Friday, August 25, 2006

International Youth Day Celebration 2006 in Abuja, Nigeria

The city of Abuja on the 12th of August witnessed the second day of the international youth day celebration as sixty seven (67) youths from all over Abuja and neighboring states gathered at the British Council Abuja to talk, learn, share, network and take action.

The event which was themed “Tackling Poverty Together” had in attendance great contributors like Dr. Abdulkareem Lawal, from DFID, who besides giving the keynote address on the first day, also actively participated in the group session on HIV, Education and poverty, John Richard, the Country director of British Council who gave the welcome address on the first day, briefing audience about British Council and their role in supporting Global Xchange programme.

Mrs. Esther Avbuere, the director of youth, Ministry of women affairs also gave a goodwill message. In Her speech, she noted that the present administration remains deeply committed to ensuring that all our youths, particularly the disadvantaged youths are properly integrated into National Development programmes and given a realistic and purposeful hope of a meaningful adult life. To fulfill this objective, however, its hoped and expected that government action would be increasingly backed and supported by Non Governmental Youth organizations which have a key role to play in the development of our youth”

Other great contributors and adult facilitators who brought their valuable knowledge to the event includes Dr. Olajide Ademola, reproductive health adviser, UNFPA, who gave an educative lecture and passionate advice on how young people can take action, with emphasis on importance of personal development and time management. In “Youth and Adult Partnership in tackling poverty” group session, Jasper Oei from UNICEF during his feedback emphasized on the need for youth not to limit youth and adult partnership to just young people being at the receiving end, but resourceful youths should learn to take out time to share their knowledge with adults around them. Mr. Uza T., from Partners for development trained the youths on financial management and entrepreneurship. Gbenga Adebusuyi from WIRE Africa also educated participants on youth empowerment with ICT.

The Global Xchange country management team, Mr. Kayode Akintola and Mrs. Ramatu Umar-Bako enlightened the participants on what Global Xchange was all about. . In the introduction, they pointed out that Global Xchange is partnership between organisations that are equally committed to the idea that International Volunteer Exchanges can help develop active global citizens, who are committed to working for positive change and can positively impact local communities in the UK and Nigeria. These organisations are the British Council, VSO and an implementing partner in Nigeria.

Some Global Xchange Volunteers co-facilitated the different group discussion session with the invited adult facilitators. Fatimah Umar and Jennifer Ehidiamen, of the Global Xchange made a narrative presentation on “goal setting as a tool for tackling poverty”. A big brother Nigeria celebrity and broadcaster, Katung was a surprise guest at the event. He shared his experience as a young broadcaster and his new status as the big brother Nigeria celebrity. Participants were allowed to ask questions which he answered intelligently.

The event’s objectives of the celebration was to equipped participants with accurate information on current trend around the issues of youth poverty and how to tackle it, give participants the opportunity to meet and interact to rally support with key stakeholders and mentors in development work. The knowledge they gain during the brainstorming session will help them in creating a framework for their take action community projects.

Muyiwa Adebayo, who was the MC of the event, thrilled everyone with music and jokes as he even composed a GX anthem for the event. The media played important role in support of the observance of the Day to promote public awareness of youth issues.

The event which was organized by Global Xchange youth volunteers with support from British Council and Voluntary Service oversea was rounded off with a skill acquisition training session on soap and Vaseline making. Fatima Madaki, one of the global xchange volunteers shared her skills and knowledge in this area with the hope that it will go a long way in gainfully engaging young people; help develop their innate skills and ultimately tackling poverty.

“Thanks for inviting me to the meetings. I learnt and took a great deal from them. As I traveled to Abuja from Akure, I asked myself, 'Lawrence, what are you going to do in Abuja? Are you sure these meetings are for you? Would you learn from them?' I could not return home since I had gotten to Okene. After the first day of the meetings, I think I got answers to my questions.

...I got a great deal from those meetings. I learnt about Volunteering and Goal setting. Dr. Ademola Olajide, during his practical advice, spoke to my heart. That day, I got to where i stayed and began to write some plans for my life” Lawrence, a participant writes after the event.

The two-day event which was organized by the Global Xchange Youth Volunteers with support from the British Council and Voluntary Service overseas Abuja was indeed a success.

Jenny was there!
Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude. Excellence comes not from education, money, ability or connections alone. It comes from a commitment to do the very best with whatever you have available.

1 comment:

Olumuyiwa Adebayo said...

Hello Journalist Jenny-JJ, I want toyo commend you.Your site is really resourceful.Is there any opportunity for guests to post contributions? Best Wishes from Muyiwa Adebayo