Every 20th February is World Social Justice Day. The theme adopted for this year is “Closing the Inequalities gap to achieve Social Justice. To commemorate the day, DoTheDream Youth Development Initiative in collaboration with the UN Information Centre, (UNIC) Nigeria and Lagos State Ministry of Education – Education District V held an interactive programme at Awori Ajeromi Grammar School, Agboju, Lagos.
While presenting the UN Secretary General’s message, the Director, UN Information Centre (UNIC) Nigeria, Ronald Kayanja ably represented by the Admin/Public Information Assistant, Ms. Adeola Adedeji reiterated that upholding the principles of Social Justice is at the core of the UN’s Global mission to promote development and human dignity. He stated further that “to promote prosperous co-existence, it is important to ensure no one is left behind and all inequalities in the area of gender, health, environment and education must be closed.”
The Tutor General/Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Education District V, Agboju, Mrs. Oludara O. Okelola in her presentation titled “Leveraging on Education to Close the Equality Gap in Achieving Social Justice” highlighted the laudable initiatives embarked on by the Lagos State Government to close existing inequalities gap. She urged all to work together towards improving access to quality education and healthcare; rethinking work and skills; addressing biases and discrimination, etc. She encouraged the students present and said that “Education is the important gift a parent can give a child. I advise all our students to make the best use of opportunities available”
Also, The Consul General, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr. Jan van Weijen, in his presentation highlighted the importance of dreams relating it to the theme of the Day “Closing the Inequalities Gap to Achieve Social Justice”. He said, “We all have dreams and dreams feed our imaginations”. To enable students realise their dreams, he charged them to take small steps, create teams, put measures in place, focus on SDGs relating to people, prosperity and planet; and be models. He urged them to be bold and brave about their causes.
As part of the event, some students from the Education District held a panel discussion on the challenges and how best to close the inequalities gap in the area of health, environment, education, gender, disability and politics. To promote inclusiveness, some students and teachers of the School for the Deaf and Dumb had a playlet to give a voice to people with special needs.
In his remarks, the Executive Director and Founder of Do the Dream Youth Development Initiative, Adebusuyi Olutayo Olumadewa, emphasized that progressive positive outcomes in closing inequalities gaps can be achieved if all work together and genuinely modify our individual attitudes and values towards humanity. He identified 3 specific pointers that should be embraced for addressing inequalities – Compassion, Care and Concern.