From April 20 – 22, 2018, young people around the world marked the 30th anniversary of Global Youth Service Day (GYSD). Children, young adults and their champions in more than 100 countries led and participated in volunteer projects and events promoting the diverse and wonderful charitable activities by youth in their communities. #GYSD is a campaign of Youth Service America (YSA), a youth-focused nonprofit in the United States.
In collaboration with YSA, SI4DEV celebrated GYSD in Nigeria with various youth-led activities in 12 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Over 2000 children, teens and young adults between five and 25 years old benefited from hand washing skills and other life-transforming talks from their peers, and youth leaders provided food and other donations to less privileged children in orphanages and rehabilitation centers. Young adults also campaigned online, in the streets, and in churches, promoting youth voter registration and elections participation.
SI4DEV, an NGO registered last November in Nigeria, leveraged GYSD to promote their impact areas, recruit new volunteers and provide an opportunity for 2018 partners to practice their learning. Details and pictures of GYSD activities by SI4DEV can be found on our website www.si4dev.org and highlights include:
- Over 1000 school children in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, participated in a youth-led hand washing campaign to encourage cleanliness and good health.
- Youths in Ibadan, Oyo state impacted 70 beneficiaries through donations to a disabled kids’ home and an orphanage and promote goal planning, election awareness and civic engagement at a skills acquisition center. They also assisted city officials in maintaing a green and clean environment.
- Youth volunteers in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, reached 54 street children with food, and a hand of friendship through listening sessions and talking about their dreams and future plans and goals.
- 110 Almajirai children in Nassarawa LGA, Kano state received food, handwashing and health outreach. There is also ongoing discussion with the Islamic school leaders to assist and partner with them in integrating the children into the conventional education curriculum in the state.
- The Kaduna team donated exercise books, pencils, text books, novels and hygiene products to 30 children in an orphanage, and led workshops on hand washing, leadership, career choices and quality education.
- In Ika LGA Akwa Ibom state, SI4DEV distributed about 50 Long lasting insecticide treated nets to pregnant women and new mothers and fathers. This was accompanied with malaria prevention intervention and health talks to eliminate the incidence of malaria in this vulnerable population.
- Over 100 children across orphanages in Port Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja received dry food stuff and toiletries, and home cleaning supplies.
- 100 young adults at the Ekiti State University, Ado-ekiti, benefited from a youth-led awareness campaign for active participation of youth in elections – online campaign hashtag (#IWillVote).
- The focus in Makurdi, Benue state was on the children and youths in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps. The population of these camps have been swelled by the on-going herdsmen attacks. Over 450 children received cooked eggs for protein, clothes and water, as well as pencils. Handwashing and election awareness campaigns also took place in the children and youth classes respectively in nearby churches.
- In Ipe-Akoko, Ondo State, 30 youths in the community led in clearing the grass and removing trash from an abandoned gully created by an uncompleted culvert in the village.
“Global Youth Service Day is the biggest event for recognising the impact of youths in taking action and making change,” said Nkem Akinsoto, Executive Director of Spring Development Initiative, and program manager of the SI4DEV Partners Program. “I love community service, and as a youth joining youths around the world in acts of service to make a great difference together was important to me,” said Ako Eyo Oku, the SI4DEV Ibadan coordinator and lead in four GYSD activities.
SI4DEV (Strategy and Innovation for Development Initiative) is committed to empowering community leaders who are working towards a future where everyone has just and fair access to the resources and opportunities needed to achieve their full potential. SI4DEV currently has partners, ambassadors and volunteers in 25 states in Nigeria, who execute SI4DEV projects in four impact areas namely: Enhanced Care, Quality Education, Economic Development and Good Governance.
Global Youth Service Day was founded in 1988 by Youth Service America which leads the campaign, issuing calls-to-action, mobilizing young people, and offering free resources and tool kits to all who wish to participate. Towards GYSD and related service activities, YSA awards grants annually to participating youth, schools and organizations. Global Youth Service Day activities take place through a network of non-governmental organizations committed to youth development and positive social change through service. Thousands of Global Youth Service Day projects were logged in online at www.GYSD.org.