A Non-Governmental Organisation, Yes We Can Sustainable Leadership for Youth Initiative’ has unveiled its project “My Safe Space’ in Enugu.
The programme which is sponsored by VOICE: an innovative grant facility that supports the most marginalised and discriminated people in ten low- and lower-middle income countries in Africa and Asia is aimed at creating platform where young people can express their feelings about issues affecting them as well as share ideas on how they handle these issues individually and possibly articulate solutions to them.
Project Coordinator of the NGO, Amanda Okolie while speaking on the strategic plan of the project at the official launch of My Safe Space at the Hotel Cordial Exclusive said its activities will focus on addressing unemployment, violence and youth participation in politics.
Okolie said “the project will engage with the youths through 3 thematic areas of dancing, reading/storytelling and advocacy and it is hoped that every member of the platform can identify one thematic area to belong to and use it to express him/herself.”
The project according to her, “targets 100 youths in Enugu State, particularly the most vulnerable youths- unemployed, poor, slum dwellers, uneducated, physically challenged, youths in conflict and others and It is a 12 months project starting from July 2019 to June 2020.”
She also noted, “One of the key outputs expected at the end of the project is a book documentary that captures conversations and ideas coming out of the platform which will hopefully be a guide on how to address issues affecting young people in Nigeria.”
Okolie further explained that the main purpose of the launch is to publicise the project and let the public understand the exact purpose of the project in Enugu State.
She also said it will be an opportunity to bring all stakeholders together and intimate them on what the project is all about and how they will be engaging under the platform.
“Yes We Can’ started as a University movement to address some of the dissatisfactions of students in academics, governance and welfare within the University which its pioneer leader is a student Union activist who was very passionate about justice and empowerment of young people.
“He graduated from UNN and continued to pursue his interest in social justice, reaching out to wider audience of young people especially those in the ghetto parts of Enugu State.”
She expressed optimism looking forward to new opportunities to building on the successes of its first project and also assured that the project team will be more than ever committed to fulfilling the group’s responsibilities, with a sense of duty for a greater purpose in educating the youths.
The Enugu Commissioner for Education, Professor Uche Eze represented by a Director in the Ministry, Sir Laz Udeh commended the initiative and assured of the Ministry’s readiness to support the My Safe Space project in the state through advocacy to various schools.
Professor Eze who said education holds the key to development of any society said the state government under the leadership of Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is committed to creating a conducive and safe learning environment for students and an enabling atmosphere for young people to realised their full potentials.
On his part, member representing Aninri state constituency in Enugu State House of Assembly and House Committee Chairman on Sports and Youth Development who unveiled the project urged youths to be alive to their responsibilities.
While urging government at all levels to initiate policies to better the life of young people in the country, he assured that the House Committee on Sports and Youth Development under his leadership will ensure that the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development will truly perform its statutory responsibility of not just promoting sports but building capacity of youths in the state.
Representatives of other VOICE-partnered NGOs at the event, including Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organization (CAPIO) and DewDrop Foundation shared their achievements in their areas of primary focus especially protecting rights of the elderly and those correctional inmates.
Over one hundred young persons attended the official launch of the My Safe Space Launch”.