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Introducing BEACONS November 26, 2011

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BEACONS—Builders, Enlightened Advocates of Change Of Nigerian Societies.

BEACONS — objective is to “invest in Human Capacity development by building leadership qualities in young people through Mentorship and Community Service”. This is achieved by investing leadership qualities directly in young people through Mentorship and indirectly through Community Service. The Community Service Club is a Community-based development project by young people across secondary schools in Nigeria; supported by Individual/Group Volunteers and civil organizations, within the locality to achieve common goals and objectives.

The model is such that every month across our country, millions of young Nigerians can take time away from their work, their studies, and their families to impact and give back to their communities. Millions more would like to help solve local problems, but they are wondering: “How can I get involved? Where can I make a difference?”

Our plan as such would be to
– Develop a Mentorship plan for young people by encouraging role models to engage them directly & indirectly (academics, career-building, counseling, etc).
– Develop a comprehensive Community service plan and a coordinated strategy focused on using Young people across secondary schools (and young school leavers) with matching volunteers (undergraduates, fresh graduates, entrepreneurs and role models) and established community partners to the areas of greatest societal need.
– Work with other elected officials (where and when they can) to advance strategies and best practices that accelerate the service movement and produce measurable results.
– Ensure, through publications, social media, websites and other representation, that BEACONS’ activities (guided by its ambitious Impact Initiative goals) in the communities as volunteers are heard in federal and state legislative houses, governmental bodies, using achieved change initiatives as measures to point on the expectations of the people from public service.

BEACONS efforts are further characterized by the concept of “impact volunteering”—volunteer strategies that target most important community needs, use best practices, and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress. In developing impact volunteering strategies, BEACONS will build on and elevate existing efforts while also developing new and innovative “Impact Initiatives”. Overall, we will start small and grow big, actualizing only effective and sustainable projects.

The Mentors provide counseling and constructive criticism to young people through direct access; at the same time help in inspiring them towards their contribution to the society. They help in teaching, guiding, counseling, as well as help in engaging young ones in constructive activities. Asides adding invaluable service to the community and fostering community relationship between these young people; Community Service helps in playing important roles for young people by developing their abilities to empathize with their community, have a paradigm shift, understand the feelings of other people, interact with people, serve, volunteer, and be inspired to being the Change their society needs.
It is also a platform where adult models provide valuable mentorship role in training these young. Partners and sponsors/funders in the community help us by providing basic support to actualize many of the community service projects. By community service, these young people take up their day-to-day societal challenges and think creatively to provide solutions to them. By actualizing these projects, they imbibe valuable attribute/character, at the same time serve as the conscience of elected public servants (and looters!).

If we are a community that cares, we will elect leaders who care. If we elect leaders who care about the people in our local governments (779 BEACONS) for example, we would have contributed a lot towards Change Nigeria.

The Values of the Community Service Club project include:
• The building of character, morals and values amongst young school children; and other partners;
• Empathy: children will learn to understand the needs of other people, and that it is possible for people to lead quality lives with limited material possessions;
• Individual creativity, improved participation in the economic, social and cultural roles in society;
• Improved understanding of and respect for other individuals, thus promoting social cohesion and material understanding;
• Improvement in health and nutrition;
• Improved chances of economic development;
• Improved technological development;
• Socio‐cultural change;
• Democracy and equality; and
• Ecological development/quality of life (increasing people’s awareness of their environments).

What we are starting with is PILOT groups across the geo-political ones; and this is where you come in. We require volunteers, who will champion the formation and sustenance of these groups in the localities for the first one year. All necessary support needed for your activities, including funds, course modules, lessons, letters, jerseys, etc will be provided as well as stipends for your services.
We can poke our redundant leaders on the face, by taking up our own societal challenges; we can raise the bar in public service. By joining us, you will have embraced volunteering as an important measure to affecting our societal problems through community service.

With your help, for instance in the next eight years, 2019, it will be hard for any clueless politician to ask for our vote. The outcomes of the community service will raise the bar through visible awareness on the expectations required of public servants.
You cannot Lead the People if you don’t Love the People, you can’t save the People if you don’t serve the people.
My hope is that we can spark a new day of activism and service to our societies amongst every citizen. It’s going to take people working together not just for their own benefit but also for the good of the whole community.
This is our time; this may be your contribution.
As Young People Arise, so will Nigeria.
If you would love to be a part (volunteer, support in whatever ways), please send mails to the corresponding addresses

As a VOLUNTEER, you may devote at least ONE hour of your time fortnightly/monthly to teach, inspire, or join in leading the “Impact Initiatives” of these young men. You may volunteer to TEACH young people struggling with certain academic subjects, particularly Mathematics and English across public/private schools; to INSPIRE by challenging young people through exciting and daring reviews of role models and heroes (Nigerian and otherwise); and to JOIN them by participating in their social/engaging Impact Initiatives/Ideas/Projects across communities and societies. To volunteer: volunteers@beacons-ng.org
As a MENTOR, you act as a guide, inspiration, and model to young people across different places/societies in Nigeria; directly or indirectly. DIRECTLY by being in contact in person if your protégé is in your locality (as counsellors); INDIRECTLY through email correspondences, newsletters, career guide materials, inspirational reviews, constructive criticism; etc. To serve as a mentor, please send a mail to mentors@beacons-ng.org explaining your reasons for volunteering as a mentor. (Recommendations, track records, etc are much welcome).
To SUPPORT us emotionally, with resources, financially or otherwise; please email support@beacons-ng.org
To share your IDEAS, involving what you would want us to do in your community, in your society, sharing pragmatic steps, please email ideas@beacons-ng.org We cherish and welcome your ideas; WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER. A greater New Nigeria is only possible because YOU are involved. We are defining the true lines of leadership with your effort.

As a Partner/Volunteer/ for BEACONS, you have various direct and indirect benefits; most importantly of which is the assured testimony we have in support of how young ones as potential future leaders. By bringing them up, you raise the bar and standard for service and consequently; a pedigree of qualitative leadership. The society responds by electing people based on PROVEN TRACK RECORDS, who act in the interest of the people.

Follow us on twitter @BEACONS_NG


AN IMPERILED NATION November 23, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.

The past two weeks has been a reflective one for me, and it’s mostly on Security.  Are we truly secured? Are we serious as a nation about the security of the Nigerian people? The main purpose of this article is to draw your attention to the current lapses in our security system that mitigate against the accomplishment of a secured nation.

The pandemonium created by Boko Haram has left Nigeria in a confused state. Jonathan did not start Boko haram, true, yes he inherited it. All I know and note is that a set of ragtag terror cell cannot act with such damning sophistication and intelligent networking to continuously perpetuate their crime.If truly Boko haram’s intention is to sabotage this administration; then what has the government done? Look at the details of implementation of their heinous crimes, this is no simple job. This is the enemy within. What is Boko Haram? Who is Boko Haram? Do they have a face, a means of identification?

Do they have a leader? What is their motivation? Is this a ploy by some powerful forces (local or foreign) to disrupt our democracy by creating an unsettling atmosphere for the military to set in? Or Boko haram really wants a state of anarchy? If this is not a joke, how can you solve a problem you don’t know? The Borno Council of Elders reportedly offered to help, what became of that?

To infiltrate the enemy, you need to know the enemy; asides, you need the sympathy of the people. But how can you get it when the military silently and in disguise kill the citizens which they are meant to protect? Random unsuspecting citizens have lost their lives ceaselessly and carelessly in the name of brandished military super power. Worse, we are a country with NO regard or value for life. My heart bleeds!

If really you intend solving Boko haram issue, invite the locals, the head of the cities, of the Northern regions. For instance, Eat the humble pie. Send an open letter to General Buhari. Let the whole world know you did. Boko haram will listen to him. I AM SURE. Will you Mr President? Coercive force, as we have witnessed, WILL NEVER SOLVE THIS. Our security forces are ill-equipped to handle this.

Our security system do not have the provisions, the intelligence, the wherewithal to handle our security challenges. These two weeks opened my eyes. Only God has been our security. The facts are damning. The Nigerian armed forces are not furnished well enough, mentally, emotionally, strategically and otherwise to tackle insecurity. The facts speak! Please verify if I am wrong at all.
– Soldiers on patrol earn a Rational Cash Allowance (RCA) of #500 daily for their upkeep. They are meant to survive on this, and are meant to work 24 hours for a #500 ration. Incredible. Many have families. This is why they are easily irritated, and trigger-happy.
– A private is expected to earn #105,000, instead he is paid #48,000. There is no account for the loss of #57,000. This is the corruption we talk about.
– The last time our forces were duly equipped was during the Abacha era. They reportedly buy their own kits themselves. Only if your unit is attached to a higher ranking office will you benefit from the kits distribution.
– Accommodation is inadequate, most especially in Abuja. So some of these military personnel do 24 hour rotations and most end up sleeping in their cars, or in crowded barracks. You expect these same to wake up the second day and be sane? And not be peevish?
– Personnel: our combined armed forces are not up to 300,000. This is a country of 167million. Iraq, a nation of 60 million has a combined armed force of 3 million; that did not stop the US from running them a-ground. The available personnel are rotated regularly on endless shifts because of this shortage. I met a private who had not met her wife in two years!
– to worsen it, who is our Minister of defense? Dr. Bello Mohammed, a former PDP Chairman! What does he know about security? About defense? On what criteria was he appointed? Who is the minister of state for defense? Erelu Olusola Obada. Splendid. This is not head knowledge, the security if nations require that you know your onions. I hope the President knows security is not about Cassava export, a field that would have suited Mrs Obada.

Combine all these facts together: a poor environment with little incentive, no welfare, their rations very low, no kits or safety equipments, protective gadgets, sophisticated intelligence; salaries slashed amongst others, and you expect top-notch security? Don’t be deceived. I am sure if we demonstrate, part of the armed forces will join or encourage us. A Nigerian complained about these lapses recently, the heavy funding in the budget and the scam involved and the governments response was the State Senseless Service sorry State Security Service picking him up!

The airports, national and state borders are loose. Opening the booth, random checks and metal detectors are the routine of checks. Wow!  Do these security men even know what they are looking for? I hope we will sit up, tighten loose ends, stop the corruption and the looting, replace these clueless heads of security, and the ministers who have NO BUSINESS being there in the first place and protect the masses.

The government lies to us shamelessly, and massively, and our fellow citizens in high places have no regard for our safety. I am shocked of the unsecured nation in which we live; I was convinced beyond doubt about the insincerity of the system, and subsequently the charade we parade as security. Mr President, stop playing with our lives. Your choices of security have failed us, worse the ministers are not qualified to be there. What about General Said? Air Chief Marshall Paul Dike? Nigeria is too big a nation to play PDP loyalty with.

Follow on twitter @seunfakze


Posted by seunfakze in MOTIVATION.
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Happy Birthday Dear Mama

I find it hard doing this without a little tear in my eyes…

It was you, through the years

Raising five hectic tough young ones was never without wear

There are no words that can express how I feel

I remember Ilesa, Osun State

I remember the “Aro meta” days of Mount Zion’s “Agbara Nla”

I remember those 5 years, and 7 houses

I remember the forceful evictions, twice that was

I remember the different days and always wondered how we made it through each

Each day was a miracle

I remember the “UpNepa” clothes we had to wear each December

I remember you putting your certificates down to exchange for Ababio and Okeke

I remember so much but this is not the time to say all

Your unflinching love and commitment to us makes me love and appreciate women the more

It was your strength, your resolve, your principles that kept us going, that keeps me going

Women are the best, but You are the greatest of all women Mama

My love, my sweetheart, my darling mother

Who can replace you Mama?

Who can take your place?

I appreciate you….May God give me the strength to do this well

No one can really repay you for all you did

I deeply love you Christianah Olufunke Fakuade

YouWIN: A WELFARIST AGENDA? November 5, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE.
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I write beautiful business plans, concept notes, and impressive entrepreneurial proposals. Who doesn’t today? I am certain many Nigerians do (not since the advent of Google and other platforms). It takes nothing to win a YouWIN grant; getting someone who can help write business plans or consulting Mr. Google will solve this. I find the YouWIN idea amazingly funny. While it brings succor to a scanty select of the overwhelming jobless youthful population ; I wonder how many will be able to access it fairly, and most importantly, effectively utilize it. That is not my major concern. I am sure YouWIN was written by someone or set of people who have never run any successful/profiting entrepreneurial business before.

On the appeal side, it looks beautiful. Who would not want a #10million FREE GIFT. On a closer look, it’s a scam. It’s a direct method of discreetly creating many faceless persons to siphon away government funds. Why? IT IS A GRANT, as such the government will never expect a return of the money so long as you can satisfactorily present a proposal or business idea. As such, if I win this grant; how would the government know if I start a building project in Oye Ekiti, my hometown? Or buy cars? Or throw parties? How can you provide grants to people without a feedback, without value on Return-On-Investment? Or how can the government ensure those who benefit will utilize it as they planned without monitoring or a system of return as the case would be were it a loan? If it is about providing free money to the masses, it is okay. But if it means adding value, creating business moguls who would create more employment opportunities, then YouWIN in reasonable ways will fail.

It would have been good enough if the government, in its mad rush and attempt to save face and provide job opportunities, took decisive measures to check the holes that could sink an idea like this. Without doubt, a scheme which provides grants without measures of check, accountability and transparency is nothing but a failure. How does someone earn #10million without the necessary checks to ensure he spends it on the intent it was initially designed for? If such idea like YouWIN fails to find measures where how the grants given were spent and monitor its effective use, then it is nothing but another government scam to “give” these money to loyalists, friends and children/relatives of its cronies.

By refusing to make it a loan, it fails to provide measures for checks and balance; if it works well, how judiciously it was spent. In short, this explains what this administration does. They run our government like YouWIN—a dead-on-arrival concept. Unless these loopholes are addressed, unless accountable measures are introduced; YouWIN is another grandiose business scam. YouWIN has failed in this way as an effective Business plan. No realistic business plan, unless it’s a scam, is sponsored (even with ordinary #100,000 let alone #10,000,000) by ignoring the cost benefits, the feedbacks, Return On Investments, etc. As long as the people are not obliged to return the grants in the future; they can spend it as they like to. YouWIN is like its twin brother: the $200m Entertainment Endowment fund—unaccounted-for scam.

YouWIN is a Welfarist plan sponsored by a spendthrift government and a failed leadership. The idea diminishes the moral character of frugality, accountability, transparency, creativity and others. Nothing more guarantees the erosion of character than getting something for nothing. In the liberal welfare state, one develops an entitlement mentality — another expression of narcissism. And the rhetoric of liberalism — labeling each new entitlement a “right” — reinforces this sense of entitlement. The idea of YouWIN if pursued rigorously will turn us to a welfare state. The welfare state, though often well intended, is nevertheless a Ponzi scheme.

I am not surprised about our governments unrealistic objective, I am only surprised it will translate its irresponsible unaccountable non-transparent framework into a noble idea as this. While I condemn this loophole, I appeal to you, fellow Nigerians to avail yourself of the “rare” opportunity to be “enriched”; please apply and hopefully, may YouWIN.

Hoping you remember me when YouWIN….

Follow the writer on twitter @seunfakze

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