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“He was at the forefront of the Child Rights Act”
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“He was at the forefront of the Child Rights Act”

Nigeria’s foremost child rights activist has been named to a prestigious International Leadership program operated by the U.S. State Department. The nomination puts Dayo Israel in the ranks of more than 300 global leaders who are alumni of the program, says Tayo Elegbede, 23, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Lagos, Nigeria.

Nigeria’s foremost child rights activist has joined the ranks global visionaries as alumnus of a prestigious leadership program. 

Dayo Israel, a Youth for Transparency International Special Representative to the United Nations, has been named to the U.S. State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). 

Participants in the IVLP bring backgrounds in government, politics, the media, education, business and trade, non-governmental organisations, student groups, the arts and other fields. As of March 2012, 53 current and more than 275 former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government are IVLP alumni. 

Dayo was Chairman of the Presidential Summit of Nigerian Children and the First Deputy Senate President of the Nigerian Children’s Parliament. As Founder/Executive Director of GLEEHD Foundation, he facilitated exchange programs for young Nigerians in Britain and took part in UK Government exchange programmes including Connecting Futures in 2002, Africa Belongings in 2007, and Global Changemakers in 2009.

An avid climate change campaigner, Dayo continues to promote climate change education among youths in Nigeria. “I feel honoured and delighted to have been invited on this prestigious program,” Dayo says. “I believe knowledge and opportunities that the program would afford me would be used for the development of the Nigerian people and Africa as a whole.” 

Dayo established the General Action Against the Violation of Human and Children’s Right and was at the forefront of passing the Child Rights Act into law in Nigeria in 2003.  As well  he was a member of Nigeria’s national working groups on Juvenile Justice Administration and Child Right Act implementation.

The social entrepreneur recently returned to Nigeria from Great Britain to take up a position as Special Assistant on International Relations, Strategy and Community Development to Senator Babajide Omoworare. The Senator is the Vice-Chair of a Senate Committee on Federal Character and also an IVLP Alumnus. 

Dayo is part of the Special IVLP program organised under Secretary Clinton’s recently expanded Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society. When he returns to Nigeria he is expected to be the arrow head of one of the U.S. Government’s Civil Society Working Groups in Nigeria.

As part of the highly prestigious – and expensive – IVLP programme participants are hand-picked to spend three weeks visiting Washington D.C. and three other cities, meeting their counterparts and other VIPs and experts. It is all highly valuable networking experience for any emerging leader on the climb.

While on the IVLP program, Dayo is expected to visit San Francisco, California, to attend meetings at Stanford University and pay courtesy visits to major corporation organisations in the Silicon Valley including Twitter, eBay and other hi-tech corporations. Travel to Kansas City, Missouri, Virginia, and Washington D.C. will provide opportunity meet with professional experts in the field of democracy and good governance, civil society engagement, and enterprise development. 

“I believe the experience on this trip would certainly reinforce my belief in the importance of civil society as a cornerstone for emerging democracies,” Dayo says. 

The U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, the IVLP was launched in 1940 as a by-invitation-only effort to connect current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short term programs.

The IVLP has produced over 300 Presidents and Prime Ministers across the globe including Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher, Edward Heath, Anwar Sadat, Ehud Olmert, Hamid Karzai, Indira Gandhi, John Kufuor, Joseph Kokou Koffigoh, Nicolas Sarkozy, Kim Dae-jung, and the current Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva. 

You can follow-up with the activities of the team by checking www.facebook.com/letsdoitafrica

Tayo Elegbede JET is a Nigerian Journalist cum Mediapreneur Follow @tayojet1

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About me:

I am a young broadcast journalist, radio presenter, writer, public relations practitioner and social entrepreneur with a passion for all-round human development.

My core philosophies in life include honesty and integrity, open-mindedness, responsibility and accountability.
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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.

Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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