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Change starts with us
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Change starts with us

Pamelerin at GiveAGirlChildaPad Campaign
Nnabugwu Chukwuebuka Kelvin

YOUTH WORK WEEK SPECIAL: A sanitary pad distribution initiative to keep girls in school, and a project to groom school prefects into future leaders are some of the examples of the work young people in Nigeria are doing to create a better future for others. Nnabugwu Chukwuebuka, 26, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Uzii in Nigeria, says a sense of urgency for change can be seen in youth participation and involvement in projects across the country.

Young Nigerians are looking for change. Not physical change, but transformation that goes deeper and gets into the root of the issues the country faces. A mental transfiguration.

And young people are rising to the challenge through active involvement in various social development projects, skills building and educational empowerment programmes.

We young people have realised that the future we hope for can only come from us, and not from the older people.

Data shows that the population of Nigeria is predominantly youthful, with about 68 million people aged between 15 and 34. But this large youth segment is not clearly considered in development schemes. It is therefore largely up to young people to step up to create a better future for ourselves and our peers.

Satina Harry is one such young person. She has been actively involved in various projects in secondary schools  in Nigeria.

Her desire to push for change started back when she participated in the #createawarenessscheme during the last election in Nigeria. Notwithstanding her gender and age, she went out into the streets and deep into the marketplaces educating local traders on their role in the elections.

Paragons Initiative visit to a school led by Satina Harry

Her love for youth work led her to start Paragons Initiative, an NGO which focuses on leadership, youth mentoring and personal development. One of the NGO’s activities is the Prefects’ Conference, a leadership project which brings together school prefects across the country.  Becoming a prefect is one of the starting points for many leaders.

Satina’s passion for next-generation leaders, which she believes starts with the right mindset, has had a huge impact on the success of the project, which is now in its second phase since its launch in 2018.

Satina Harry presents a Leadership Certificate to one of the students

Pamilerin Adegoke is another example of a young person who is making things happen so that young people can have a better future. So far this year, he has distributed more than 4,500 sanitary pads to girls in Abuja and Ibadan as part of the #GiveAGirlChildAPad Initiative.  His zeal for the education of girls is linked to his desire to meet the girl child’s needs.

There are other great youth engagement programmes in Nigeria, such as UNIV Nigeria. This is a platform geared towards mentorship of next-generation leaders by organising conferences through which young people in Nigerian universities meet to discuss current issues.

UNIV Nigeria has been quite successful in grooming youths across the country by creating an avenue for the promotion of excellence.

Youth work has gained momentum in Nigeria over the recent years, as more young people come up with initiatives to boost the prospects of fellow youths. Now, we just need more support from government and other well-wishers.

Photo credit: Satina Harry/ Pamilerin Adegoke

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About me: Moving on, seeing, analysing and predicting has always been my desire, as making it concrete in form of writing has been my passion. I am Nnabugwu Chukwuebuka, and have obtained my first degree in geology from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. I’m a free writer on political and ethical issues. Making a positive impact on the nation has always been my dream.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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