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Youth Political Participation

Youth Political Participation: Yiaga Africa Trains 40 Community Organizers in Sokoto

Yiaga Africa has concluded a four-day training which equipped 40 young men and women in Sokoto State skills on direct action organizing, leadership, advocacy, storytelling and public narrative, coalition building, and community mobilization. This training termed ‘Community Organizing Training’ is part of the TurnUp Democracy project which is supported by the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth, Development Office (FCDO) to equip them with relevant skills to effectively engage stakeholders.

In her opening remarks, Yiaga Africa Director of Programs, Cynthia Mbamalu said that the community organization training is aimed at awakening the consciousness of young people in order to make history for our democracy. 

“For democracy to work, we must all be hands-on towards its achievement, and that is by actively participating in politics and engaging our leaders for good governance,” she told the budding organizers.

Yiaga Africa's Director of Programmes, Cynthia Mbamalu making a point during the training[/caption]

In a session titled Identity, Mbamalu educated the participants on the need for self-awareness, stating, "if you don't know who you are, how can you begin to organize or lead other people towards achieving a goal?" She added that the call to organizing involves identifying one’s goals and values, building a team of individuals who share those values, and then working towards a goal. 

Efemena Ozugha, Yiaga Africa Program Officer who trained the participants on taking action for positive change spoke about how young leaders such as themselves can inspire their peers to take action on advocacy and civic engagement campaigns. She emphasized that for youths to be changemakers, it is important for a joint action in which everyone speaks in one voice. 

Yiaga Africa Programme Officer, Efemena Ozugha[/caption]

On relationships, Sanusi Olaniyan, Yiaga Africa Program Officer, exposed the participants to the imperative of relationship-building in public advocacy and civic engagement. In his words, “a leader must build a culture of accountability by identifying who they are taking responsibility for.” 

[caption id="attachment_3861" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Yiaga Africa Programme Officer, Sanusi Olaniyan[/caption]

Speaking on leadership, Yiaga Africa Program Manager, Ibrahim Faruk said, "leadership is accepting responsibility to enable others achieve shared purpose, under conditions of necessity." He also intimated the participants that the essence of leadership is measured by its output, which is the ability of the team to take action required to achieve its goal. He encouraged the participants to never underestimate the power of leadership teams because “no one can achieve purpose alone; that is the importance of identifying with people with a shared purpose, and working together to achieve the ultimate goal.”

Yiaga Africa Programme Manager, Ibrahim Faruk speaking at the Training[/caption]

The training is aimed at ensuring an increase in youth political participation and engagement in Sokoto State by increasing the capacity of community organizers, civic activists and young members of political parties.

Participants during a training session[/caption]

At the end of the training, all 40 participants pledged to step down the training for their peers and their communities. They also all admitted to realizing the need for an active participation in politics, while a few declared their intentions to run for public office. 

Participants interacting during a break.[/caption]

The Community Organizing Training is an initiative of Yiaga Africa under its Turn Up Democracy project aimed at empowering citizens with information and tools for civic engagement, thereby enhancing the quality of their participation in democratic processes at all levels.

About

Yiaga Africa is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. With its operational base in Abuja, Nigeria, Yiaga Africa focuses on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community. Yiaga Africa implements several innovative programs aimed at stimulating active citizenship, protecting human rights and deepening democratic governance. We invest in building networks and social movements to drive social change and transformation. Yiaga Africa has leadership structures and members in all 36 states and 774 Local Government Areas (LGA) of Nigeria.