Sunday Olawale Olaniran (2018) Engaging University Students for Community Development Initiatives

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Categories: Paper, Youth Voice Journal



This paper present a case study of a tertiary education students’ led community intervention strategy by considering a newly formed Literacy Fellowship Programme, introduced by a local NGO in Nigeria and geared towards engaging university and college students to promote basic and functional literacy skills in under-resourced communities. The description of the fellowship, the Literacy fellows and what their development activities are, reveals a picture of the broad range of concerns within the society they found themselves. In total, 41 youths (n=41) who have participated in the Literacy Fellowship programme were recruited in this study which involves survey and participating in focus group discussions. Literacy Fellowship was found to be an effective youth engagement initiative of encouraging young people to become more responsible and responsive to societal needs. It is argued that the training and active involvement of young people in community intervention strategies and programmes, especially during their higher education experience, is necessary for solving societal pressing needs and raising future and sustainable change makers. The study proposed recommendations for higher education institutions in Africa to strongly exploit the power and potential of their huge student populace to solve community problems.


Key Words: Literacy, youth Engagement, Literacy fellowship, community development


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