ADVOCACY CENTRE DIRECTOR’S SPEECH AT EQUITAS GRC CLOSING CEREMONY 2021
The 10 weeks international human rights training program (IHRTP), Global Rights Connection (GRC) of Equitas, Canada the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), represented by its Executive Director, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface which started on October 1, came to an end on December 10, 2021. The closing Ceremony was fixed for December 15 and addressed by Mary Lawlor. The Executive Director of Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface was nominated to speak at the event on behalf of Group Four that he studied with other participants from around the world. Below are some questions and responses from him that constituted his speech at the event.
- What has the Global Rights Connection program meant for you?
The Global Rights Connection (GRC) programme meant a lot to me, my community and organization, the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) Nigeria. The program brought us the best of human rights education and advocacy training that we have ever had. The GRC programme has built my capacity and more confidence in human rights education, advocacy and defense beyond my expectations. The 10 weeks’ training gave me full dose of human rights education with practical experiences that equipped me with requisite knowledge and skills in human rights education. As a human rights educator, the training further built my confidence, increased my profile and credibility in the delivery of human rights education to my community with changes of higher level of acceptability because my human rights education training program came from Equitas, an embodiment of 54 years’ experience in international human rights education. The best of strategies, innovation, techniques and approaches of human rights education that the GRC programme offers is second to none to the best of my knowledge thus serving as a springboard of our global recognition and connection in human rights education.
- What are thoughts about the program and the group you worked with?
My thoughts about the program are that it is the best form of education that I have ever-received in terms of its delivery methodology and ability to ensuring that knowledge is effectively and intensively transferred to learners with every training materials exhaustively read by participants and indicated in the online system. The combination of the asynchronous and synchronous sessions ensured that I learned intensively at my pace and returned to the synchronous session where the spiral and participatory learning methodologies are adopted among others to not only make me and other participants to participate fully but also as if we are teaching while still receiving the training. The programme’s combination of different tutorial and learning techniques as well as the use of instructional materials like graphics, videos and case studies deepened my understanding of the topics. Furthermore, in demonstrating my thoughts about this program, its design and effectiveness, on December 6, I released a press statement in Nigeria, advising and calling on the government and higher institutions to learn from Equitas and adopt this system of training to improve the falling standards of education in the country. The statement which is available online is titled “Adopt in-campus asynchronous, synchronous sessions to improve education as a human right in Nigeria; Advocacy Centre tells Government, Higher Institutions”. I studied in group four where Cristiana and Nduko are facilitators with Sasha pressing all the right buttons behind the scene and Herve playing oversight, monitoring and mentoring functions for me and all participants to have the best and successful training experience. My interactions with other participants on the programme in group four from around the world including Justin, Hannah, Htoo Htoo, Lucky, Yared, Adewale, Solnara, Tracy, Ivy and Bernard among others enriched my experience of cultural practices globally.
- Is there a unit, a piece of knowledge, and/or an activity that impacted you the most?
Yes of course. There are many pieces of knowledge that impacted me the most during participation in the GRC programme. They include the use of the interesting system throry in Political Science as “system approach” in human rights education; the spiral learning model and the participatory approach in human rights education among others. These approaches and learning models among other case studies impacted me the most and improve the totality of my human rights education experiences offered by Equitas to participants in the Global Rights Connection Programme.
- What was your favorite event?
My favorite event during the Global Rights Connection (GRC) programme was the Cultural Exchange held on November 22. It was my favorite event because I got to see my course mates from around the world dress in their cultural attires and shared knowledge and slides that taught me about their cultural practices including their food, dance, etc. The event exposed me to many cultures around the world that I never knew about and I am grateful to Equitas for that cultural exchange event.
- How are you planning to use the knowledge that you acquire during the training?
I plan to use the knowledge I acquired during the training to improve my organization’s human rights education and advocacy works. The training improved my knowledge about human rights education strategies exceedingly. Thus, the first stages of using my knowledge from the training are to train others as captured in my Individual Plan. First I will share my knowledge at the organizational level with staff and Board Members. The second stage would be in-group stage where members of my “One Million Youth Volunteers Network of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters in the Niger Delta” would be trained to directly benefit from the knowledge in the first instance. The third stage of the implementation of my Individual Plan would be about 30 minutes live appearance on a radio station called “WISH, 99.5FM” Port Harcourt to share the training experience with no fewer than 500,000 people of the over 5million population of Rivers State who will tune in and directly listen and benefit from the programme.
On completion of the implementation of the Individual Plan, the knowledge acquired from the training will continually and usefully be applied in my daily activities and other human rights education initiatives. This would include our annual training programme titled “Youths training on human rights, conflict resolution and peace-building mechanisms in the Niger Delta” started in 2018; the “One Million Youth Volunteers Network of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters in the Niger Delta” started in 2019 and “Sensitization and Awareness Creation on Human Rights among Youths and Students in Rivers State” started in secondary schools and Universities in 2019 to build a culture of human rights in the young children to grow into society with awareness on human rights.
A speech by;
Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface,
Executive Director, Advocacy Centre
At Equitas, Canada GRC Closing Ceremony,
December 15, 2021