Abby Asekun serves as the Executive Director of our partner organization 1 Million Teachers Cares (1MT Cares), a nonprofit dedicated to providing educational opportunities and support for teachers in vulnerable and under-resourced communities worldwide. 1MT Cares collaborates with teachers in areas of conflict like Northeastern and Northwestern Nigeria, where attending school poses serious risks for both teachers and students, particularly girls. In these regions, teachers and students often face violence, kidnappings, and other dangers simply for participating in education. Despite these challenges, teachers in these communities strive to create a safe and supportive environment, ensuring that girls have access to education. What inspired you to be a part of 1 Million Teachers?
I’ve always loved teaching. I’ve been a Sunday School teacher since I was in college and wanted to give back to the amazing teachers who wake up every day to teach and nurture our children. 1 Million Teachers offers me the opportunity to be an advocate for teachers every day. Could you tell us about the work your organization does?
1MT provides educational opportunities, tools, skills and empowerment for teachers from the most vulnerable and under-resourced communities around the world. It ensures that teachers irrespective of their socio-economic status, geography and gender have free lifetime access to the 1 Million Teachers training platform as well as access to continuous development programs. In turn, the highly trained and skilled teachers will provide inclusive and gender responsive education to students, especially girls, around the world. What role do you think training teachers plays in improving communities and our world?
Teachers play a vital role in improving communities and our world. They are the backbone of any society. They help shape the minds of children and in some communities are the beacon of hope for children to dream big
Both Girl Rising and 1 Million Teachers recognize that the current education crisis disproportionately impacts girls. Why do you think it is vital to prioritize this issue?
In Nigeria, women make up half the population. If this population is not educated, Nigeria cannot be successful. The same applies to any society, economy or country, without educating girls we stand to lose amazing talent from girls and women that can help change the world! How are girls in Nigeria and the regions you operate in uniquely challenged by the current global education crisis? What are some obstacles they face?
In the Northeastern and Northwestern parts of Nigeria, we face the challenges of insurgency, war, and outright disregard for girls' education. This makes it really difficult for girls to go to school and get the education they need and deserve. What role do teachers play in combating this crisis?
Teachers have been our champions in such environments and sometimes risk their lives everyday to provide education to girls in these regions. The teachers live and work in their communities and get the buy-in and trust of parents, elders and community leaders to provide a safe learning environment for children, especially girls. If there is one thing people can do to remove barriers in the way of children, what would that be?
One barrier people can remove is a lack of access to education. #letmelearn is a mandate I truly believe in. Give children the opportunity to learn and watch them flourish and become successful. What is your message to girls everywhere?
To girls everywhere, we see you, we hear you and we are there for you. We will continue to speak for you when you cannot and champion your causes across the globe until you are heard and the world provides equality to all.