2020 to some is a disheartening, to others it is full of challenges, to some others – it is a year full of surprises and yes to some others – it is a year of positivity and achievements.
EXCERPTS from the International Youth Day With The SEAP FOUNDATION
First Speaker Background
Kehinde Adebiyi is the Program Coordinator for The Millennium Campus Network, USA. In this capacity, he coordinates the Millennium Fellowship Program launched by the United Nations Academic Impact for young leaders across the world.
Kehinde Adebiyi holds a First-Class Bachelors’ degree in Microbiology from the Lagos State University and he is a recipient of numerous local and international scholarships such as the Gani-Fawenhinmi Scholarship, Jagal Foundation Scholarship, Fidson Healthcare Scholarship etc. In June 2020, Kehinde won the Union Bank Rise Challenge Award for his invaluable contributions in helping others rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kehinde is the National Director of Campuses for SDGs-ACT Nigeria. With over three years of experience, he leads and coordinates all campus SDGs advocacy groups in his country. Kehinde also served as the 2020 YouthLead Ambassadors Peer Advisor where he supervised selected civic leaders across the globe; a project sponsored by USAID. In 2019, he led the largest SDGs campus advocacy to over 20,000 students in his country thereby earning him the reputable award of SDGsACT Nigeria man of the year 2019, Millennium Fellow Hall of Fame, Hesselbein Fellowship and numerous others. He is a Millennium Fellowship Alumna and have also served as the Africa Team Lead for the 2019 Millennium Fellowship Admissions Committee.
He is immensely passionate about sustainable development and desirous to see a planet where everyone lives in peace and shared prosperity.
I must also affirm that; Truly, there have been numerous disheartening situations ranging from the COVID-19, killings in southern Kaduna, Beirut explosion, Indonesian Volcanic eruption etc.
It really seems like there is no hope again, it’s appears that the world challenges are increasing day by day and we are in for the battle of survival rather than the race of hope.
However, I see 2020 as a call to actions.
I see the year as a repositioning for all of us to realize what truly matters
Truly, all of these happenings have shown to us that we are not doing a lots of things right and there is an urgent need to change track!
Thus, we need to see the challenges and happenings as an opportunity
We need to leverage on all opportunities available and even create opportunities when it’s not available to birth social change.
So the big question to then ask
Are you part of those complaining that there are lots of issues in the society?
Are you among the individuals blaming the government for every challenges?
Are you also part of the naysayers that are of the ardent opinion that Nigeria can’t be better?
If your subconscious answer is YES
Then you need a REORIENTIATION
You need to realize that these problems does not only affect the society but also affect you. You need create positivity from negativity and join the movement to birth change.
As Youths – see challenges as opportunities and use this to create transformative change which will lead to a GLOBAL IMPACT
Reflecting on the theme of the International Youth Day “Youth Engagement for Global Actions and also the topic of this webinar Utilizing Opportunities for Global Impact
The key point I will like to affirm is that
Opportunities is not limited to you having accces to platforms like political positions, leading organizations etc.
You can create opportunities from challenges and it is the best way to birth GLOBAL IMPACT
For the past four years, I’ve been actively involved in social works and I tend to create opportunities from problems.
I started the first SDGs advocacy campus club when I realized that most students are not aware of the Sustainable Development Goals. I started with eight persons and now the club accommodates over 1000 students across six universities.
So you can definitely create impact from problems.
We all are working towards achieving the SDGs – I must however say that achieving the SDGs involves the Mindset ‘ab initio’ before the practical steps.
So, stop complaining and create opportunities from challenges and ultimately utilize this to create global impact.
See challenges as opportunities and ultimately create change.
Conclusively, you are the change we need and now is the time to take actions.
Second Speaker Background
Rashidat Umar Omoshola obtained a Bsc in Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State in 1998 and MSc Psychology with a bias in Developmental Psychology from University of Lagos, Akoka in 2010.
She joined the Lagos State Government employment as a Youth Development Officer in 2001 till date. She is a Youth Development practitioner, certified life coach, NLP practitioner and an Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Rights advocate.
She is the coordinator of the Ibile Youth Academy, a platform for building young people in leadership, volunteerism and citizenship. She also coordinates the Lagos State Youth Ambassador who are the product of the Ibile Youth Academy.
She is the Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health desk officer for the Ministry and the Project Officer for UNFPA & NURHI intervention programmes.
She is keenly interested in leadership and volunteerism and a lover of young people, she loves working with young people and adding value to their lives. She has contributed immensely to the growth and development of young people that crossed her path in the last few years as Youth development practitioner and leadership coach. She has passion for inspiring the youth to be the best they can be and assume their rightful position as “partners in development”
Rashidat Umar is a Rotarian and a mother of three children.
As I have been introduced, I work with the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, I am an assistant director now and have done quite a few things with young people in my years of working.
I find young people very intriguing and believe they have a lot of fire, energy, zeal and potential that can add to societal development.
The last speaker did a wonderful job and great justice to the topic, in fact his brief sums it all. You are great and going places am quite sure of that.
A lot of young people look for opportunity rather than look for challenges and transform it to opportunity and leverage to propel them forward.
The young man saw something missing around him and promptly address it.
And just like that he launched something for himself
The first thing is to equip yourself with knowledge. What you don’t have you can’t give. No one will engage you if you have nothing to give. You must be able to add some value.
Young people wait for opportunity to drop on their laps, they wait on parents, families, Govt and the society and continue to blame these elements if nothing is forthcoming from them rather than take the bull y the horns and do something.
We need to engage ourselves before significant stakeholders will engage us. Global action starts from the corners of our homes.
What we are doing is one of it. I appreciate the organizers of this session and other such platforms for a wonderful job.
Its nice seeing young people engaging themselves meaningfully.
It’s not until you do some gigantic project before you contribute your own quota to global action. All these little efforts put together amount to something big and great.
Let us as young adult seek clarity of purpose and set achievable goals.
Let us seek for knowledge in whatever form and apply it. I always emphasize on working with other like minds simply because it allow you to do more, you learn move and achieve more in little time.
You also have others to share the burden with and you won’t give up easily.
Government and the society in their own little way had been and will continue to engage young people and you should be ready to accept that opportunity and make good use of it.
Young people should be ready to take up their rightful position of being the leaders of today because tomorrow may never come. We should seek to be actively involved in our community development and progress.
You need to take your issues in your own hands and engage those in authorities meaningfully. Activism and radicalism is not the solution rather use advocacy and actions to convince them to dance to your tune.
Young people feel too privileged and over entitled and believe Govt should provide it all for that but what are we as young people doing for ourselves?
Let us change the mindset of receiving all the time from Govt and significant others to willingness to contribute our own quota and positive dialogue.
We should resolve to engage ourselves first before seeking for engagement by the Govt.
Learn to build a strong personality, clarify your values, be committed to being the change you want in the world. Let the change start with you. You can never give what you don’t have. Improve on our person and add value to yourself.
Third Speaker Background
Daniel Nwaeze (Global Youth Coordinator, GAPMIL Youth Sub-Committee | Media &
Communications, Afrika Youth Movement)
Daniel is the media and communications coordinator at Afrika Youth Movement; a youth-led movement with over 10,000 members in over 41 countries and 15 country hubs. He is passionate about everything youth, media and information literacy.
He has led successful media campaigns to redesign narratives about young people, such as #ShapeNarratives, #SexyFarming Campaign and #iLoveMyContinent. And is the founder of Diplomacy Opp, a platform that connects young people globally to development opportunities and media and information literacy-related learning.
In 2017, Daniel began engaging with UNESCO and GAPMIL to promote media and information literacy among young people globally. He helped led the Youth Newsroom at the 2018 and 2019 Global MIL Week including shaping conversations at the Youth Agenda Forum in both year.
Daniel Nwaeze currently coordinates the GAPMIL Youth sib-committee which successfully developed Global Action Plan and Regional Action Plans for media and information literacy in 5 regions (Asia- Pacific, Europe & North America, Caribbean & Latin American and Africa) and working with 12 youth ambassadors and 5 regional coordinators across the globe to promote media and information literacy.
The obvious difference between last year and this year’s celebration of the international Youth Day is that most activities went online this year.
But more importantly is that we’ve learned that even when we’re not physically together, we can still make impact.
Today, I was on a panel with the DGs of WHO and UNESCO
One would ask, how did this local man get to this global stage?
That’s the journey I want to share with you
For context, I was born and live in Mushin. The lagosians here can relate
See, Someone asked the other panelist what happens when there’s an implementation issue and he said be flexible
I want to add that: everything you’ve ever dreamed of, is on the other side of fear.
You have to leave your comfort zone.
But in going to the other side, And also harnessing global opportunities, Here are the things that helped me
From starting, Have the vision of the big picture.
Mrs Rashidat Umar mentioned key points and I totally agree with her.
Let every step be connect and lead to the next big thing.
Not today you’re in education because A is succeeding there then tomorrow you’re in health and next tomorrow in climate change.
After the above, Find a need and fill it. If there’s no need, find a way to do the things better. In doing this, always think local and act global.
Think local by finding solutions around you. Act global by ensuring you meet global standards for your implementation.
Next thing is to build relevant skills. Are you an education advocate what about taking advance courses?
Are you a health advocate why not consider public health experience?
See, the same way computers killed typewriters, it’s the same way the future of work will make many present skills redundant 5-10 years from now.
I urge everyone to read “The Future of Work” report by the ILO and “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” by Professor Klaus Schwab
Our speakers today emphasized networking, I want to double emphasize it but with personal examples.
My role as global youth coordinator of the UNESCO led GAPMIL was due to a network I built in 2015.
I met Aya when she was just starting out as an activist and we worked together ever since. Now she’s the AU Youth Envoy. Plenty stories I have of how networking benefited me.
Some tasks will be too big for you, Build partnerships. You can do more when you work together.
More importantly be sincere and take care of yourself.
Self care is very important. Your personal and mental health is instrumental to your success.