Follow the Leader #SheCANLead
This is a Project of the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria that was co-implemented by Girls Voices Initiative in Nigeria in 2018. The High Commission of Canada, in a bid to participate in the global advocacy project with other participating missions across its Africa network, launched the SheCANLead Campaign in Nigeria. The SheCANLead Campaign flows from the initiative called “Follow the Leader” and the idea that the Canadian High Commissioner “shadows” a young female leader in reverse mentorship to showcase the idea that young females can be strong and effective leaders, #SheCanLead.

Girls Voices Initiative was selected to implement the project with engaging activities conducted by remarkable Girl Leaders. The joint events were suitable to help participating organizations to co-create impact while also serving the dual purpose of promoting female empowerment and amplifying the voices of girls on social issues.

The Project objectives included to:

  • Provide a platform to promote shadow leadership and reverse mentorship that allowed for shared learning.
  • Project girls’ leadership capabilities by amplifying the story and impact of a model Girl Leader.
  • Discuss ‘Girls Can Lead’ to create awareness and target a wide community with the potential of girls’ leadership skills and its impact on society.
  • Encourage participation of young girls to engage conversations on leadership and their potential as girls and tomorrow’s future leaders.
  • Target development partners and other stakeholders to better value girls in leadership and join to invest to equip and empower the girl child.

The advocacy project, ‘Follow the Leader’ (#SheCanLead) was designed to host several activities that allowed a young female leader (A Girl Leader from Girls Voices Initiative) to project her leadership qualities while the Canadian High Commissioner followed and ‘shadowed’ her leadership. The activities included:

  • Advocacy talk with 20 out-of-school girls to discuss the subject of girls in leadership and the importance of education to empower girls to lead and significantly contribute to driving solutions to the problems they face, especially human right violations.
  • Inspirational talk with 50 schoolgirls on leadership and how girls could lead and significantly contribute to driving solutions to the problems they face, especially human right violations. Our Girl Leader moderated a panel discussion with three (3) recently graduated secondary school (prefect) girls to discuss ‘Girls in Leadership’.
  • 30-minutes Live Radio Show discussing the topic 'Girls Can Lead'. The call-in program was co-anchored by Our Girl Leader and the Canadian High Commissioner who joined her to answer questions from the callers.
  • An International Human Rights Day celebration event with stakeholders from policy makers, government and diplomatic agencies, development partners, media and others where Our Girl Leader shared her story to inspire the audience and be inspired by her interactions with the audience. Remarks highlighted the importance of protecting girls’ rights as enshrined in the Child Rights Act, 2003. Our Girl Leader shared her support for girls acquiring technology and digital media skills to amplify their voices on girls’ rights. And our other girl leaders shared the impact of learning about their rights and exploring advocacy platforms to speak about issues affecting girls in Nigeria.

There were successful achievements from the Project and all the Project events witnessed rich and vibrant attendance, comprising public secondary school girls, out-of-school girls, and adults from government agencies, development partner organizations, diplomatic agencies and local NGOs.

The activities were engaging and received very favourable feedback from participants and the rich online audience that followed the social media post updates about the #SheCANLead Campaign activities. The Live Radio Show recorded rich and engaging feedback from listeners and the call-ins presented strong contributions and feedback on the importance of young people taking on leadership positions in Nigeria, and the positives of the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill to support Nigeria’s youth in leadership.