At the Teensmatta Youth Hub in Lafiaji on Lagos Island, the USAID Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health (YPE4AH) has organised an interactive youth activity as part of festivities to honour the Y2022 International Youth Day.
Mrs. Adeola Olagoke, an Assistant Director and representative of the Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy, said during the programme with the theme: “International Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages” that the forum was intended to recognise the efforts of young people around the world through their active involvement in positively affecting their local communities.
Olagoke, who was represented by Ms. Anu Thomas, noted that the Youth-Powered Ecosystem to Advance Urban Adolescent Health (YPE4AH) is a five-year initiative financed by USAID that aims to create active Youth Hubs in the numerous Lagos State Government-owned Youth Centers spread around the city.
She said that the initiative was created to provide different leadership and skill-acquisition programmes to improve the quality of life for out-of-school teenagers (aged 15 to 19) in urban slums, and that it also intended to promote their reproductive health and overall well-being.
Mrs. Olagoke recognised the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration’s ongoing assistance in ensuring the YPE4AH project’s success across the State and predicted that the partnership will have an influence on youths’ lives and the broader community.
The administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has adopted various policies and carried out projects linked to the YPE4AH because it is a responsible State government that is concerned about the health and welfare of its residents, particularly the young.
Through its print and internet outlets, the government will continue to provide the initiative the assistance and exposure it needs, she said.
Every human being possesses distinctive qualities, abilities, and experiences, so youths should strive to contribute their fair share to the growth of their various communities, according to Mr. Peter Ajayi, a representative of the State Ministry of Youth and Social Development, who also spoke at the event.
He urged the participants to take action instead of waiting and hoping for a brighter future by gaining the needed skills supplied by the hubs and using them to pursue their aspirations.
He said: “Instead of waiting and hoping, take action; once you make up your mind, all the things you seek are within your grasp. You are to motivate yourself to provide your fair share to the advancement of the State and your local communities.
As a result, Ajayi challenged the attendees to constantly make sure they are prepared for all of life’s obstacles by arming themselves with bravery, confidence, and competence.
Speaking on the event’s subject, Busayo Ojei, a member of the YPE4AH Youth Advisory Committee, cited “Ageism,” preconceptions, prejudice, and self-discrimination based on age as a significant obstacle to inter-generational unity.
While highlighting communication skills as a crucial skill that every young person should master, he gave advice to young people on how to express themselves and communicate effectively.
He claimed that some of the advantages of communication skills include conflict prevention, improved relationships, increased productivity, and clarity of purpose.
Among the other events at the gathering were a sensitization session on gender-based violence (GBV) and substance abuse led by Mrs. Ronke Akeju of the Lagos State Ministry of Health, a roundtable discussion between parents and teenagers on teenage pregnancies, the use of contraceptives, and the influence of drugs, as well as performances in dance and drama.