LEADERSHIP Media Group and its partner, Venturion a Lagos-based communications company, have flagged off ceremonies to mark this year’s Children’s Day, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The activities would peak on Thursday, May 27, when children from five secondary schools would produce a special edition of LEADERSHIP, headlined, “Our COVID-19 experience.”
It is arguably the first time in the modern history of newspapers in Nigeria when children “displace” a newspaper editor and actually produce the newspaper for the day.
The Editor-In-Chief of LEADERSHIP, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene, said, “Last year, the South African Journal of Science Vol 116, July/August 2020, reported that an estimated 173 million schools in 156 countries were affected by lockdowns following the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus. For the first time, children in Nigeria would be sharing their experiences with the world by producing a newspaper that they may well own in the near future. It’s a historic moment.”
The three-day programme would commence on Tuesday, May 25, with a reception in honour of children at LEADERSHIP Headquarters, Abuja where the UNICEF Country Representative Peter Hawkins, is expected to address the students.
Selected children from five secondary schools, namely, Government Secondary School, Lugbe; Government Secondary School, Area 10, Garki; Government Secondary School, Zone 3, Wuse; SASCON International School, Maitama; and Anointed Children Secondary School, Mpape, are participating in the programme.
The children would produce a special pullout of LEADERSHIP on Thursday, May 27, that would include such varied themes as poetry, vox pop, riddles and jokes, crosswords puzzles and cartoons.
On May 27, the children would host a special live interactive show in LEADERSHIP’s Last Word multichannel studio to share their newspaper production experience in a programme that would be streamed live on Facebook at Leadership Newspaper, and Twitter, @leadershipNGA.
The newspaper has also pledged that as part helping to raise a generation of young people who may find a career in journalism, the children would also be challenged to be more involved in charity.
“We have a list of orphanages based in Abuja from which they would choose which ones to give a percentage of all children’s day advertisements that we receive,” Ishiekwene said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Venturion, Mr. Taiwo Obe, described the partnership as an example of “powerful collaboration at work.”