Emilia Okon

Grace Ihejiamaizu

Mkpouto Pius

Esther Eshiet

Peace Azuka

Mirabelle Morah

Emilia Okon


Emilia Okon is an experienced Development Practitioner with interest in Gender, Youth, Entrepreneurship, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Life Skills and Employability Skills with over 10 years’ experience. She enthusiastic about integrating issues mentioned above into projects, programmes and curriculums. She is an excellent participatory facilitator of the above issues which assist stakeholders to realize the importance of Gender Mainstreaming, integrating young people’s needs – Life Skills included in projects/programmes and inturn spur young people to become agents of positive change.

She has trained over 500 young girls, students, teachers, college of education teachers on Gender, Leadership, Employability Skills and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, facilitated the training of over 200 women and men on Employability Skills and developed a mentoring strategy through her work with The Bridge Leadership Foundation. She has worked with several national and international volunteers to create positive changes in Cross River State. E.g. Working with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

 

Emilia has worked with several development organizations like Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI), The Bridge Leadership Foundation (TBLF), she has also been linked to organizations like United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), African/Nigerian Feminist Forum, Development Alternatives for Women in the New Era, BAOBAB for Women’s Rights, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), etc. Presently she works with Cuso International on the YouLead Project as the Gender Equality Officer where she works with the team to mainstream gender into every component of the project.

She owns her first degree in Computer Science from the University of Calabar and has PGD in View from Nigerian Open University.

Grace Ihejiamaizu


Grace is a Social Entrepreneur, Educator and Mandela Washington Fellow working to promote quality education and empower the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. She is a Lecturer at the University of Calabar as well as the founder of iKapture Center for Development, an afterschool organization that works to educate, engage and empower young people especially out-of-school youth. Since inception, iKapture has reached over 5000 young people. Grace is also the founder of OpportunityDesk.org, the largest online platform that shares relevant opportunities for youth across the world.

She is committed to shaping a world where young people have unlimited access to quality education and opportunities. She volunteers her time to mentor young people especially women. In 2015, she coached a team of young girls to develop a mobile app to solve a problem in their community. The group, Team Charis, represented Africa at the Technovation World Pitch in San Francisco where they emerged global winners. Grace has since become a Technovation Master Educator Fellow to get more girls into technology. She also currently serves as the Faculty Advisor for Enactus UNICAL.

Grace has spoken and facilitated sessions at national and international conferences including the World Economic Forum, UNESCO Youth Forum, and OpenCon. Her passion and dedication to the development of youth has won her several awards including being named one of Google’s 12 brightest Young Minds in 2011 and a Global Changemaker in 2012. She was one of the Honorees for the 2013 Future Awards Africa Young Person of the Year Prize and in 2016, became a Mandela Washington Fellow of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). She was recently named one of 50 Youth Leaders to watch during the CrossRiver@50 celebration and also received the President’s Award for Selfless and Outstanding Service as Vice President of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association of Nigeria (MWFAAN) in 2017.

Mkpouto Pius


Mkpouto Pius holds a BSc in Genetics and Biotechnology with First Class Honours from the University of Calabar, Nigeria where she was the Valedictorian in 2015. She is a phenomenal young woman with a passion for driving change and does so through the machinery of thinking and logical argumentation by which she pushes the boundaries of limiting stereotypes by questioning the narratives underlying them. She is an established debater and adjudicator whose influence spreads within and outside the continent. She has judged at various international platforms such at Oxford University, Cambridge University, the East African Universities Debate Championship in Rwanda, and was recently appointed as the Co-Chief Adjudicator for the continental debate championship in 2018.

She epitomizes a shining analogy to make the case for gender equality as she transcends all cultural limitations to the self-actualization of the girl child in a culturally-repressive Nigeria. She is a gender activist who has no reservations about declaring herself as a feminist. She is currently employed as a Lecturer at the University of Calabar.

Esther Eshiet


Esther Eshiet is a Social Worker & Career Catalyst with core competencies in Career Counselling, Employability/Entrepreneurship as well as Policy and Strategy. She founded the Afterschool Centre for Career Development – ACCD (formerly known as Afterschool Peer Mentoring Project) an organization that trains and facilitates growth opportunities for young people enabling them transit seamlessly from school to work

Saddened by the high burden of graduate unemployment in Nigeria ACCD is providing undergraduates with workplace tools, services, and social capital to become ‘strategic fits’ for the workplace. Beyond this, Esther and her team are leading a movement for a change in the Education and Employment ecosystems in Africa through a career counseling model. 

Esther’s work experience which spans through national and international organizations. In 2010 she became a Moremi Initiative Fellow, selected amongst top 25 young women leaders in Africa, in 2012,she was awarded the Prestigious Commonwealth Bridging Bridges Fellowship selected amongst top 20 Global Young Women leaders in Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s reign as Head of the Commonwealth by the Commonwealth Youth Exchange Council, she also bagged an Ashoka fellowship in 2013, in 2014 she was nominated a Global Shaper- an initiative of the World Economic Forum, in the same year Esther was selected to join the Advisory Panel/Board of the Queen Young Leaders Award: an initiative of Queen Elizabeth II.In 2017, She bagged a Commonwealth Associate Fellowship and became an Alumni of the U.S State Department International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP).

Peace Azuka


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Mirabelle Morah


I am Mirabelle Morah and I’m a passionate Literary Studies student with a socially entrepreneurial mindset, travelling around the world in pursuit of my curiosities — writing and sharing the stories of interesting, everyday humans like you & I.

I’m constantly working on projects through Blankpaperz,  to see how literature & storytelling can solve my immediate society’s problems, influence teens & youths, and also how stories can be used to change paradigms and raise awareness.

I founded blankpaperz.com, an online African literary website which looks out for young, talented and unpublished writers, promoting their literary works as well as encouraging them to write more and address social issues through the power of storytelling.

 

I have been opportune to be an Ashoka Changemaker, a YALI RLC Alumni, a Study of the U.S Institutes for Student Leaders Alumni, amongst other things. But most excitingly for me, I love that I have been opportune to realize that art, literature and music can be used to cause change and unify many people.