Friday, February 12, 2010

"I represent Nigeria"..Youth Participation and looking at retirement at 25yrs!

Intro: This is true story of what inspires me Youth Participation..I so do feel happy when I read international Youth reports where young Nigerian youth participated in and the word "NIGERIA" mentioned in the report.

I was 10 years old, when I began "activisting" on issues of children Rights. then in in the old town of Calabar, where I was raised, infact I was still in Primary school then. My Dad was the Chairman of then PTA and that too help me to live up to the expection of who my dad was..Well not untill the 27th of May 1995 that I was ask to participate at the Children Day Celebration at the Government House Calabar with the Wife of the then Millitary Admistration, Mrs Gloria Oboneni(I hope I got that right)..that I began active participation. I was 10.

Now did I stoped there? NO! I realised a calling for me in youth work that when I got into Secondry school (high school to my American peeps) I was very active. The school itself so my interest and dedication, thus they sent me to various adolescents workshops and symposia on adolescent sexuality, education and career.

Another thing I got from my Mom is giving back, so I started a Health Club in my school know as WAPI Health club, was inspired me to becomes the Senior Girls Prefect..ofcource I had mentors both in the school and outside, which greatly help me.

My Univerisiy days was even more interesting as I became more knowlegeable on issues on adolescent and youth sexuality, and leadership building as I volunteered for Nigerian Youth aid Programme(NYAP),Univeristy of Calabar, as a youth counselor and activist. Well It was not easy combining acedemic studies and activsism and peer-education, but as inpsired and determines as I was, I just did it! Thank God my parent suppoted me...Natiional Youth Service Corp Scheme provides an opportunity for young graduates to contribute to national Development, I took that opportunity as I served my Country and help over 35 adolescent to gain leadership eskilles and experiences with the support of UNICEF.

15 years later, the struggle continues as the world face global challenges that demand innovatie sollutions to achieve sustianable development. I took my "Voice" to the UN, at a High Level Meeting on Sustainable Development(UNCSD) the 18th Session, demaning that Heads of Government Practice what they Preach and see young people as stakeholders who need to be integrally involved in the process to acheive sustianable development... Now being involved as an Active Global citizen on issues of sustianable development, I feel happy more so to see the fellow Nigerian Youth and my younger generation became inspired  and taking action in field of SD... I am 25yrs now! What I am leaving back for my next generation?

 NEXT GENERATION: Most time we some of the successful youths activities are carried away with the fame and populairty associated with our susccesses that we forget that there exist the "Next Generation" which need to be inspired and intergrally involved to carring on from where we may have stopped, There are many young people with amazing interest and dedication waiting to be guided and involved in youth activisim because they do no have the right direction. What can we do then? . 

Inspired with the  growth of the International Youth Climate Movement(IYCM) and what young people can do and are doing in India, Canada, Austrain and the UK, so why not Nigeria. With support of an amazing team of dedicated youths, Nigerian Youth Climate Coalition (NYCC)was born on June 6th 2010 in Abuja, at the "Dialogue with the Elder Forum" on Inter-generational Partnership for Sustainabilty with the Financial support from Earth Charter International. Since then, Many young Nigerian have had their capacity enhanced on Climate Change and Youth participation. COP15 provided such an avenue to increased awareness on climate chnage and sustainble living. Now as a leading youth plateform on climate change in Nigeria, NYCC is poised to increase youth participation on Climate Change issues. As a Co-Director of NYCC, I am planing on handing over to the "Next Generation" in May 2010 just like what happend in UK Youth Climate Coalition. Who says that Youth can not retire and play advisory role at 25?

 NEXT LEVEL:  A new phase in my life just began. As I enhanced my professional career as an environmental activist, I got employed with Women Environmental Programme,(WEP), an NGO with UN Specail ECOSOC a program Officer working on Climate Change. WEP Women Environmental Programme (WEP), a non-governmental, non-profit, non-religious and voluntary organisation, was established in 1997 by a group of grassroots women in Nigeria. The major aim is to address the gender injustices on issues relating to environment, economic and social rights of women, children and youths in the society. WEP’s headquarters is situated in Abuja while its operational offices are in two geopolitical zones of Nigeria, namely: North Central and North East.

WEP is operating as an NGO under the Companies and Allied Matters Act by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The organisation is administered by a Board of Directors, while the management team run the administration. The Executive Director who is part of the management team serves as the operational head. WEP has United Nations special Economic and Social Council Status (UNECOSOC status). I am happy and feel fulfiled as this chapter in my life opens.

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