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Applied Worldwide correspondent Adamu Usman Garko writes about how an NGO in Nigeria is investing in the future.

From Nigeria – How an NGO is Investing in the Minds of Future Change-makers

The Hadiza Ibrahim Aliyu Schools Festival (HIASFEST) is organised by Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria, on behalf of Alhaji Bala Abdullahi Kwatu who is the key sponsor. The program is designed purposely for giving voice to secondary schools students through arts and culture. It is through goal-oriented efforts like this that human beings reaffirm their honour as the greatest of all creature by their exceptional display of brilliance.

The maiden edition of Hadiza Ibrahim Aliyu Schools Festival held in 2019, targeting secondary school students as the future upholders of artistic production, innovation and knowledge. In BM Dzukogi’s words, Hill-Top Creative Arts Foundation as the organizer, seeks to offer time and space for young creative minds to engage in meaningful art works that impact the world for the greater good of humanity.

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The festival is a four-day event that comprises of on-the-spot poetry writing, on-the-spot short story writing, painting, craft, contemporary song in English, cultural dance, quiz contest, literary essay writing, spoken word, and drama including National literary awards and offer of scholarships to deserving students. It is without doubt that the event draws youths from nook and crannies of Nigeria. The event organisers are currently exploring the possibility of getting West African countries to attend the subsequent editions.

According to Alhaji Bala Abdullahi Kwatu, the initiator of the program, the festival targets young persons of secondary school age because at that age, their minds are still open to receiving and processing changes and they are also curious enough to explore and accept the unique nature of mankind.

The four-day festival also offers an avenue for interactive creative sessions among the youths, where they are thoroughly engaged and mentored, intellectual compositions on current and timely issues bedeviling our country. The innovative project also aims at combating fear, socio-cultural and religious intolerance amongst young people and fosters a sense of unity, tolerance of diversity and subsequent embrace of and respect for each other’s differences.

Adamu Usman Garko

Adamu Usman Garko is a short story writer, an essayist and poet. He is the author of When Day Breaks, a collection of poetry, which was listed among the 15 Best Published Books in 2018 by DailyTrust newspaper; also, the book is a recommended text for 400l English students of Gombe State University in 2019. He is the 2020 winner of the Nigeria Prize for Teen Authors He is the convener of Gombe Book and Arts Festival, an in-coming literary festival in Nigeria to kickstart in 2020. You can connect with Adamu Usman Garko on Twitter.