NGOs join forces to train Ajegunle Youth

Ten talented Nigerian youth living in Ajegunle, a high density, low income neighbourhood in the sprawling Lagos metropolis, learned important life skills at a three day workshop organised by Communicating for Change (CFC), in partnership with LEAP Africa and Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN).

CFC initiated the workshop as part of the process of filming three exceptional young women in a soon to be released documentary on the struggles of urban youth vis-a-vis achieving the millennium development goals.

The workshop focused on leadership skills taught by life coaches from LEAP Africa’s Youth Leadership Program, and computer and new media skills taught by trainers from Paradigm Initiative’s ajegunle.com, an award winning grass roots project committed to teaching inner-city kids information technology skills.

The training was complemented by a mentoring session on how to run a small scale fashion enterprise by Bayo Adegbe, the CEO of Modela, one of Nigeria’s leading fashion houses, and a talk on business basics, by Chief Operating Officer Eniola Agbesoyin, of the Olive Micro-Finance Bank.

“Over the years we have seen the positive impact of training youth to connect to their inner selves, build self- confidence, set goals, take necessary risks, identify dream stoppers,  and manage their funds and resources,” said Mosun Layode, Executive Director of LEAP AFRICA, one of Nigeria’s exceptional youth empowerment organisations teaching young people to be change agents in their communities.

“Supporting CFC’s film production work by training under-served youths in Ajegunle is an important way of addressing our development challenges,” added ‘Gbenga Sesan, Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative Nigeria,  a youth led technopreneurship organisation which started ICT training in Ajegunle two years ago by equipping young people to solve their problems through the creative use of technology.

The workshop was very cool and motivating”, commented twenty-four-year-old Thompson Ojeme who participated in the workshop. We have really learnt a lot. It has greatly helped us with our computer and leadership skills,” added nineteen-year-old Donatella Raymond, who said she enjoyed the session on goal setting.

CFC’s partnership with LEAP and PIN is a positive example of development communications, in which documenting African stories from a home-grown perspective, is coupled with capacity building and creating a platform for youth to be empowered through life skills training.

Besides focusing on film making, CFC regularly organises workshops on script writing and video story-telling, in an effort to teach media skills, reflect Nigerian youths amazing creativity, and give them a voice. “We are delighted to join forces with PIN and LEAP in ensuring that our dynamic youth have better chances at leadership, entrepreneurship, technology and creativity,” concluded Sandra Obiago, CFC’s Founding Executive Director.

The workshop was held from June 16-18, 2010 at CFC’s training centre, in Ikeja, Lagos.

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