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A Listening Project at Unizik

We did it at last! Seven of us participated in the first listening project1 organized by the Unizik2 RC Community, led by Professors Anayo and Chineze. When the university had their new intake matriculation,3 we were there listening to the young adults fully expressing their beautiful minds.

All the public universities had been in limbo for more than six months as the academic staff across the nation downed their chalk and markers. During the strike, we in the Enugu4 RC Community enjoyed the company and skills of the Unizik RC leadership.

We prepared for the listening project for over a month. We met a couple of times to discuss the plan and above all discharge on our young adult years. We had two support groups—one in Awka and one in Enugu. A week before the project, we met as a whole. It was an exciting moment for us all!

We held the listening project where the university legal officer was swearing in the new intakes to oaths of good behavior. After various speeches, it was celebration time with families and friends.

We couldn’t mount canopies, as they would limit us in mixing with the happy crowd, so instead we floated easily. We also decided not to limit what the new intakes could talk about, and that helped.

We listened to many of the excited new students. At times the parents took turns, too. On our team were five lecturers and two non-lecturers. Most of the students wanted time with the lecturers. They found it difficult to understand how a professor could come down from the podium to mingle with them. For some it was their first contact with a professor one-on-one.

My highlight was listening to three new students from the northern part of Nigeria. They felt isolated because of cultural and language barriers and the mega-killings5 going on6 in the northern part of the country. They discharged on their isolation, and cultural and language challenges. I encouraged them to remain connected to each other.

At the end our team shared sessions and lots of discharge. We sat close, hugging each other and laughing real good.

Sincerely, a listening project is a wonderful medium for going public and getting people to appreciate RC tools. I am sure that the next RC class at Unizik will have a lot of young adults attending.

Kingsley Ibekwe
Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria

1 In an RC listening project, several Co-Counselors go to a public place and offer to listen to passersby—often about some important issue, such as racism or a current war. They may put up signs that invite people to share their thinking.
2 Unizik is Nnamdi Azikiwe University, in Akwa, Anambra State, Nigeria.
3 “New intake matriculation” means enrollment of new students.
4 Enugu is the capital of Enugu State, Nigeria.
5 “Mega-killings” means very large number of killings.
6 “Going on” means happening.

Last modified: 2020-07-17 20:50:52+00