A young Nigerian female activist and one of the promoters of the popular #EndSARS campaign of 2020, Rinu Oduala, has been selected for the 2023 Hurford Youth fellowship by the World Movement for Democracy.
Ms Oduala, the Project Director of Connect Hub NG, a platform that advocates against police brutality, is the only African to be selected via a keenly competitive process involving more than 9,000 applicants.
The World Movement for Democracy announced on its official Twitter account on Wednesday that only 4 applicants were picked from around the world.
“Our 2023 Hurford Youth Fellows are here! Welcome Sofía Pozzo from Paraguay, Kadir Cetin from Turkey, Rinu Oduala from Nigeria, and Chiranthi Senanayake from Sri Lanka,” the tweet read.
About the fellowship
According to the World Movement for Democracy, the Hurford Youth Fellowship Programme “seeks to build the leadership skills and harness the potential of young democracy activists from around the world”.
The organisers further noted that: “Through the programme, young activists spend three months at the World Movement’s Secretariat in Washington DC where they expand their global connections, share experiences with other activists from democracy movements around the world, and contribute to the development of the World Movement for Democracy.
“Hurford Youth Fellows engage in strategic meetings; conduct research; and organise and lead presentations, online discussions, and information-sharing sessions on key democracy issues.”
What qualifies Oduala
Introducing the fellows on its website, the World Movement for Democracy said Ms Oduala is also “the executive director of the Marigold RO Foundation, a civic organisation that aims to foster civic capacity among young people”.
“She was at the forefront of the biggest civil demonstration of the 4th Republic of Nigeria and was a member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution on police brutality.
“She is the winner of Woman of the year in Advocacy, HerEconomy 2022, and HerNetwork, 2021 and has been nominated for Future Awards Africa Prize for Advocacy and Activism.”
Tasks for participants
According to the organisers, each successful participant would use the opportunity of the programme to pursue a project with the intention to achieve globally relevant results.
The Movement noted that Oduala’s project for the fellowship will examine how online spaces are becoming a part of democratic spaces for citizens around the world, especially for young people.
It added that “through online discussions and surveys among young people and civil society leaders, she seeks to better understand how young people organise through civic discourse online”.
Oduala, who took to her Twitter page on Wednesday to express excitement over the news, said: “I’m excited to announce I’m now a Hurford Youth Fellow with the World Movement for Democracy. @MoveDemocracy.”
In a message to PREMIUM TIMES, the female activist said it is an honor to have been selected for such a competitive programme.
She said: “The Hurford Fellowship is a highly sought-after opportunity that provides young activists with the platform to bring their causes to the forefront of global conversations.
“I am really excited to have the opportunity to use my platform to raise awareness for important issues affecting young Nigerians. It’s my hope that my participation in the programme will inspire other young Nigerians to fight for change and help to create a more just and equitable nation for us all.”