Month: December 2017

24 Dec

The Story of a Determined Instrumentalist and Kolb’s Learning Cycle

These are the four stages of kolb’s experiential learning cycle, starting off with concrete experience down to active experimentation. This cycle has been widely used by most successful persons all over the world.

Aristotle once said that for things we have to learn before we can do them, we must learn by doing them. There is a popular saying that “whatever is worth doing is worth doing well”, that is giving it your 110%. The following brief story captures the experiential learning cycle.

Victor, popularly known as ‘VikkyKeys’, started off as a drummer at the age of 7 while in primary school. At age 10, after he graduated, his strength, dexterity and versatility in drum playing had increased. Later on in high school, Victor decided to learn other musical instruments, such as the keyboard and guitar because he believed in himself and his ability to conquer the challenge. His hunger for the knowledge and skills in playing these other instruments grew during church services on weekdays and Sundays; he always peeked at the keyboardist playing. However, in spite of his young age he was not content with just watching the keyboardist do wonders each service so he pleaded with the keyboardist to tutor him on the basics of the instrument. He built on his lessons with the help of nobody to develop himself, scaling the rudiments of the elusive instrument (this process demonstrates Concrete Experience).

In SS3 now, an amateur at playing the keyboard, a professional at hitting, Victor possesses what many would call raw talent. Victor knew that it was his hard work that got him where he is.

To demonstrate the other three areas of the cycle, after two unsuccessful jamb trials victor finally pulled through to Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), Imo state, to study Agricultural Engineering though filing Mechanical Engineering. As a fresher in college he was captured by a fellowship group, Student Christian Movement (SCM) where he met contemporaries at his craft and realized he was just a beginner compared to the individuals he had encountered (this is Reflective Observation). During his 100 level, while being mentored, he was challenged by his level mates who were far better than him (Reflective Observation). He knew that to assert himself as an asset within the group he must be extraordinary at what he does. He delved into guitar playing and developed himself. He started off by searching the internet for videos which he studied and practiced off almost every day. YouTube was his favourite source. By the end of his 200 level, Victor became a valuable asset to the fellowship group and other fellowship groups within the four walls of FUTO, as an instrumentalist who possessed the skills to play the drums and keyboard amongst his contemporaries (this demonstrates Abstract Conceptualization).

Further, by the end of his school year graduating with a second class upper, Victor become one of the most sought out instrumentalists in Nigeria featuring in live concerts across the country.

Community Engagement

As our Culture,  we practice seasoned engagement ranging  from our sitting position to our feedback sessions and to energizer.

We understand that for an effective development and general result in our work,  engaging ourselves first and the community we serve is key and fundamental.

Community engagement is about involving the people you serve, not just as beneficiaries of your projects  but as partners in accomplishing your mission – Hillary Binder-Aviles, independent  NGO Consultant .

When people are actively engaged in efforts to improve their own lives and their neighbor’s lives,  they  become more aware of issues and committed to solving them.  They also learn new skills and gain confidence in their ability to effect change; Engagement is Empowerment .

With engagement comes the 21st century skills (Communication, Creativity, Critical thinking, Collaboration and Cross-cultural competence) which we believe is paramount for youth participation in governance,  self development and Community development .

24 Dec

Volunteer Mindset

We’ve come to understand over the years the power of mindset and of course what we can do with  such power .

Hence,  it is eminent for us to have the right  mindset as a prerequisite to achieving our goals.

Our mindset then is “thinking globally ” which have given birth to numerous and continuous results that we take pride in.

The Mind of a Volunteer is key to collabration,  communication,  critical thinking,  creativity, and crosscultural competence.  The importance is one that brings the best out of our team and makes sustainability fun and appetising .

We encourage our team members to practice discipline,  and to live their life appreciating hard work and most importantly commitment .

The Mind of any Volunteer can build a nation or destroy her.

13 Dec

Access2School

It looks confusing to believe most times what the eyes sees but once you get to walk on the very same path that seems confusing and misunderstood – that’s when you appreciate what you have and see reasons to lift others out of such confusing state.

Within the past one year, ATLAS INITIATIVE has been identifying out of school children (4 – 17 years old) within several communities in Ikorodu such as Majidun-Ogolonto, Oju-Agemo, Adamo, Ota-Ona, Oko-Ito, among others. For the very first time, accurate statistics was gotten from the alarming number of children who have dropped out of school (or sometimes never started schooling) due to financial problem, loss of parent (s), ignorance and the underlined “lack of faith in the educational system” in an urban-rural area of Lagos state, Nigeria.

  

It gets better, as the willingness to learn is “burning” within these individuals we identified and the support from their community leaders is what has continued to motivate us in looking for funds and sponsorship to provide for their basic academics needs.

Daniel Okafor, 6 years old is one of the children we identified from majidun community. His story got our attention from his mother’s dedication of home schooling him and his sister after their father got struck with stroke – cutting off their major source of income. 

Being forced to stay home; Daniel and his family have to struggle from feeding, to house rent and buying medications for his father. He went from home play with other children to developing passion to the popular fishing within the community to support his mother – who occasionally hawks bread in the street.

That single attitude of learning and facing everyday challenge to be the very best, stands to be a magnet to our vision in uplifting others through learning and empowerment.