The world has been shown the brilliance of Nigerian students yet again, as Oluwatoni Adesanya, a secondary school student of Greensprings School, Lagos has won the second prize in this year’s Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation (KHREF)’s essay competition.
This international competition received about 100 essays from 17 countries. But Miss Oluwatoni’s essay titled Human Rights Violations Masquerading As Covid-19 Interventions: The Nigerian Experience was adjudged second best, and she bagged the $500 prize.
Sharing her experience about writing the essay, Miss Oluwatoni thanked all her English teachers who have helped in developing her composition skills. She said, “First of all, I want to say a big thank you to my English teachers in Greensprings School for teaching me how to conduct proper research and hone my writing skills. I also want to thank my mother, father and aunt for their constant support.”
“This winning came as a pleasant surprise to me because it was a bit difficult to write the essay at first. My inspiration came from the problems that surfaced in Nigeria during the pandemic and the looting of palliatives donated by the private sector. To do the writing, I had to carry out research on human rights, the origin of Covid-19, and how governments across the world responded to the pandemic. Websites of credible international organizations such as the UN, WHO, and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) were valuable for my research. I also read reliable Nigerian newspapers, and consulted the websites of CACOVID and human rights organisations in Nigeria,” she added.
Miss Oluwatoni ended her remarks by stating that her essay was written to enlighten the public on how some of our Covid-19 policies breached human rights, and how low-income and poor Nigerians have been badly affected by these policies. She revealed that her aim is to call attention to this issue and hope that people in authority take appropriate actions.
Mrs Magdalene Okrikri, the Secondary School Principal at Greensprings School, Anthony campus expressed her satisfaction with Oluwatoni’s achievements. She said, “I am very proud of Oluwatoni and her achievements. She was the valedictorian of our elementary school’s class of 2020, and I am happy that she continues performing exceptionally in everything. She has shown that all the quality education she has received from Greensprings Preschool, Elementary and now Secondary School is paying off extremely well. I know she will win many more awards both locally and internationally.”
The Kemper Human Rights Education Foundation (KHREF) is a non-profit corporation established in 2008. It seeks to motivate students to contribute their effort towards creating a world where everyone’s human rights are realized, by sponsoring human rights essay contests and other human rights-oriented academic activities.