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THE SUSO PROGRAMME FOR CHANGEMAKERS…Speak Out, StandOut (Call For ACTIVISTS)

By Smith Nwokocha

Speak Up, Stand Out! – The SUSO Program For Changemakers (Monthly Stipend and Travel).


Nigerian Youth SDGs Network, Afrika Youth Movement and Center For Youth Advocacy and Development is calling for applications for its inaugural Speak Up, Stand Out (SUSO) Program. The SUSO Program aims to empower young community based social changemakers and transformers with media and information literacy knowledge, grassroots mobilisation skills to participate meaningfully in the socio-political development of their communities and influencing policies that affect youth.
The project will empower 20 Activists with the knowledge, skills and resources to organise activism to challenge issues affecting youth, develop innovative ways to engage other young people and social actors to campaign and drive social change. Activists will receive monthly technical and financial support including mini-grants to create and implement a pilot project with 25 Advocates within 12 months.
Focus Areas
Education
Employment
Governance
Peace and Security

Why Apply?

● Training and Support on youth activism, youth mobilisation, media and information literacy, etc.

● Opportunity to lead a funded project with support and resources to help you achieve success

● Opportunity to achieve your dream of creating meaningful social change in Nigeria with a team of passionate young people

● Monthly stipend and opportunity to travel within Nigeria

Who Should Apply?


● We seek applications from young activists who would be available and willing to work hard building with other young people and engaging actively in the Program for 13 months. The Program cycle begins in October 2021 and ends in October 2022. An ideal fellow should fit the profile outlined below;

● Young man or woman between 18 and 35 years who are passionate about any of these thematic areas of the Program; Education, Employment, Governance, Peace and Security

● Applicants can be students, initiators of a socially focused organisation or freelancers, but must commit at least 20 hours per week to the Program.

● Applicants must be available to participate in the Program activities, including implementation of community projects within the duration of the Program.

● Applicants must show leadership potentials and work and interact with other young people across different cities.

● Applicants must be residents in any of these three Nigerian states; Abuja, Lagos or Enugu.

Click Here to Apply: https://bit.ly/CallForACTIVISTs
The SUSO Program is implemented under the Voice Global Nigeria Influencing Grants targeting organisations and networks to strengthen their lobby and advocacy capacities including to amplify the voice of marginalised and discriminated groups.
For more details, read more on the Speak Up, Stand Out! – The SUSO For Changemakers website
For Enquiries; Kindly send an email to suso@nigerianyouthsdgs.org

A Call For ACTIVISTS

DIGITAL IDENTITY STAKEHOLDERS ENGAGEMENT IN RIVERS STATE

Mr. Adeboye Adegoke of Paradigm Initiative sited next to Mrs. Uche Chigbo (Acting General Manager and Senior Special Assistant to DG NIMC) during her presentation

Smith Nwokocha Reports:

DIGITAL IDENTITY STAKEHOLDERS ENGAGEMENT.
Organized by: NIMC, PARADIGM INITIATIVES AND PIND FOUNDATION.

The event held at Visa Karena Hotel in Port Harcourt on the 27th July, 2021. At exactly 10:00am, the audience were sited and the key Organizers from Paradigm Initiatives staff including NIMC staff present introduced themselves. The event was moderated by Mr. Adeboye Adegoke and assisted by Khajidah El-Usman.

During the engagement proper, the NIMC Acting General Manager and Senior Special Assistant to the DG (Mrs. Uche Chigbo) took up the floor and did an excellent presentation that clarifys NIMC’s activities in Nigeria. She emphasized that; NIMC mandate, is centred around providing fundamental legal identity which includes Nigerians in diaspora. NIMC is an Agency of Government under the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.

NIMC is the provider of a secured means of authenticating the Digital Identity Tokens (NIN and Cards). Registration/Enrollment of every individual into the National Identity Database. Managing the Unique Identities of every individual living in Nigeria which includes legally foreign residents. Regulating the Nigerian Identity Sector.

NIMC FACTS AND FIGURES:
Commenced Identity Registration/Enrollment in year 2012. NIMC is for life, only the card gets expired. Enrollment for NIMC is free for first registration and a token is paid for renewal. The Enrollment is mandatory for everyone.

ENROLLMENT TARGET: Children, Adults, Diaspora, Foreign Legal Residents, Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Undocumented People.

From left The Regional Coordinator NIMC, Acting General Manager/SSA to DG NIMC, CSO Rep, Rivers State Coordinator, CSO Rep, PHWAKAWAKA Blogger

CHALLENGES: Poor funding, Connectivity, Power, Consumables and Extortion.
Cyber Insecurity is also a challenge. One key solutions for power is for CSOs to go out of there way, approach/protest PHCN on why the creeping power supply. “Security is always a moving target, there’s nothing like proof”. We need to constantly move ahead and stay updated.

ECO-SYSTEM APPROACH: Licensing over three hundred (300+) partners to aid NIN registration. For every fifty thousand (50,000) person’s, there’s an enrollment centre. NIMC has deployed a technology driven system. NIMC is pushing for “National Data Protection Law”.

NIMC captures live biometric, so you have to go to be present at the enrollment centre.

NIMC is currently present in 22 countries where NIMC registration is done. NIMC collaborate with licensed Foreign Partners for enrollment.

NIMC Mobile App can be downloaded on Google play store, if you want your mobile ID on your phone. Strategic roadmap are all outlined in NIMC’s website (www.nimc.gov.ng).

Thank you.
Q&A.

Group Photograph

Port Harcourt Wakawaka
@National Identity Management Commission
@Paradigm Initiatives
@Foundation For Partnership Initiatives in Niger Delta.

#SECUREOURLIVES CAMPAIGN IN RIVERS STATE

Smith Nwokocha reports:

Today (28th July, 2021), Rivers State #SecureOurLives Campaign was amazing. The turn up was massive. Women and men from the rural communities were present and they shared there experiences of insecurities. The Coordinator in Rivers State (Mrs. Sylvia Briggs-Women Education Association of Nigeria) ) and Moderator ( Pst. Mrs. Ateli Nwankwo- Principal Women Education Centre) were well organized to see this through. The present of Press encouraged victims to speak up.

From left Pst. Mrs. Ateli Nwankwo (Principal Women Education Centre) and Mrs. Sylvia Briggs (The Coordinator of #SecureOurLives Rivers State and President Women Education Association of Nigeria)

The campaign started by 10:00am at Women Education Centre, Creek Road, Town Port Harcourt. With close to fifty (50) participants in attendance.

Some Women and men shared there experiences on “Sea Pirates”, blamed Government and Political Leaders including Traditional Rulers as part of the problem and emphasized that “Youth unemployment” is on the increase and has made most of the youths to carry arms which most times they received from Politicians during Elections. There is also in “Yahoo-Yahoo activities amongst Youths.

Cross section of Participants

Police brutality, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Rape and herdsmen are some of challenges and contributors of insecurities in Rivers State and Nigeria at large.

Suggested Solutions by some of the participants are; Parents should train their children, take good care of them, if they can’t take care of their children, they should take them to the government, instead of leaving them to become Robbers, Kidnappers among others. Government should gainfully employ the Youths by providing jobs.

A Participant sharing his thoughts

Security is everybody’s responsibilities, but the Government should do more to secure the lives of her citizens.

The Coordinator added that Solutions proffered will be noted ✍️ and addressed for a better security situation in the State. Prayers and then the campaign can to an end. It lasted for 2hours+ and all the experiences of participants at the event were captured.

Mrs. Sylvia Briggs Rivers State Coordinator of #SecureOurLives in an Interview session after the campaign

In an Interview session after the campaign, the Coordinator said ; “Documentation and brainstorming of the experiences of victims will be taken seriously”.
Secure Our Lives!

Group Photograph

YOUNG SGBV ADVOCATE’S VIEW ON LIFE PLANNING

MM

Just some few questions for you as an SGBV Advocate in Nigeria, Ghana and across the globe?  
Q1. Can we know a bit about you? My name is Okorite Membere, born and bred in Portharcourt before leaving for University in Accra, Ghana where I studied Business and Human Resource Management. During the course of my stay in Ghana , I worked for a Tech and innovation hub where I was introduced into advocacy against Gender Based Violence.
Q2. What is your view of *Life Planning* as a passionate Advocate? Life planning is essential in every home as it helps create a better future for every child.
Q3. Do you think Culture affects the promotion and access to *Life Planning* or *Child Birth Spacing*? Yes, it does. Culture has a way of putting pressure on the kind of decisions we make in life and family planning is one of them.
Q4. Do you think there is a Correlation between SGBV and *Life Planning* If yes, how can young people be encouraged to accept *LPAY (Life Planning For Youth and Adolescent)* ? Yes there is, sgbv increases the risk of unwanted pregnancies ,mental health issues and diseases. I encourage young people to SPEAK UP. They have to use their voices as a weapon to fight against this menace in our society.
Q5. Any Word for exceptional women adding value in our society, as we celebrate women month (*International Women’s Day)*? I advise that women should always keep on doing exploit as there’s so much in us the world is yet to see.
Q6. Who is your *Role Model*?My role model is a better version of myself I hope to become.

Thank you so much for your time.

ReplyForward

IN COMMEMORATING THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR ZERO TOLERANCE ON FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM) 2021: LIFE PLANNING, A PANACEA TO END FGM.

Lovina Ronami Inengite

Smith Nwokocha (@Phwakawaka Blog)

Just few questions for you as a passionate advocate to end FGM.

Q1. Can you tell us about yourself and the impact of your Advocacy on FGM?

Answer: My name is Lovina Ronami Inengite and my impact story of FGM through Advocacy is as follows:

  • I have made social media impact through radio presentation, coordinating interview with traditional ruler’s, in Calabar, tweet storm campaign on FGM
  • Providing psychosocial counseling to survivors
  • I have   established a smooth referral pathways between Community Based organization and Non-profit organization like Basic Rights counsel initiative, which focuses in fighting for the Rights of women and girls and against Gender Based violence and harmful practice’s.
  • I have also partner with a Youth led organization, Today for tomorrow foundation Basically in Youth sensitization in secondary schools.
  • Finally, I have worked with a team of passionate young individuals in educating and sensitizing women leader’s, youth leader’s in Calabar.

Q2. In your perspective, how do we position Life Planning otherwise known as Child-Birth Spacing in the mind of Young people and at the same advocate for the end of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

Answer: The following are reason(s) every young person should embrace life planning:

  • It helps them practice how to make decisions, setting goals on time through negotiations, learning refusal mostly in negative peer pressure.
  • It allows young persons to fully contribute to the development of society and the world at large through exploring their potentials.
  • It makes them take charge of their reproductive health needs which are priotized.
  • It will equip them with skills and resources to lead healthy reproductive lives as well as to grow and thrive in their careers.
  • It will prevent teenage pregnancy-related health complications like teenage pregnancy etc.
  • Finally, it makes young people develop biologically and move towards independence.

Effects of FGM

  • Oftentimes, Women bleed to death which makes the ladies to be scared of getting

married and having children

  • This practiced shows the manifestation of deeply entrenched gender inequality
  • The women that are subjected to FGM has their fundamental rights infringed.. that’s right to life.
  • Women are exposed to infection like tetanus from unsterilized or rusty tools used to cut
  • FGM can cause a life-time of serious health problems and pain. Example: Health problems include scarring, cysts, abscesses and other tissue damage, infertility and increased susceptibility to infection such as Tetanus, and even experience pain and difficulty during sexual intercourse.
  • FGM can cause life threatening child-birth complications
  • FGM can have lasting consequences for girl’s and women’s mental health.

Q3. Do you foresee any challenges in question 2, if yes, what are the possible solutions you can proffer as a young Advocate?

Answer: More Advocacy on FGM should be done focusing on the following:

  • Speaking out about the risks of realities of FGM, it’s effects and the fact that it has no medical benefits
  • Spread understanding that religion doesn’t demand FGM
  • Educate girls on their Right to decide what happens to their body.
  • Engage community members, working and build partnership with CBOs
  • Advocate more that there are no health benefits, only harm
  • Increase support of survivors through training and confidence building of survivors of FGM which enable them Advocate for a change in their communities.

Q4. In Celebrating International Day for Zero Tolerance on FGM, were you able to align discussion on FGM to Life Planning, if no, do you have plans to further spread the news of LPAY going forward?

Answer: No.

Yes I have plans to further create awareness of LPAY.

Thank you so much for your time!

Advocates for End of FGM

Life Planning : A Perspective of a Young Advocate in Rivers State.

Smith Nwokocha in an Interview with Miss Victory Mmeyene (Professional Nutritionist and Child Advocate):

Q1. Can you tell us about yourself?

In a nutshell, my name is Mmeyene Victory, I’m a professional Paediatric Nutritionist, a child Advocate and freelancer. I have a wide range of tech skills from graphics design, video editing, digital marketing (certified by Google) and for now my major is Freelance video and content creation.

Q2. Have you come across the word Life Planning or Child Birth Spacing?

Yes I have

Q3. Today, Lifestyle is part of what promotes the spread of unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancy among other factors; what is your view about Life Planning?

Life planning is central to gender equality and it is a key factor in reducing poverty especially among low income earners.

Q4. As an SDGs Advocate and SGBV voice for Young people, can you share an experience and ways to get more young people accept and live a culture of good Life Planning?

First of all, proper orientation on the significance of Life planning, helping people understand that it is the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. Having this understanding we could be able to achieve SDG 1 (No Poverty). So as an advocate, proper sexuality education, also experts could give advice on subjects like STIs, human body, relationships, pregnancy, abortion, enlightenment in these areas are measures we could take to get more young people accept and live a culture of good Life planning.

Thank you so much for your time!

Miss Victory Mmeneye (Adding her voice to the progress of FP)

PRESS RELEASE:PARADIGM INITIATIVE ASK COURT TO STOP NCC FROM DISCONNECTING OVER 100 MILLION NIGERIANS

Press Release

PIN Asks Court to Stop NCC from Disconnecting Over 100 Million Nigerians

Paradigm Initiative has asked the court to restrain the Nigerian government and telecommunications service provider from carrying out a recent order requiring that all SIM cards not linked to the National Identity Numbers be disconnected by the telecoms service provider by December 30, 2021. The organisation decries the Nigerian government order requiring all telecommunication service providers to ask their subscribers to link their National Identification Numbers (NIN) to the SIM cards within two weeks. PIN says it is seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the government and the service providers from carrying out the draconian order as it believes it is a violation of fundamental rights to freedom of expression of Nigerian Citizens as guaranteed by Section 39 of the Nigerian 1999 constitution (As amended).

The proposed blocking of SIM cards not linked with the National Identity Number is unlawful and unconstitutional says Adeboye Adegoke, Senior Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative. “Many young people and others, using their mobile phones for expression or to do business online will be affected by the poorly thought-out policy. No reasonable Nigerian will support such a policy that is geared to make life unbearable for Nigerian citizens.

In June 2020, the Director-General of the NIMC, Aliyu Aziz said only 38% of Nigerians have any form of identification. According to him: “over 100 million Nigerians have no identity (ID). These include the poorest and the most vulnerable groups, such as the marginalised – women and girls, the less-educated people, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, people with disabilities and people living in rural and remote areas.”

The said policy has created panic in the polity since it was announced. Nigeria at the moment is experiencing a 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic according to the daily numbers from the Nigeria Centre for Defence Control (NCDC) in the past one week. “This is a time when we need to discourage public gatherings, crowding, and the likes, but it appears that the government is not sensitive enough to see those nuances and has asked that 100 million Nigerians should go and register for the National Identification Number within 2 weeks, so we are left with no choice but to seek the intervention of the court.”

“Requiring over 100 million Nigerian citizens to register for NIN in two weeks is not only unrealistic but a fire brigade approach to governance that will not bring any value to the people,” says Valery Nijaba, Communications officer at Paradigm Initiative. “Whatever the government is trying to achieve by the strange directive is ignoble. When the same government tried to compel students writing UTME examinations to register for the NIN as a pre-requisite to sitting for the examinations last year, many students couldn’t register, with documented cases of government officials and law enforcement officials weaponising the desperation of the students to register for NIN to extort them and their parents. The government was forced to walk back on the policy at that instance. These are the type of effects the fire-brigade approach to policymaking leads to. Valery concluded

Hult Prize Cross River University of Technology Engages competitors on a Hybrid Bootcamp for the $1Million social Entrepreneurship Competition.

Hultprize CRUTECH in partnership with the Bridge leadership foundation will work at providing professional skills, personal and Business management skills trainings to the Top 9 teams that emerged among other 22 teams to the Semi finals.

The competition which comprises of 3 or 4 members making up a team helps in building collaboration and team work among competitors.

The hybrid bootcamp which will incorporate the virtual and physical training will begin December 8th through 14th while 15th of December 2020 becomes the grand finale /Award night.

Do you wish to join the competition? There’s an opportunity window to register which is the wildcard round as top 5 teams with the best idea gets an automatic entry to pitch during the grand finale.

Apply now at;

https://bit.ly/2I9ZzDw

Ubani Vivian
Campus Director

CELEBRATING WORLD HIV/AIDS DAY 2020! THE IMPACT OF LIFE PLANNING (AN INTERVIEW WITH A YOUTH ADVOCATE)

At the middle on mic Vivian Ubani

Few questions from Youth perspective with respect to Life Planning as we celebrate World HIV/AIDS Day!

Q1. Can we know abit about you?

Miss. Ubani Vivian is a Young Leader, Childcare professional, a passionate educator, an advocate of UN SDGs, a Volunteer, member international youth council, ambassador of the EU UN spotlight initiative on the prevention of Campus gender-based violence and Zahara dreams mentor.  She is a social entrepreneur, founder Education Sustainability Volunteers (ESV) a youth led community based organisation providing!

Inclusion, equal access to quality education through the services of volunteers and Campus Director of Hultprize Prize Foundation.

Q2. Have you heard of Life Planning?

 Yes, I have.

Q3. As a young person and an Advocate that promotes SDG3,4 and 5 which are core Sustainable Development Goals that supports Life Planning, what is your perspective about Life Planning or Child Birth Spacing?

3. These three SDGs 3 (good health and wellbeing) 4 (Quality Education and 5 (Gender Equality). Play a very important role in life planning especially as a young woman. Life planning helps you transition from dreaming about what you want to making it a reality. Everyone wants financial freedom but beyond the dream, what effort has been made to achieve that? “The result for success is more work ” Young women dream about having beautiful family, healthy babies and happily ever after etc.

In life planning which can also be referred to as family planning in the medical terms. Young must take their health plan seriously,  provide a clear part for your life, prioritize what’s important to you, make decisions based on your priorities and move toward the life you want which may shouldn’t be limited to health but also in personal development, professional development, finance etc

In choosing a marriage partners it is important to have a discussion on the family planning methods most suitable for you. Individuals have different body types and what may work for one may not work for another.

There are different Life planning/family planning practices outlined for people who intend to start a family;

*long-acting reversible contraception, such as the implant or intra uterine device (IUD)

*hormonal contraception, such the pill or the Depo Provera injection.

*Barrier methods, such as condoms.

*emergency contraception.

*fertility awareness.

*permanent contraception, such as vasectomy and tubal ligation.

It is important to contact a medical professional/doctor advice.

Also, considering child Spacing in a family, this is essential for maternal and child health. It is the period between two consecutive live births or birth to birth intervals. Unintended and short birth intervals can pose a serious health risk for mothers and child resulting in pregnancy complications, maternal and child mortality rate which will remain a problem if child spacing is ignored. It is adviced to wait atleast 18 months before getting pregnant again especially for young women of birthing age. Some survive it to tell the story, some don’t! Check your genotype and that of your partner whom you intend to marry for compatibility.

Q4. Do you think there is a Correlation between HIV/AIDS and Life Planning?

4. Yes. Consequences is an outcome of a misstep especially when you prioritize on unimportant things. “For young

men and women, adolescence is a time filled with excitement, new feelings, many

unanswered questions, changes, and difficult choices. You must know the facts about your own sexuality, and learn skills to help you prepare for a happy future and

healthy life.

During teenage years young people will have relationships with peers of the same and

opposite sex. At the same time, will need to have respectful, loving relationships with them.

The Challenges that young people face includes:

 teenage pregnancies

! School dropouts

! Drug use

! Social, sexual, and reproductive health problems like date rape, sexually

transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV and AIDS.

All these and many more make it really hard for young people to cope. So, it will be really important to inculcate Life Planning skill into the school curriculum to help them in good decision making, discovering who they are, knowing their personal, family and community values.

A well planned life/ a well informed youths will create an HIV/AIDS free generation.

Q5. Will you like to advocate more to Young people to embrace Life Planning also, as we reflect on HIV/AIDS?

5. As someone who’s passionate about good health and wellbeing, It will be fulfilling to help other young people embrace life planning. ABSTINENCE IS STILL IN PRACTICE!!

Q6. Any Word for World HIV/AIDS Day?

In global solidarity and shared responsibility, we can contain the spread of HIV/AIDS. Let’s help to raise awareness in our schools, colleges, churches etc on the need to embrace life planning for a sustainable future.

Thank you

IMPACT STORY FROM AFRICAN COMMUNITY STRATEGY AND EMPOWERMENT FOUNDATION (ACSEF) ON CIVIC EDUCATION

The Organizers and some Participants

Across communities in Bonny Local Government Area and nationwide there has been a high decrease in the rates of adult citizen’s participation in activities such as voting and elections and demand for good governance. Rates of civic engagement are declining across all communities, but the downward trend appears to be particularly steep in local communities. Adult citizens are less likely than previous generations to vote, become a member of a political party or a trade union and/or to engage in democratic processes

Concerns about these trends paved way for the emergence of the UNDEF project on “Strengthening Good Governance and Democratic Processes at The Local Level in Nigeria”

This project which is funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) in partnership with Women United for Economic Empowerment (WUEE) and implemented by African Community Strategy and Empowerment Foundation (ACSEF) is strategically aimed at strengthening good governance and democratic processes at the local level in Nigeria and to increase citizen participation. The project also aimed at increasing the capacities of 20 civil CSOs/CBOs and Local Government Chairmen in order to help them fulfil their roles and responsibilities more effectively in a democratic system.

This community-based initiative has not only increased citizen’s opportunities for learning about civic engagement through a well-structured module and lesson outlines, but it has also increased opportunities for citizens and community stakeholders at the local levels to learn about citizenship participation, citizen education and democratic processes through experiential and informal learning activities and interactive sessions.

Furthermore, it is also hoped that these experiential learning activities and community-based project will have a lasting impact on citizen’s attitudes and behaviours and that they will encourage community stakeholders to participate in civic activities and democratic processes.

Cross section of Participants

The five (5) Project communities and beneficiaries of this project in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State includes:

  1. Akiama Community
  2. Aganya Community
  3. Ayambo Community
  4. Orosikiri Community
  5. Park Community

At the conclusion of this project in four (4) out of the five (5) project communities in Bonny Local Government Area we have seen the awakening of the interest of the people and community stakeholders in promoting good governance and democratic processes which includes voting in all elections.

5 women have already declared publicly their interest in contesting for Councillorship in their various wards and 10 others are vying for 

3 youth bodies in 3 communities in Bonny Local Government are actively following up and monitoring closely the activities of their elected representatives including revenues, allocations and expenditures.

A number of Citizens are eagerly awaiting the commencement of the INEC voter registration exercise so as to obtain their permanent voters cards (PVCs).