In its commitment toward engendering an atmosphere of learning and life-improving programmes that would help young people become change agents in our world, Youth Advocates for Change held the maiden edition of the Children Career Counseling Forum in Agboyi-Ketu, Alapere, Lagos.
The 3-day training programme held at Christ Arrival School in Agboyi-Ketu, Lagos, ran from August 28th to 30th and attracted over 50 children from 10 primary and secondary schools in Lagos.
The event featured children’s career counselling, leadership skills, volunteering skills, storytelling, arts and crafts, and role play, among others.
Speaking at the event, the convener of the programme and founder of Youth Advocate for Change, Adeola Ogunlade said that the programme was aimed at providing guidance and support that children in hapless communities need to make informed decisions about their lives, communities, and the nation at large.
He said that nurturing a young one’s confidence and autonomy is critical to unlocking their potential and shaping them into resilient, proactive members of society. Empowering children is vital as it gives them essential skills and knowledge to navigate life successfully.
He posited further that there were volunteers on the ground who worked tirelessly to ensure a seamless experience, guiding children through the various tasks given and celebrating their successes.
He encouraged them to keep up the good work, advising them not to relent as seeking more knowledge would surely pave the way for them one day.
Ogunlade divided the children into four plenary groups to discuss four Sustainable Development Goals which are: Life Underwater, gender equality, promoting good health and wellbeing, and ways to improve power supply that will enhance commerce. The children discuss among themselves and they proffer homegrown solutions to the issues discussed. Volunteers and ambassadors were assigned to the various groups guiding them through the discussions to improve communication and collaboration.
Ogunlade noted that the students who participated in the sessions were very involved and enthusiastic.
Also speaking at the event, the National Coordinator of Inner Mission, Mr. Jackson Iboro, and the Executive Director, Lacaperia Group, Mr. Segun Eluyode spoke extensively on the importance of education to their lives.
Sharing his life story, Iboro maintained that for any student to succeed in life, he or she must be hardworking, determined, patient, and perseverant.
He highlighted the importance of education as it remains the inspiration of hope for slum children. It will not only equip them with knowledge and skills but also inculcate confidence, and self-esteem needed to take on life’s challenges and succeed. Education has been proven as the key to escaping the cycle of poverty across the world.
On his part, Eluyode took the young lads into storytelling adventures, weaving captivating live stories of successful people that spark the children’s imagination, creativity, and knack for excellence.
A multiple award-winning journalist and poet, Evelyn Osagie took the participants through the art and craft materials that are eco-friendly.
The 3-day event ended with three hours of art and crafts and the children were able to come up with an eco-friendly book, bow tie, hair ribbon, and a small handbag. Some clothing materials were reused to make these materials.
Evelyn painstakingly exposed the children to the fundamentals of art and helped them to create unique masterpieces in art.
The feedback from the students was encouraging, with some expressing interest in engaging the community leaders and government on proper ways to ensure an environment safe and fit for them.