From Flame of Fire to initiating Youth-CAN: an interview with Eby

How sharing her new year’s resolution with her professional networks led to the development of her own environmental organisation Youth-CAN in Nigeria. Listen to WildHub Community Advocate Eberechi (Eby) Osuagwu sharing her journey and lessons learned with us.

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Conversation with WildHub Community Advocate Eby about starting her own environmental organisation this year. 

Eby has a background in environmental management (from Bachelor throughout to her PhD) and she has been working at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria for the past 8 years. 

Eby founded her organisation ‘Youth Climate Action Network’ (Youth-CAN) in January 2023 and used creative ways to make a significant impact. She started by sharing her new year’s resolution with her professional networks, which resulted in the opportunity for her to act as a consultant for the Global Environmental and Climate Conservation Initiative. She quickly gained a relevant network and built her reputation further, which led to an invitation to join the Climate Active National Organic Permaculture Solutions for Africa as a Board member in February. 

Despite the challenges around registering her organisation in Nigeria, she has been able to set up a mentoring programme and gain free training for her and her students thanks to partnerships with useful contacts (including our own WildHub community!) 

WildHub helped enlighten me. This part of me that wanted to do something but I didn't know actually how to do it. Or how to get it started. But when I joined WildHub last year, I got an inspiration, I had this enthusiasm, this flame of fire in me, that this is actually what I should have been doing all this while. The WildHub community made me to actually see 'this is it, this actually why you want to make this change you always wanted to do. So I got inspired, especially in our first WildHub Advocate Social when we were all discussing what we did. I left that meeting that day a changed person." (Eberechi Osuagwu, Founder Youth-CAN, Nigeria)

Eby also describes some of the challenges she encountered in her career development in Nigeria (from 4.16 min), for example a lack of mentors during her academic journey, not being able to practically apply the skills learned and pave a path to have a career in conservation. 

Six different universities in Nigeria are currently connected to Eby’s organisation Youth-CAN. She wants to build an even wider network and uses a train-the-trainer approach so that her students are empowered to raise awareness in primary and elementary schools and herewith act as “Environment Champions” (from min 29.45). 

We spoke about the value of organising monthly webinars to benefit Eby’s students, any other students and early careers in Nigeria and beyond (from 30:00 min) and how our WildHub community can help with this. If you are interested in sharing your expertise with Eby's students and our community, please get in touch with Eby here

We are all supposed to be conservationists really [...]  I would love to see a world that we can be proud of" (Eberechi Osuagwu, Founder Youth-CAN, Nigeria)

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Thank you dear Thirza. I had a great timeout with you. Thank you Wildhub Community for granting me this opportunity to share my story. I love it here and it indeed feels like home. 

Go to the profile of Chrissy
9 months ago

Awesome interview! Thanks for sharing your journey with us @Eberechi Cecilia Osuagwu, wildhub advocate