YEDI to Empower 3,000 Adolescents with Skills to Live Healthier Lives

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Ayodeji Ake

Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), a non-governmental organisation, is presently convening a weeklong, intensive, non-residential community-based behavioural change health camps.

The camp offers over 3,000 adolescents the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills on Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV, Malaria prevention and life coping skill, across several communities in Lagos, Ogun, Akwa Ibom states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The programme, which started from August 5 and billed to end September 6, 2019, is tagged ‘SKILLZ Holiday Camps’.

The youth-focused, health-themed camp which is in its seventh edition engages the energy, mind and creativity of adolescents aged 10 – 19 across selected communities.

YEDI’s Executive Director, Oje Ivagba in a press statement revealed that the holiday season learning-and-fun programme is supported by ExxonMobil, MAC AIDS Fund, Common Goal, Aspire Coronation Trust Foundation, FIFA Foundation, and Smaller World 2019z

Ivagba said it provides a platform for young people to be trained on healthy living, demystify health-related myths and misconceptions as well as curb stereotypes, during the long holiday – a high-risk period for young people who often have little supervision and few opportunities for structured activities.

“Discriminatory beliefs, practices and stereotypes about adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), HIV, malaria, gender-based violence, and sexual abuse are prevalent in disadvantaged communities.

“This situation engenders inaccurate information, unhealthy lifestyles and destructive behaviours that threaten the successful transition from adolescence to adulthood,” he stated.

He noted that to address these gaps, there was the need for grassroot-targeted interventions to provide at-risk adolescents with comprehensive and accurate information on their life and health skills, while correcting stereotypes and misconceptions that affect their ability to make positive life decisions.

The camps which run for eight hours per day for five days at each location are hinged on a learning model that leverages a football-based curriculum, structured by age and gender, which builds young people’s health and life skills knowledge assets, facilitate their access to health and social services, and support their adherence to treatment and positive protective behaviours.

YEDI is an adolescent health and life skills development organisation that educates, empowers and inspires youth and community transformation in Nigeria using sound, proven models that get results.