In celebration of the International Youth Day 2018, August 12, a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate young individuals across the world, appreciating their uniqueness in diversity and cultural differences, four non-governmental organisations, YouthHubAfrica (YHA), Education as a Vaccine (EVA), ACE Charity Africa and Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) held a Novelty Match/Mock Election on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the theme: ‘Promoting Safe Spaces Through Sports.’
The competition, which was witnessed by a lot of people and held amidst a lot of excitement and fun fair, was won by members of the team of ACE Charity Africa, with YIAGA and EVA teams in the second and third positions respectively.
While speaking, the executive director of YouthHub Africa, Mr Rotimi Olawale, said that the reason for the competition is to celebrate the International Youth Day and the purpose is to create unity among the Nigerian youths. He advised the youths to focus more on coming together to build a better Nigeria.
“The theme for the International Youth Day for this year is ‘Promoting Safe Spaces Through Sports’ and this is the reason behind this competition. When our national team is playing, everyone comes together, irrespective of tribe, to hail and cheer them on, which is why this competition is to help us come together to help one another.
“My advise to the youths is that they should all come together, work together to build the Nigeria of our dreams,
“I would also like the government to continue to invest in our youths and the Federal Ministry of Youths to help hasten the review of the National Youth Policy Bill because it will help to move our nation forward.
The CEO of ACE Charity Africa, Kiki James, stated that the youths are the main group of people that a nation should invest in because they are the future.
“We are celebrating the International Youth Day because the Youth are our future, they are the strength of any nation and they are a group of people in which a nation should invest heavily. I am happy that my team won but the main focus here is unity; we all need to come together to achieve great things.”
Also speaking, the executive director of Educaton as a Vaccine, Olabukunola Williams, said that she believes in the celebration because youths represent about 60 per cent of the Nigerian population. They have the energy and ideas and they need to be able to channel them into something productive.
“The celebraton is a good thing because the youths represent about 60 per cent of the Nigerian population. They have the strength, ideas and all these should be channeled to the proper cause. That is why we are advocating for good, quality education for the youths so that they can reach their utmost potentials. That is why this competition is very good so that we can come together, not just to create an awareness but to take action and show the world that we are not people that are idle.”
While commending the organisers of the competition, Ibrahim Farouk, the Senior Program Officer of Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) said that the program was a success and also that youths should engage themselves in governance and other civic duties in the nation.
According to him, “The program was a success. Apart from the competition, some presentations were made and we had a mock election where youths came to vote on 17 of the development goals and spoke about areas in which they would be involved. My advice to the youths is that they should get engaged in governance and in other civic duties since the environment has been made conducive by the passage of the #Not Too Young To Run Bill behind which YIAGA was the mastermind. The competition was an opportunity for every one to connect and forge new bonds.”
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