Nigerian youth tackle environmental issues through the Green Challenge

#GreenChallengeNigeria - an exciting innovation challenge that launched in all states of Nigeria saw hundreds of youth take micro actions to preserve and protect the environment!

Alaa Al Samarraie
A young Nigerian girl stands on a dirt road holding a sign about the green challenge
Generation Unlimited
21 July 2021

Hosted on Goodwall, the Green Challenge Nigeria was an initiative launched by Generation Unlimited and Yoma  to pilot the use of micro-tasking in the context of green initiatives. The aim was to engage and empower youth through a call to action getting them to complete small real-life tasks, while achieving measurable climate-related impact in their communities. 

The challenge was launched on the Yoma-- the Youth Agency Marketplace, which is a digital platform where youth can develop their skills, find opportunities, and achieve impact - while connecting to peers in a supportive community. Learnings from the challenge are expected to inform the development of Yoma, specifically, how to:  

  • Engage youth actively on conservation and environmental sustainability; 

  • Create future conservation advocates through youth mobilization; 

  • Drive youth agency by connecting them to peers and opportunities; and,  

  • Create impact through micro actions.  

The green challenge was a great success, with 72% of participants carrying out a sustainable real-life action and the remaining youth identifying problems and suggesting solutions to improve their community. As with every challenge hosted on the Goodwall app #GreenChallengeNigeria had a dedicated hashtag page and moderated group chat where 97 participants exchanged ideas, gave each other support and asked questions. The challenge reached over 320 submissions in the space of days from across all corners of Nigeria covering a wide range of topics, such as waste disposal, deforestation, climate change and pollution.

Generation Unlimited
Generation Unlimited

Rewards were also given out to the top entries. Runner up Rachel David from Lagos cleaned up gutters in her community to help avoid flooding. Sunday Egbo from Calabar planted trees and encouraged his community to do the same. These are a few examples of many inspiring entries from Nigerian youth.  

The national winner was Rayyaantu Abubakar from Kaduna in rural Northern Nigeria who was awarded the first-place prize for not only properly explaining the issue she identified (plastic pollution), but also for taking matters into her own hands, picking up the waste, AND recycling it into shoes which she sells. A compelling entry from an inspiring young woman who is improving her community in a creative & sustainable way and a great example of micro-entrepreneurship. Congratulations Rayyanatu!  

“Environmental pollution is happening more and more in my community," said Rayyanatu. "I want to make a huge and real difference in people’s lives by making our environment a better and special place. I’m really looking forward to seeing that the throwing of waste/garbage will be increasingly reduced and also this recycling movement should be established and done among young people with the help of government.”