I am Effiong, Uket Friday mostly known as Uket Friday as seen via my social media handles viz Facebook: Uket Friday, Instagram: @worden_legacy, Twitter: @uket_friday.
I hail from Yakurr local government area of Cross River State. I am a young civil servant, curator, public speaker, and volunteer. I am a YALI NETWORK member and a YPC (young people Connect) ALUMNI. I work at the University of Calabar as a non-teaching staff. I developed a passion for Social Enterprise and Volunteering in my quest to be a change-maker during a proposal/essay writing competition organized by Voice of Reason Nigeria in 2015.
I was employed at the age of 19, to some young persons it was a lifetime achievement. I mean, what more would any young Nigerian ask for after being employed into the federal civil service at such a young age, saving him the troubles of walking up and down, come rain come shine, seeking for a job below his educational qualification because that’s what our society has always offered. On the contrary, being a young civil servant was never a lifetime achievement for me (it might be a good one but definitely not a lifetime achievement) owing to the fact that I have always longed to be a Change Maker, a young person helping and influencing others to be better versions of themselves (far from what the society see them to be — lazy, miscreants, disappointing, wayward, etc.)
In my venture to garner experience and build a formidable network in the Social Enterprise sector, I have worked with amazing and inspiring young persons causing change in the world especially in Nigeria, such as Joseph Joseph (founder, Young People Connect), Mkpouto Pius (founder, She in Charge) Chibuzor Aguomor (founder, Sunrise Youth Intervention Organization), to mention just a few.
Despite my tight work schedule, when I’m not working, I volunteer for youth-run organizations. My zeal and dedication when volunteering has earned me leading volunteer positions including Head of Media/Technical team (ONE campaign’s #voteyourfuture event and The Sunrise Tech innovation summit hosted by Sunrise Youth Intervention Organization), Head of Logistics (Connect Conference 2019 organized by young people connect), etc. I currently hold two volunteer positions with She In Charge (a gender-based NGO) where I head media and publicity and Okares Sickle Cell Foundation where I am the Project manager. Under my supervision, the foundation has organized world sickle cell Day events in a higher institution and 3 secondary schools in Nigeria. From the 100 days awareness campaign on sickle cell disorder which I’m managing, the foundation has expanded to four other states in Nigeria and still counting.
It is noteworthy that as new problems, societal issues emerge every day, new ideas and innovations aimed at solving these problems also emerge. With the thought that millions of ideas are birthed daily, the fear of not being able to survive or even stand out has kept many young people with bright ideas in their shells. To this end, with the experience and network gathered over time, I am working on my organization to be launched by September 2019. The organization would basically recruit, train and equip young persons with employable 21st-century skills that would enable them to stand out despite the competition in the ideation space leveraging on technology.
I belong to several online advocacy groups including Amnesty International, Global Citizen, ONE Campaign, etc. where I join millions of people around the world to advocate for ruman rights, gender equality, and other societal issues.