The Founder ofProject 1808 Inc, Dr. Alhaji U. N’jai and a student scholar and mentee Abubakarr Sesay, were among the over 10, 000 delegates at the just concluded maiden edition of the Africa Climate Summit.
Dr N’jai, who is also the Chief Strategist of the non-profit community based organization, was at the event in the in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi as representative of the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) Sierra Leone, while Mr Sesay was one of three young people selected by Plan International, Child Fund and Save the Children to represent Children of Sierra Leone.
The Africa Climate Summit, the first ever to be convened on the continent, took place amid growing concern over the threat posed by the climate crisis on the continent. The three-day even sought to map out a way for the region to finance and tackle its climate change problems without necessarily relying on foreign partners for funding.
The summit came as Project 1808 Inc prepares for its 7th Annual Science and Leadership Festival (Scilead2024) in Kabala, Koinadugu District.
Sesay is among hundreds of students that have benefited from Project 1808’s free educational support and mentorship over the years. The organization, through its School-Community-College Partnership Model, has not only been providing school supports, but also mentoring programmes such as peer mentoring, school to school advocacy visits, teacher mentors, adult role models, and career interest clubs, the Scilead, amongst others.
The 2024 annual Science and Leadership (Scilead2024) will be the 7th edition, and it comes up in January from 11th-14th. The event has been a platform to carry out experiential learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Environment, Entrepreneurship, Arts, Agriculture and Mathematics (STEAM). The aim has been to uniquely empower young people and adults with STEAM, Leadership, and entrepreneurship skills, along with indigenous knowledge, technical excellence and to be competitive globally. This has been an approach by Project 1808 Inc to meet the needs of economic development at community and national levels in Sierra Leone.
In January 2023, there was a whole station on ‘Environmental Science and Conservation’, where participants engaged in interactive discussions on local environmental issues from deforestation, climate change, to zoonotic disease spillovers, etc. Facilitators and participants mapped out the Socio-cultural drivers and risk factors for the various environmental issues.
Sesay, in a LinkedIn post, extoled the contributions of Project 1808 in educating him and other students in Koinadugu about climate change.
“I first started hearing about climate change through the help of the Science and Leadership Festival hosted by Project 1808, Inc every year in Kabala, way back when I was in JSS 3, and eventually started developing an interest on climate issues, which triggered me to establish the youth actions for environmental conservation and climate change,” he wrote.
Project 1808 Inc thrives to enhance economic freedom by promoting local ideas, build next generation of ethically minded, transformational leaders, and mitigate corruption through servant leadership and technical excellence within and out of Koinadugu District.
The organization, through its School-Community-College Partnership Model, also aims to decolonize education with community in mind, as well as nurture a resilient knowledge based system.