The Executive Director of Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface has been admitted by International Centre for Human Rights Education, Equitas, Canada and awarded full scholarship to be trained in the 2021 International Human Rights Training Programme (IHRTP) of the Centre.

Fyneface will be trained alongside other participants from around the world in the First Edition of Global Rights Connection (GRC) Training Program holding from October to December 2021 with full participation fee of 2,300 Canadian Dollars (N1,140,800) paid by the Canadian Government’s Department of International Development and Humanitarian Assistance: Global Affairs Canada. The scholarship covers registration fees, training fees, access to e-learning platforms, course materials and access to all activities of the programme.

It would be recalled that in his quest for more human rights education after receiving some more from the United States of America during his participation in International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in 2018 on invitation by the US Department of State; in 2019, Fyneface applied for admission into the prestigious International Human Rights Training Programme (IHRTP) at Equitas, Quebec, Canada and was admitted in the “41st Annual International Human Rights Training Program” on 20th February, 2020. With partial or full scholarship not offered at the time, he was either to raise funds from donors or fund the trip himself to the tune of 6,310 Canadian Dollars (CAD), over N3.1milion for the physical training in Canada between June and July 2020. However, with everything getting set for him to embark on the trip, corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic struck the world, leading to the cancellation of the programme and the 2020 trip aborted.

Determined to still receive the professional human rights education to further strengthen his advocacy and sensitization capabilities in addition to other human rights trainings he had received in Nigeria from Amnesty International and other organizations over the years but with COVID-19 still ranging globally and restricting travels; Fyneface applied for the GRC as soon as Equitas, formerly known as “Canadian Human Rights Foundation” designed and launched the Global Rights Connection program in first quarter 2021 and called for applications from interested candidates worldwide. The human rights defender’s application was among the few accepted by the Selection Committee at Equitas and his admission into the train-the-trainers’ international human rights certification programme with full scholarship award announced and communicated on June 15, 2021.

With a mandatory Memorandum of Agreement from Equitas signed by both the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees, Roseline Omoji and the Candidate/Executive Director of Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Equitas mandated the organization to commit and agree that “The Executive Director will use the knowledge gained from the program to improve his works and enlighten the people on human rights for the organization“. The “One Million Youth Volunteers Network of Human Right Defenders and Promoters in the Niger Delta”; Awareness Creation on human rights, environment and campaigns against social vices among pupils and students in schools, colleges and universities are some of the human rights projects of Advocacy Centre that Equitas insists knowledge gained from the training be used to further develop after participation in the “...transformative training for human rights educators“. Hence, the facilitation of scholarship for YEAC as it gives back to society.

While expressing appreciation to Equitas, Advocacy Centre’ BoT, volunteers and other members of the public for their supports that contributed to this opportunity, Fyneface Dumnamene said “This innovative professional human rights training program can be acquired by any interested human right defender or volunteer who applies and gets admitted. The interested candidate can decide to either participate in the physical program in Canada when COVID-19 gives way or online in the 2022 Second Edition and if s/he had the needed funds or opportune like me to be awarded full scholarship to study. I am happy and apart from fulfilling the obligation of continually training others on completion of the course as mandated, I will encourage as many human right defenders out there and volunteers of Advocacy Centre as possible who are willing to be trained as human right educator to apply”.

On successful completion of the Global Rights Connection program, the Executive Director of Advocacy Centre will be among the first two-Nigerian alumni of the Global Rights Connection Program and 40 other Nigerians who have been so trained by Equitas between 1994 and 2021 in the 54 years of the existence of the International Centre for Human Rights Education and be admitted into the global alumni network of Equitas.