IYD 2020 : Unveiling 17 SDGs Youth Advocates (Cohort 1).
The youths are no doubt the hope and confidence of any nation. The youths are said to be the leaders of today but it is very obvious that leadership for tomorrow starts today. Just as the youths are waiting to be handed the mantle of leadership in a larger frame of societal rule, it is pertinent that they lead even from their families, amongst their friends, at schools, and work places. Examining the African continent, it looks blur that the youths are actually going to touch the hem of political leadership but, leadership spans beyond political positions to other forms civic engagements.
On International Youth Day, the youths are reminded of the expectations and hopes banking on their shoulders. Since 1999, the UN in her General Assembly established August 12 as a day to bring to the awareness of the youths what impact needs to be made, opportunities and initiatives to be created as well as celebration of those who have started making and enhancing such impacts.
However, on this day, Brace-Up The Young (BTY), a youth led organization, deems it imperative to celebrate 17 Nigerian youths Making Impact as SDGs Youth Advocates 2020 (SYA2020). These are those with remarkable and traceable impacts who advocate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at various capacities.
As a way to encourage them and other youths who are adamant to this clarion call, BTY is celebrating 17 youths today and will host a 2 weeks SDGs boot camp training for them.
The Nigerian youths who are making impacts include:
1. Happy Innocent Ezem, a 29 years old male with impacts in Oyo state, an advocate of SDG4 (Quality Education), is the founder and project manager of Spell2excel Africa, an initiative with the goal to see that public school students mostly in rural communities get quality education, have writing materials and some other vital things to effect their learning process. Through their School Resumption Kits program, parents are allowed to buy school kits for their wads and pay in installments.
“We have given out 48 textbooks, 1,500 free notebooks, amended torn uniforms for public school children and our goal is to have out kit in the hands of 10,000 students in the rural and underserved communities in the next 2years” says Happy Innocent Ezem (https://twitter.com/spell2excel?s=08)
2. Oni Emmanuel Iyiola, a 24 years old male with impacts in Kwara state, a 2 years advocate of SDG 6 (Clean Water and Saniation) held the first General Assembly on WASH in Kwara state in 2019. The event gathered government MDAs, private organisations, schools, students and members of the public to celebrate the wins on providing WASH in schools and local communities and proffer solutions to lingering challenges.
“We have had health education and promotion training for over 500 secondary school students on the importance of proper sanitation and hand washing hygiene. We are also currently working on the clean school water project, to provide 50 public secondary and primary schools with mini water storage facilities band water treatment tablets post resumption of the COVID-19 pandemic.” says Oni Emmanuel Iyiola (https://www.facebook.com/springshealth)
3. Joan Anuoluwapo Aiyegbusi, a 26 years old female in Lagos, a perspective engineer, a 4 years advocate of SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) has carried out skill empowerment projects in Kogi, Plateau, Oyo and Lagos state for over 3000 students through their secondary school tours and Street tours. life.
“We trained over 175 people with animation skills and graphic design before the covid 19 pandemic. We also helped same people with links and access to Google digital skills, trainings and Job opportunities. We launched a teens hub shortly after the covid 19 pandemic to empower teens with life skills and entrepreneurship skills early in life” says Joan Aiyegbusi (https://instagram.com/lifesaver_ng?igshid=1wkwo72x2nhd7)
4. Akingbola Adewunmi, a 21 years old male in Lagos, a medical student of Lagos State University, a 3 years advocate of SDG3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), is the founder and Team lead of HealthDrive Nigeria, a non -profit initiative tasked with the responsibility of tackling the menace of infectious dieases with major emphasis on 4Hepatitis and liver diseases in Nigeria.
“We’ve been able to teach about 5100 people about Hepatitis majorly and other salient aspects such as sexual and reproductive health essentials, alcoholism and smoking hazards across all regions in Nigeria. We’ve conducted free Hepatitis B screening to about 2500 people and vaccinated about 1000 people. I created a ChatBot that enables carriers of Hepatitis to have access to specialists so as to encourage post-hospital check-ups” says Akingbola Adewunmi (https://www.instagram.com/healthdriveng/).
5. Alfred Konaughe, a 34 years old male in Lagos, a 3 years advocate of SDG1 (No Poverty) is the founder of Ajegunle Business School and has trained as well empowered 50 women with loans to expand their businesses.
“We equip grassroot aspiring and startup entrepreneur with relevant skill and tools. We train and empower young entrepreneurs with grants” says Alfred Konaugha (https://www.facebook.com/)
6. Moyinoluwa Ogundowole, a 26 years old female in Ekiti state, a 4 years advocate of SDG4 (Quality Education), is the founder of Gold Heart Foundation For Teens and Orphans, a youth led organization committed with the task of loving, supporting and mentoring of young people for a better society through innovative scheme targeted towards education, advocacy, capacity development and mentoring.
“We have been able to impact over 11,000 young people directly and indirectly through our advocacy program , capacity development training which is inclusive of sustainable skills acquisition training for vulnerable children, career talk and other sensitization programs that promote quality education. Sdgs activation in secondary schools and communities, training low income girls on reusable sanitary pad, paper crafts, Tie&dye for young persons and lots more, mentoring of young persons on self actualization, trained vulnerable children on production, branding and marketing of liquid soap which is now bring revenue to their orphanage, lead advocacy campaign on Gender Based Violence” says Moyinoluwa Ogundowole (https://twitter.com/ghfngo).
7. Oyebimpe Arowosebe, a 29 years old lady in FCT, a 3 years advocate of SDG3 (Good Healthand Wellbeing), is a team lead at Every Child is A Star Foundation, a Non Profit Organisation that is focused on improving education, health and wellbeing of children in marginalised communities.
“We have educated over 1000 girls in the slum on the importance of menstrual health management and also teach and give them reusable sanitary pad. We have also send over 30 children to school” says Oyebimpe Arowosebe (https://twitter.com/eciasfoundation?s=09)
8. Adebimpe Adebara, a 24 years old female in Lagos, a 2 years advocate of SDG3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), is the founder of Piece of My Heart Foundation, where she leads a team of volunteers in educating sensitizing children and teenagers on sex education to prevent abuse.
” I have engaged parents, teachers and children on sex education, sexuality education and Child sexual abuse prevention. I have impacted over 8,000 people physically through outreaches, training and workshops and also over 100,000 people through the media radio presentation, T.V presentations and the social media” says Adebimpe Adebara (https://www.instagram.com/pieceofmyheartng/)
9. Oluwatoyin Agaja Esther, a 27 years old female in Ogun state, a 2 years advocate of SDG13 (Climate Action) is working on projects that support achieving the sdgs through reducing the impact of climate change on our planet.
“We started an Inclusive platform for the young, youths, young adults and adults through our Eco club in primary/secondary schools, Eco Campus in institutions and Eco Network engaging individuals to also get engaged in their community and environment at large” says Oluwaseyi Agaja Esther (https://twitter.com/Toyinclimate?s=09).
10. Adediji Emmanuel Abiodun, a 27 years old male in Lagos, a 3 years advocate of SDG2 (Zero Hunger), is the pioneer founder of SmileKonnectAfrica Foundation a foundation that support SDGs1, 2 and 4 with the goal to reach out to the less privileged and contribute towards the eradication of hunger/poverty.
“Over the years, we have carried out series of projects ranging from our monthly visit to orphanage homes in and outside Lagos among which include Little Saints Orphanage Home, Citadel Of Grace Mission Orphanage Home, House Of Mercy Orphanage Home LAGOS. During the COVID’19 pandemic, we embarked on project Zero Hunger at Ademokula Village in Ijoko Sango Ogun State, where we reached out to 20 widows, aged and nursing single parents for food relief” says Adediji Emmanuel Abiodun (https://facebook.com/smilesnationfoundation/)
11. Okechukwu Chimezie, a 24 years old male in Lagos, a 3 years advocate of SDG16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions), is the founder and team lead of Mind Reformers Network, a youth based Initiative focused on getting hundreds of thousands of young persons aware of, interested in and committed to Peacebuilding processes to tackle insecurity challenges.
“I have led the team to reach thousands of young persons across seven Nigerian cities in peace talks with students in schools, peace outreaches in Bakassi IDP Camps in Calabar and Uyo, Peacebuilding training for undergraduates in Calabar, An online peace workshop to foster Ethno-religious intolerance in Nigeria and an inter State peace talk across cities on understanding and managing conflicts in cities including crisis ridden cities like Kaduna and Makurdi” says Okechukwu Chimezie (https://m.facebook.com/mrn4youths/)
12. Oladele Oreoluwa, a 23 years female in Oyo State, 1 year advocate of SDG5 (Gender Equality), a veterinary student of University of Ibadan, was the 2019/2020 ‘ShemeansBusiness’ student ambassador during which “over 200 female students were trained in the University of Ibadan. Follow up was awesome and testimonies abound” says Oladele Oreoluwa (https://www.instagram.com/p/ByJ_DD9JWFSFEPO3uFIrGS36KKjGC1Om50sSBs0/?igshid=4wgg1fds2fwd)
13. Odinaka Kingsley Obeta, a 25 years male in Plateau state, a 4 years advocate of SDG3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), is the founder and national lead of the Block Malaria Project, a body that initially started as Jos Block Malaria which aims at increasing awareness and also building the capacity of rural communities as regards combating one of the major killer disease in sub-saharan Africa, Malaria.
” As at July 2020, over 30,000 persons have been impacted both directly and indirectly. We held a six months malaria intervention project (2019) in a rural community in Jos Nigeria; provided free medical outreaches for 1,083 residents of an economically deprived rural community (Jenta Mongoro) in Jos which lacks a Primary health care center; conducted a full scale community sanitation with over 500 young people coming from three states as volunteers (cutting across different professions health, environmental science, law, government and so much more) in a rural community in a bid to clear the breeding sites of mosquitoes in the community and also improve the community approaches towards ensuring zero malaria; held an awareness concert in two communities between 2018 and 2019 to educate members on the impact of malaria on community development, and also gave room for interactions with community members to share their challenges with malaria; distributed over 125 long lasting insecticide treated nets to majorly pregnant women, nursing mothers and other members of the community across two rural communities” says Odinaka Kingsley Obeta (https://www.facebook.com/blockmalaria).
14. Fatimah Ibrahim Opeyemi, a 26 years old female in Kwara State, 1 year advocate of SDG1 (No Poverty), is the founder of FIO Foundation who is advocating and empowering many to achieve no poverty.
“We empowered 3 widows to earn a good living in Ode Adana community in Ilorin west, Ilorin, where the widows were given grinding machines, varieties of pepper, 50 litres of kerosene and detergents; visited the Islamic Orphanage Ilorin with foodstuff and clothes; distributed palliatives (covid-19 emergency relief kit) to vulnerable communities like Oke Oyi, Ilorin East LGA, Dada community, Okelele, Ilorin East LGA, C. Alapo Ilorin, Okete Tuntun Alagogo community, Moro LGA” says Fatimah Ibrahim Opeyemi (https://www.instagram.com/p/CAZq_M2Hbhm/?igshid=1b9t3lv08ch88).
15. Adeosun Damilola Victoria, a 21 years old female in Osun State, 1 year advocate of SDG3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), Medical Laboratory Science student of LAUTECH has been involved in raising awareness concerning the Female Genital Mutilation(FGM).
“I have worked with the girlchild especially victims of rape and sexual assault by creating a safe haven for them to speak out in confidence. I have also been involved in padding the girlchild, distributing sanitary pads to girls in rural communities and educating them on menstrual health and hygiene. I and my team are working on creating reusable pads” says Adeosun Damilola Victoria (https://instagram.com/proudlygirlchildafrica?igshid=i0udme73txh7)
16. Rose Ihudiya Amuzie, a 21 years old female in Lagos, a 4 years advocate of SDG3 (Quality Education ), is the founder of b2schproject, a project aimed at providing educational opportunities to children in Ajegunle. She’s also the Co-founder of Isrinaschools, Ajegunle.
” Over the last four years, we catered for the educational needs of over 100 children in the community. I introduced the recycles pay project to enable parents pay a portion of their children’s fees using recyclables. This initiative has enabled 43 children to continue schooling. I championed “MentorMe” to connect my learners with individuals in diverse field to be fully equipped for the future of work. Through this, 40 children are equipped with capability skills to thrive within and outside the classroom. In June 2019, we launched “Love in a bag” distributing school supplies to 60 children in Raufu Olaiya Street, Ajegunle. This project has covered the termly tution and writing materials of 60 children since it’s inception in 2018″ says Rose Ihudiya Amuzie (https://instagram.com/_ihudiya?igshid=1op0ybhlhc9b2).
17. Abdulsalam Maarufat, a 21 years old female in Kwara state, a 2 years advocate of SDG2 (Zero Hunger), a penultimate law student of Obafemi Awolowo University with traceable impact.
“During the pandemic, we fed 462 indigent Almajiri children by providing them with daily meal for the period of seven days. Prior to the Pandemic, we have also succeeded in training 120 youths in hand skills in a bid to contribute to goal 8 of the SDGs in 2018” says Abdulsalam Maarufat (https://instagram.com/houseofprominence).
Just as many youths are making impacts in their spheres, we therefore call on all youths in Nigeria and diaspora to join in realising this vision 2030. Quality Education seems to be leading while other goals lag. Hence, there’s need for advocacy of all the 17 goals to achieve the aim. Get to work today and make the world a better place.
Brace-up The Young