Benson Ekpo

Volunteer, Small Business Owner, and Aesthetician in Abuja Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

Benson Ekpo

Volunteer, Small Business Owner, and Aesthetician in Abuja Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria

Work out with me

I'm a small business owner and young global citizen currently living in Abuja, Nigeria.

I am passionate about leading conversations with the public-private sector toward ensuring that every child has her/his fundamental human right to education preserved, as targeted by SDG 4.

Growing up with a single mother in the very urban parts of Calabar, Nigeria, I never really understood what my mates living in rural areas were experiencing. Constantly exposed to peers who had the same interest and were receiving the same education, I assumed every kid had the same opportunities. When a family emergency forced me to pay a visit to my aging grandmother in the village (who passed away shortly after), I was distraught by the realisation that boys and girls my age did not have access to some of the most basic educational resources. Three in every five children that I met had never been to a school. Consequently, communicating with and blending into my own local community became a major challenge. Distressed by the discomfort, I returned home with a vow to make a change.

With teens 19 years of age and under accounting for more than 45 per cent of the 171 million population of Nigeria, some 10.5 million of that number are out-of-school. This is by far the world's highest number (UNESCO) and sixty percent of these out-of-school children are girls. Low perception of the value of education to girls and early child marriages coupled with low academic resources spread too thin are among the many reasons young pupils are denied access to the basic education that they deserve. I have witnessed in many occasions where the student-teacher ratio is 100:1.

Teenagers form a core part of the largest generation of youths in human history and if they are denied the most basic of education, social vices and crime rates skyrocket. I dedicate myself to ensuring that all underprivileged children receive a cohesive world class education with an extracurricular activities-packed curriculum geared at building leadership, entrepreneurial and creative skills and promoting cognitive development.

My passion pushes me to work towards activating the process that will bring an overhaul of the Nigerian education system - both in order to evolve the industrial-age-based education into a technologically powered one and bring world class education to the underprivileged children in the most remote places in Nigeria, therefore, giving every child equal opportunities to make an impact in society.