No fewer than 100 young Nigerians have graduated as creative agents from the Street Project Foundation’s (SPF’s) Creative Youth Boot Camp.
The boot camp with the theme “Art for Social Transformation” commenced November 2019 and successfully came to an end in March 2021 with the graduation of 100 young creative change agents.
The programme, fully funded by VOICE is designed to expose the most vulnerable youths in Nigeria living in disadvantaged communities to the incredible world of the Creative Arts and its powerful usage for social transformation.
Founder and Lead Visionary of SPF, Rita Ezenwa-Okoro, stated that the objective of the project was to primarily prepare the youths for opportunities in the job market and to build their capacity to advocate for social issues affecting them. Creative art tools, she said, were used to develop the participants’ soft skills such as critical thinking, public speaking, communication skills, team building and confidence.
Upon conclusion of the project, 60 per cent of the creative youth were accelerated through mentorships, internships, scholarships, fellowships, business loans and grants. Meanwhile, 12 per cent of the creative youths are persons living with disabilities.
She said, “We are glad for the strides made, regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world and our communities less than mid-way into the project, our rightsholders, faculty, staff and funding partner VOICE, were resilient. We embraced the new normal and navigated through it ensuring our youth learned what they had to learn”
She continued by saying that “they get to celebrate the many young creative change agents that have emerged, which includes the following: Blessing Idoko a PLWD who has been granted a N1million COVID-19 SME funding by the Central Bank of Nigeria to accelerate her bakery business, which was affected by the Pandemic.
Uzoamaka Asiegbu, a PLWD secured a $1000 grant from Pollination Project California USA, that enabled her to build the capacity of 30 PLWDs, and subsequently secured employment as a Program and Inclusion Analyst at the United Nations, Abuja office. Deborah Johnson was selected as one of the top-five across Nigeria for the ‘Silverbird Project YNSPYRE’ by Silverbird TV now works as an intern at the radio station”.