How does a 15 year old confront life challenges: The story of Zainab Alabi

Zainab Alabi
Zainab Alabi

Zainab Alabi is a 15 year old girl who has set her priorities to be engaged in transforming her community. Zainab, a SS1 (Senior Secondary School 1) student in Randle Senior Secondary School was first introduced to the Leadership, Ethics and Civics Programme in February 2013.

Like her peers, Zainab says her time in the programme was life changing. As required for every beneficiary of the LEC programme, she and her team implemented two projects: sanitation exercise to clean up a local market and revamping a zebra crossing close to the school’s premises.

This experience was exciting for Zainab who was actively involved in every aspect of the project, from material procurement to stakeholder meetings. However, her enthusiasm was not shared by her father who feared that his teenage daughter might be too involved to the point of abandoning her duties at home.

As with any project, revamping the zebra crossing needed time commitment which Zainab was willing to give but this also meant that she would get home much later than she would on a typical school day. She was determined to support her team to ensure that the project was successful while reassuring her parents how important achieving this goal meant to her.

Perhaps Zainab pushed her enthusiasm too far? The question is, how do you respond to opposition or challenges? Do you give up easily or press on towards your goal? In some situations, we might have denied ourselves opportunities to make a difference, fight against corruption, injustice and several other vices when confronted with obstacles. But we see daily implications at our office, home and society of our inactions, a poor reflection of us – of who we can be.

Whether it is our family, organization aspiring for greatness we can encourage each other during these moments. Pledging his support, Zainab’s father who was enthused at the beginning of the project maintained his support throughout the programme.

Zainab’s determination and courage is admirable. Today, she is a LEC programme graduate who is inspired and empowered to continue impacting her world.

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