They were kids, aged 9 to 12 years. They gathered virtually last week under the auspices of Kids’ HangOut With Abiodun Fijabi. About 300 of them from seven nations.
They had common grounds. Their parents wanted them to be leaders who would play local, national and international roles in changing the world’s narratives. The kids were excited about the projects. They have dreams. Childhood dreams – Yeah, the very type you had before reality (or was it, stupidity?) dawned on you and you abandoned them. Part of the reasons you abandoned them was because the adults in the room – especially mom and dad reminded you of the son or daughter of whom you were. What that meant was, “Quit being Joseph or Josephine, the dreamer; it isn’t going to work. We and you don’t have what it takes.” I believe you are aware of the downside of that. We all have ended up becoming more of the same people we once vowed never to emulate than being the faces of change our world needs.
So, in order to circumvent that, we put the adults in the same room with the kids. They listened to the kids. They went through in-person workshops with our world’s future. They provided oversight as the kids watched the videos. And they willingly abandoned their phones to their kids as they entered the Cohort Chatroom with a mentor along with 20-30 other kids.
In three grueling days, the kids who would one day change their world listened and were listened to, they thought long and hard, they dreamed, they envisioned a better society and made new friends – fellow World Changers, Trailblazers, Change Agents and Eagles. Of major importance is that they reconnected with moms and dads at a whole new level – as partners in their newfound desire to be solutions and not a part of the problems of the society. The Season One of HangOut With Abiodun Fijabi ended with 300 newly issued promissory notes the world would one day cash towards its advancement.
I thank all the mentors, who stood up to be counted and guided the Cohort Chatrooms creatively. The world and I are immensely grateful to Tope Olaifa, Fakunmoju Aderemi, Adeyemi Adeyemo, Akin Akintoye, Emmanuel Odumusi, Femi Royal, Adediran Adeoye Jeremiah, Adelaja Temitope NaGod, Tayo Oladipo, Tayo Akinpelu, Adeola Ojeniyi, Temitope Soretire, Joy Ogbaola and Fiyin ‘foluwa’ Fijabi. I thank Tolulope Akinyemi and the team at Elyon College and Leadership Academy for organizing the HangOut. I only think all these distinguished men and women knew how impactful their intervention was and how through rare dedication and a great sense of purpose, they have helped in planting viable seeds into the future of our world.
You can be a part of the conversation by looking up the HangOut Videos. Just click on the following links: