, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, whom he said stood as the major sponsor of the 2021 edition of CELF.
“Through the support and backing of the Kwara State Government, sixteen (16) 2021 CELF fellows, mostly from rural areas across all the sixteen local government areas of the State, have been awarded scholarships to study any course of their choice in any public institution in Nigeria. It is worthy to note also that some of the beneficiaries of the said award have gained admissions into different higher institutions, while funds are now being released to the parents or guardians of the beneficiaries for the payment of tuition fees,” Olohungbebe noted.
The frontline community development practitioner, who also appreciated the contributions of donors and partners, said CELF has become a “sustainable educational intervention in the country, one that has continued to up the scale and sustains its founding vision of serving as a platform of opportunity for struggling students who desire quality education.”
Reiterating that the 2022 edition of CELF would retain the number of 32 participants, 16 males and 16 females, all of whom emerged from a rigorous process involving exam and interviews with the HICA team, said the fellows are selected on merit without the interference of any individual or organisation.
Speaking about the focus of the CELF training, Olohungbebe said, “In addition to the three thematic areas of CELF, namely personal development, entrepreneurship and community development, a new theme— environmental sustainability— has been added to this year’s edition. This becomes important as the world is now focused on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Therefore, there is a need to raise environmentally-conscius future leaders who will be advocates for safer and greener environment in their immediate communities.”
He added, “Another new feature of CELF 3.0 is the introduction of mentoring series. This is a life-changing interactive dialogue between an exemplary and high achieving individual who is a leader of thought and the CELF fellows. The goal is to empower the youths with the right leadership skills and inbue them with the right kind of motivation to inspire and energise them towards greater accomplishments.”
The Chief Volunteer, thereafter, appealed for the support of individuals, corporate bodies and government towards ensuring the continued success of the CELF program. He also appealed to the media for effective coverage in order to give the program the required publicity.