ActionAid International has pledged its continued commitment to supporting youth empowerment programmes across nations of the world.
The Director, Resource and Mobilisation, ActionAid International, Mrs Anne Jellema, gave the pledge at a webinar, organised by ActionAid Nigeria’s Social Mobilisation Unit, in partnership with Youth Digital Engagement (YDE), on Wednesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the webinar was aimed at sharing experiences and lessons on youth-led action in data collection, analysis and social accountability, using digital tools.
Jellema said that young people were usually not included in the COVID-19 recovery plan by the Federal Government, going by the reports and analyses given at the webinar.
She said that young people had always been overlooked as a movement that they were, while calling for collaboration of civil society organisations (CSOs) to help the youth take their rightful place in decision-making process.
Also, a youth champion with ActionAid’s YDE project in Nigeria, Miss Dorcas Bennie, said that research findings showed that young people were yearning for employment creation and access to public services.
Bennie said that major government programmes during the COVID-19 lockdown were through various channels of National Social Investment Programmes, based on existing register of poor and vulnerable persons, as recorded in the national social register.
She also said that data from YDE Nigeria project showed that people’s awareness of N-power was low and that the proportion of persons, who had benefited from the programmes, was even lower.
Bennie said that only 28 per cent of respondents agreed that they were aware of the N-power Programme, adding that only 19.34 per cent of them said that they benefited.
In the same vein, a panelist and Youth Digital Engagement (YDE) champion from Zambia, Miss Monde Mbanga, explained that from data collection and research process, it was clear that young people were facing financial troubles, job losses and closure of businesses.
Mbanga said that this was proven during data sample from 988 persons in Zambia.
According to her, it is devastating to find out that there are lack of understanding of COVID-19 and its dangers by young people, who believe that it is an illness for the rich.
She said that the data was extracted from Kobo Collect platform and analysed and interpreted as a team, using excel.
Mbanga, however, recommended for a meaningful youth empowerment, educational support for vulnerable children and youths, especially during disaster periods.
Another panelist and YDE champion from Kenya, Miss Stella Kaviti, said that the online and offline engagements research conducted revealed that champions were exposed to use of ICT skills in doing research.
Kaviti said that young people would be able to use the knowledge to transform their own spaces of advocacy.
According to her, “We met young people who have been doing amazing work in their spaces and link them with available opportunities to better their lives.”