Youths constitute over 60% of Nigeria’s population of 167 Million and their role in the post-election crisis of April 2011 in Kafanchan underscored their potentials as responsible social actors who must be included in any sustainable development program. They are critical change agents for the promotion of peace as a basis for sustainable development. This is the main recognition for a stand-alone, independent Youth Services
Fantsuam Foundation Youth-Led recognizes the many challenges that face children and youths in the underserved communities within the poor semi-urban and rural areas where it works. For the purposes of this report youths are defined as children up to the age of 10 years, adolescent girls and boys (from 10 to 19 years) and young adults (from 20 to 35 years).
Under this program, children are offered social protection, support for safe housing, education, malaria prevention and treatment, WASH services (Water, sanitation and hygiene) and nourishment.
The devastation of HIV/AIDS has foisted adult responsibilities on some children and youths, making them heads of households. Their peculiar circumstances are recognized and support is tailored for their needs. The educational system that is weighted against youths who cannot afford to attend private schools leads to major deficiencies in their primary and secondary-level proficiency. This happens alongside a high drop-out rate, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and high youth unemployment.
Young adults are provided a second chance to continue their interrupted education while opportunities to acquire vocational and technical skills are provided along side capacity building as peace agents and encouraging full participation in local governance. They are made aware of their civic responsibilities in demanding accountability form their local politicians. They are provided advocacy training to get involved in the development, implementation and monitoring of the budgets of their local government.
In these ways adolescents and young adults are encouraged to see themselves not as victims of their socio-economic backgrounds but as key agents of change for themselves and their communities.
Conflict prevention, Reconciliation and peace-keeping
- Training on Positive Citizenship: non-violent methods of preventing crisis and building peace, Freedom, Tolerance, Peace, Love, Humility, Simplicity, Cooperation, Happiness, Respect, Unity, Responsibility, Honesty, Giving solutions, Admonishing, Judging, Blaming, Moralizing
- Youth exchanges, especially with communities in Rwanda and Kenya where youth initiatives are helping to sustain peace
- Dialogue initiatives to pre-empt outbreaks of violence
- Intensification of pasture production to minimize conflicts with pastoralists over grazing rights and destruction of crops
- GAIYA – National volunteering service provides opportunities for youths to acquire skills, improve their CVs and personal image and gain the respect of their communities as volunteers
- Health promotion by youths to encourage healthy behavior among their peers. They are supported to provide comprehensive HIV, sexuality and health education,
- Youth and adult literacy classes to help school drop outs and those who never attended formal or informal schools
- Basic computer literacy and ICT skills up to Cisco level
- Inclusion of youths with disabilities has been started with computer training for people with low vision
- Special emphasis is placed on ICT entrepreneurships for females
- Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development.
- Compressed bricks training, and Youths Home ownership through social capital investment. Youths are trained
- Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), including apprenticeship as artisans and masons
- Compressed earth brick making skills are taught and youths can form cooperative groups to support each other in building their own homes
- Savings for Change and access to peer-led Banking Services through the Fantsuam microfinance program
- Making Markets Work for the Poor: Youth involvement in key sectors of value chain of agricultural and livestock production – grains, root crops, ginger, bananas, farm inputs: (tractors, labor, fertilizer, organic farming), livestock (goats, pigs, cattle, poultry)
- Youths are provided knowledge and skills to lead initiatives in climate change, disaster risk reduction and biodiversity in their communities.
The Youth-led program has now added a new dimension to its work: befirending and supporting older people. Arising form the 2011 crisis, many older people were left to their own devices in face of danger and inclement weather. This program seeks to promote a recognition of the important roles that older people can play in supporting youths as mentors and encouraging community cohesion
Resources explored for Youth-Led Activities and capacity Building
CISCO Networking Academy. http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/index.html
Peace and Collaborative Development Network. http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/
UNESCO-UNEVOC e-Forum, http://www.unevoc.unesco.org/e-forum
UN-HABITAT Youth Fund, http://www.unhabitatyouthfund.org