- Young Nigerians have always been perceived as the population with the needed capacity to make the desired change in the country
- For this, youths have been hand-picked to drive impactful change in different focus areas across Nigeria
- These youths through knowledge sharing, empowerment, grassroots mobilisation among many others would work in three states to push for change
Twenty young Nigerians have been selected to drive policy changes, support interventions and promote collective responsibility that could bring about social change among Nigerian youths.
The young activists selected for the Speak Up Stand Out (SUSO) program were drawn from various parts of the country to pilot the drive to make a change in communities across three Nigerian states - Abuja, Lagos and Enugu.
The SUSO program will support the young Nigerian activists to work with 500 advocates across 20 communities in the three states for 12 months.
Their work which includes working with 25 young advocates in the selected communities will create solutions to problems affecting young people around four thematic areas - education, employment, governance, security and peace.
PAY ATTENTION: Install our latest app for Android, read best news on Nigeria’s #1 news app
The Speak Up, Stand Out program is funded by Voice under its Influencing Grant targeting organisations and networks to strengthen their advocacy capacities to amplify the voice of marginalised and discriminated groups.
The program is implemented by the Nigeria Youth SDGs Network (NGYouthSDGs) in partnership with the Center For Youth Advocacy and Development (CEYAD), and Afrika Youth Movement (AYM).
Nigerian youths are pivotal to building a great nation
Speaking at a capacity building workshop for the activists in Abuja which was attended by Legit.ng, the program coordinator for SUSO, Adenike Bamigbade, said the #ENDSARS protests which had its highlights in 2020, is proof that Nigerian youths have the capacity needed to drive the desired change in the country.
Bamigbade said just like the #ENDSARS protest which was globally recognized, the SUSO program would seek to amplify the voices of the young people through technology and initiatives that could bring about positive change.
She said the SUSO program would leverage the skills and initiatives of these young Nigerians to build a great nation.
"We are willing to sit at the table and bring our unique perspectives to influence our country positively."
"The Speak Up, Stand Out program is to aid collaboration between young people and decision-makers to address pertinent issues affecting young people."
"It's an opportunity to bring our skills and capacities to join the government, private stakeholders and Nigerians to create meaningful change."
Appreciating the support from the donors, Bamigbade assured that through SUSO, there would be significant contributions in policies affecting the focus areas.
She said these contributions would impact the work of the young activists, the communities they would be working with and the society at large.
In his address, SUSO's communication officer, Dough Onah said the young activists will receive technical support from the team, mini-grants and communications support to amplify their work in their communities.
He said the activists have already been trained on advocacy, digital communications, community mobilising and theory of change.
He said they also had a one-one session with leading activists and advocacy organisations in Nigeria.
"Finally, to round up, activists pitched ideas on how they plan to transform their communities and bring social change."
Why young Nigerians should participate in politics
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that some experts had urged Nigerian youths across the country to endeavour to participate in the nation's electoral process.
One of the experts, Obinna Osisiogu, who is the Convener for We Vote, urged Nigerian students not to sit back and complain, but participate in politics and show interest in the decision-making process in the country.
He also commended the openness some Nigerian students displayed in sharing their distrust in the political system of the country.
Osisiogu further recommended participation and more engagement from the youth as a solution to the problem.
Do no harm policy in favour of survivors of gender-based violence
In other news, Nigerians have been urged to ensure they always protect survivors of all forms of gender-based violence from further harm.
The federal government has also warned that any form of GBV is a crime against the Nigerian state and not just against the survivor of the criminal act.
According to FG, gender-based violence thrives due to socio-cultural norms which are deep-rooted in society.