We are Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative or simply known as Connected Advocacy.
We are working for an all inclusive society where marginalised citizens are given the opportunity to be part of making and implementing the decisions that affect them.
We aim to build an integrated ecosystem where the marginalised citizens are included as active participants in the political economy of their society.
We use advocacy as a tool to connect marginalised citizens with development partners, and policymakers to develop an adaptive, and accountable strategy, for effective stakeholder engagement. We do this through sustainable intervention, empowerment, communication, knowledge exchange, alliance building, innovation, and public awareness to ensure marginalised communities are strengthened and drive policies for implementation while creating awareness on clearly defined thematic areas with a shared vision for positive change.
Aims & objectives
These values guide how we do our work and how we work with each other. They help define our organizational culture. We hold ourselves accountable to them every day. At Connected Advocacy we also strive to uphold: integrity, hard work, resilience, teamwork, professionalism, and effective communication.
Focused on driving change in our communities, we understand that consistency is key for sustainability. Whatever we do, we do well and stay on track for the long run.
We are committed to creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society starting with our workplace.
Fidelity is our watchword. We are trustworthy both to our partners, community and to ourselves in a world where such value is in dire need.
We believe that youth are the leaders of now that is why they are the major drivers for change in our organisation, for the society.
We are committed to being accountable and transparent in all our dealings with every constituent member and partners.
In an ever-changing society, innovation makes differences across time. We aim to drive that innovation for grassroots solutions.
We are a youth-led nonprofit organisation committed to community development and empowerment; Connected Advocacy has focused on people and marginalised communities since 2004 through the humanitarian efforts of Prince Israel Orekha that began in The Gambia.
In 2004, Prince was sponsored on a trip to The Gambia where he took residence at the “CHINA HOUSE”, a small inclusive community that accommodated citizens from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia, Gambia and other African countries. It was on this trip Prince dug deeper in his quest to be more useful to the society and change the status quo spurring from his desire to serve from his university days. After a series of consultations he founded and registered Helping Lives International (HLI). Through which he and his friends volunteered as teachers at Alieu Badara Jallow Senior Secondary School, Brufut, Gambia.
From Prince’s training on capacity building and leadership he engaged the students on extracurricular that helped expose the students to new career opportunities and encouraged them to explore these opportunities – this was all geared at raising a generation of African youth who are passionate and innovative about finding adaptive and sustainable solutions to their community challenges.
In 2009 Prince and his team of volunteers adopted a school called Child Concern School in Latrikunda German; the school was built through a collaborative effort of the community and HLI volunteers. A section to train young people was set up and extracurricular classes were formally introduced. This helped increase HLI’s recognition in the community and resulted in a community member providing office space for the organisation.
HLI gained more recognition at the state and national level. In 2009, the organisation championed activities for Alliance for Civilization in collaboration with the Gambia government. The program cut across Africa and Latin America and led to the exchange of volunteers with Argentina. In the same year, HLI got her first grant of $25,000 for the implementation phase of Alliance for Civilization with Argentina Youth Organisation for United Nation.
The death of Prince’s father in 2011 prompted his return to Nigeria. After his return home, he did a tour of the country visiting Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Anambra, Imo and Delta to study the civic space. He discovered how closed and noninclusive the civic space is especially to youth. To change the status quo once again, he set up a team of volunteers to resume works of HLI in Benin City. After several unsuccessful attempts to register Helping Lives International because the name was unavailable, he opted for a name change which birthed Connected Advocacy for Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative which was officially registered on August 16th, 2016.
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