For sometime, Nigeria’s social media platforms have been awash with offensive languages and see-sawing discussions denoting total lack of respect and tolerance for persons and opinions. C4C has is setting an example that social media relations need not be insulting or irrational but respectful and fact-based.
Conversations 4 Change (C4C), an initiative of Dr. Kechi Ogbuagu the Former Global Coordinator of the Global programme to Enhance Reproductive health Commodity Security at the United Nations Population Fund, formally launched a regulated social media discussion as part of its strategy to coalesce voices of Nigerian youths to drive policy change.
Founder Dr. Ogbuagu says the Modulated Forum Discussion, will allow only into the platform those who assent to airing their opinions with civility, tolerance to other parties, and proffer discussions that are fact-based irrespective of opposing views.
“Our blog is our major instrument from which the articles will be shared on all other social media channels, some of which are yet to take off, for the fact that they require funding”.
C4C social media strategy is driven by the experience and activities of likeminded people globally such as Wael Ghonim of Egypt who aim to derive constructive civil discussions happening on the social media.
Moving a bit further, these conversations on social media Ogbuagu revealed will be coalesced via opinion polls of subscribers on topical issues, and properly documented to advocate policy change globally and at all arms and levels of government.
“When you sample a large number of people on polls or sample opinions and discussion where 1000 young people participated – that’s evidence that can empower youths to advocate for changes.
In addition C4C will run interviews on its blog of young people who will share their experiences for information and motivational purposes to their fellow youths.
Content Manager and Social Media Strategist, Amanda Chukwudozie whose job is to collate and curate contents on the blog and social media channels noted that although there exists no magical or rigorous system of verifying stories, much emphasis is focused on fact checking.
Chukwuedozie has had experiences in content curating from working with The HubbingPost, creative platform Stories.ng and published an academic work. Her believe in C4C she says, is its embodiment of factual information, standard of dialogue and exposure to relevant information as opposed to the illogical, unchecked information propagated by some media houses in Nigeria.
To address the challenges of funding to achieve and sustain its intended level of operation, C4C seeks partnership with likeminded organization. Already it has hopes to partner with UNFPA among others. The presence of Social Media Opinion Leader, and Special Adviser to President Muhammad Buhari on Social and Digital Media, Tolu Ogunlesi at the event, certainly raises the popularity of the project.
“We are very excited about working with Tolu Ogunlesi. He is very amenable to doing so,” says Chukwudozie.
C4C is a vibrant platform for continuing information, discussions and dialogue, to inspire, encourage and support young people to become active partners in the development and leadership of their communities, societies, nations and the world.