Foundation for Values and Normative Change (Values for Nigeria) is the pet project of TUNDE Fagbenle, one of Nigeria’s respected columnists. For him, there is an urgent need to re-engineer Nigeria along value-driven propositions that would at once energies the youths of the country as well as place Nigeria on a sound moral pedestal, away from the negativity associated with the country.
According to him, “of late I threw the challenge to hundreds of my Facebook friends to come up with what they consider to be the 3 most important values to inculcate in the child. The attached document is the outcome of the opinion pool. Interestingly, Nigerians are leaving things to God. God is close second to Honesty, whilst Kindness scores shockingly very low. I believe there is a lot of reading & extrapolation to be done from the result by social scientists that can reveal why we are what and where we are.”
Miss Yetunde Abisoye, who handles the project, explains the role of values in a society and declares that with the right mentoring, the youths of today can make Nigeria a much better society.
What the project is all about?
Foundation for Values and Normative Change (Values for Nigeria) is a youth-directed drive aimed at promoting positive values in youths particularly Nigerians. Our vision is to bring about a better Nigeria, through the unifying essence of positive values and basic humanity. This we have been committed to through intense social media drive, school outreaches, online publications and celebration of specific acts of positive values carried out by Nigerians.
Example of an act of positive value?
One of such happened in 2018 and was carried out by a junior staff of Halogen Securities, Mr Achi Daniel, who found the bag of an inbound passenger at the airport and escalated it to his supervisor abating the trauma of the Nigerian who came home for a visit. This simple but impressive act of kindness places Nigeria on the good side of the news and it is what Foundation for Values and Normative Change stands for.
Having observed the dissipating interest of young Nigerians in the hope of a great and economically viable nation handled by compassionate and value driven leaders experienced by their parents, they have clamoured for a New Nigeria. Empathizing with their pain, Values for Nigeria is created in order to develop a solid establishment for a new Nigeria based on positive values shared by the commonality of Nigerians.
Inspiration behind the project?
Foundation for Values and Normative Change NGO is the idea & brainchild of Mr. Tunde Fagbenle who has nursed the idea for years and reflected on the malaise of poor values numerous times in his columns while it ran in one of Nigeria’s widely read newspapers. In our opinion, Nigerians are not any different from human species all over the world; deep down all of us, regardless of ethnic or religious claims, we are conscious of and rather would wish to have back those basic values that define humanity and upon which civilized societies are based. We believe that what is needed is reminding us all through inspirational messages and lauding of positive role models of the rewards residual in these values. This we have constantly done by sharing our thoughts on our social media platforms, getting response from people in this light.
Our survey: How it was conducted.
Recently through the Facebook page of our founding chairman Mr Tunde Fagbenle we conducted a survey on “the three most important values to inculcate in children” where over 100 comments were gotten from various individuals, fifty one values where mentioned to be important with honesty, hard work and reverence for God ranking as the first three, this shows that Nigerians understand the roles values play in the upbringing of children and how its repatriation will bring about the Nigeria of our dreams.
There is no goal without its challenges. As much as we appreciate the responses gotten from well meaning Nigeria on our survey, a larger population size would have impacted greatly on the relevance of this survey which could have represented the voice of over 60 million Nigerian youths who need answers to their teeming questions on how we got here. In view of this, we will be partnering with other platforms, blogs, and social media influencers for our next survey which will be carried out anytime soon.
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Implications of findings
From our findings, it is clear that despite the disheartening rate of lawlessness and incivility by some Nigerians, there exists a size of the population who understand the impact of values on individuals, homes, society and the world at large. Take kindness as an example, you can preach wrong but can never be wrongly kind even if the recipient of this act of kindness back stabs the giver or doesn’t appreciate it, a seed has been sown in his heart and one day intuitively he will show kindness to someone. Imagine if we all are kind, reverence God not just in words but in deeds, what a greater place this world will be.
How to re-engineer Nigeria for greatness in the light of the survey
We recently uploaded two videos on our platform, one on values and the other on enfranchisement and the need for all enfranchised Nigerians to pay the price for a great future for our children, we cannot over emphasize the pain of the previous generation who is witnessing the giant of Africa becoming the shadow of itself right in their eyes. The labours of our heroes past if we don’t salvage this ship will definitely be in vain and we have seen this outcry by Professor Wole Soyinka who out of disappointment called his generation “a wasted generation”. In order to re-engineer Nigeria for the greatness it deserves, all hands must be on deck. From the parent at home, to the teacher in school, the janitor in a company the beggar on the street. If only we own Nigeria in our heart and want the best for it, as little as dropping trash out of your car window or even by the pedestrian will be history, the quick search of the next mugu to swindle will a long time forgotten act and these and many more values are what we will be crusading at Values for Nigeria.
We look forward to a review of Nigeria’s curriculum and a special room given for Nation Building as a subject which will be taught across all levels of learning especially in children who are more receptors of knowledge.
Our Foundation is founded upon the principle of volunteering and, as much as possible, all our activities are volunteer-driven. We have established a network of volunteers who have skills, talents, abilities, or are professionals in areas of need to us for achieving our objectives; these include writers, art directors, visual artists, educationists, and marketing professionals. They each and collectively create most of the messages. Importantly, we adhere to the principle of non-political and non-religious messages.
The Foundation for Values and Normative Change, parent body of Values Volunteers, is not affiliated to any religious or political viewpoint, either formally or informally. We do not endorse any particular political party or religion. We examine our messages rigorously to ensure we present values in exciting, motivating, and nonpartisan ways. We believe anyone, from any background, can be caring, courageous, inspiring to others, or otherwise live the many values we are proud to share in our messages. Sharing and permeating the society with these kinds of positive values is our only agenda. We hope that the values we share transcend religious, political or ethnic orientations.
We look forward partnering with media companies (print, broadcast, and electronic) to volunteer advertising time and space for our inspirational messages as a public service thereby contributing their quota to a great Nigeria.