Thursday, April 12, 2007

I cannot really figure out what exactly motivated me to sign up to facilitate the One World Youth Project in Nigeria but since the programme kicked off in 2006, it has been a very exciting initiative. Aside the first hand pen-pal writing experience with our sister-group in Vermont, this programme have so far given young people the opportunity to project the image of Nigeria in the way that some international media is failing to do.
Few weeks ago, I was making a one-minute video with the Creative participants at Yeshua High school, who intrigued me with their impeccable presentation skills. These are kids between the ages of 8-12 years. I can’t remember exhibiting such skill that age! With such bundle of talent in one generation, it is inevitable that Nigeria will bloom in days to come.
Basically, One World Youth Project is a unique programme set up to link groups/students in US/Canada with groups from all around the world together in a learning partnership for the purpose of community service towards the achievement of the UN Millennium development goals. The intent is that through this process of cultural exchange and collaborative action, youths will build up their practical leadership skills, vision to use one’s own passion for positive action and become more knowledgeable, compassionate and understanding.
We are building a culture of people living positively to affect the world, as we don’t want this generation to end up as tired and detached politicians, activists and economists. By 2015, these kids will obviously become youths taking up responsibilities in their individual field of interest and passing on the knowledge that one’s action or inaction can either have a positive or negative effect on the world.
There is nothing wrong with our environment, climate or position of Nigeria on the world map that makes our land a place where dreams cannot be fulfilled. With right tools and mentoring, an average Nigerian youth can be a first class active global citizens making positive impact!
Like we say it on One World Youth Project: Youths are Interested when you treat them with Respect, Engaged if you make things Interesting, Excited if you are passionate, Helpful if you give Responsibilities and if they feel needed, Impacting if given the Forum and the Trust, Leaders if given the time and space to Practice leadership.
(First Published without the picture in Dis Generation Column in The Nation Newspaper (sunday), Nigeria)

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