Nigerian youth multiplying impact
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A developing country has at least three dire needs - development, national transformation and youth employment. These are dire needs of Nigeria.
Development: because an economy that has experienced some years of stable economic growth requires this growth to be inclusive and accompanied by economic development.
National transformation: because the need for leaders who lead by serving and have the necessary skills is critical to transforming societies.
Youth employment: because a country which has security issues and millions of unemployed young people is a ticking time bomb.
Volunteer in Nigeria came up with a cheap way to help address these needs. The project, working with partners, is championing the use of volunteering to foster development, national transformation and youth employment. The project’s network of over a thousand volunteers (mainly youth) across the country enables non-profits to achieve their development goals, extending their impact outside the major hubs in the country - Lagos and Abuja.
Volunteers gain a variety of soft and hard skills as they serve during their work and the opportunity to network. Their networking opens up job opportunities as they display credibility on their tasks. Moreover, they share information with each other to stay updated on free skill enhancement and career development opportunities.
To celebrate International Volunteer Day last year, they organised an outreach to encourage young people to volunteer. They were on radio and television stations across the country explaining the importance of volunteering for social and economic development, beckoning on young people to volunteer and answering questions. Many people were encouraged and challenged to volunteer - and they did.
One project these young people have worked on is the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (WTEC) Girl’s Technology Camp. The camp is a technology education and mentoring programme with the objective of helping schoolgirls develop an early interest in computers and Information Technology.
For the camp duration, the girls participate in technology workshops, excursions to technology companies, and leadership activities, with the long-term goal of increasing the numbers of Nigerian women using technology productively for learning, professional and leadership activities. Female volunteer trainers are trained in Scratch Programming, Mobile Application Designing, Digital Photography, Digital Video Production, and Digital Advocacy; and in turn, help to train the target girls.
Sometimes it is picking trash. At other times, it is using skills. It is always a delight to see young people doing what they can!