Development Skills: UNICEF, Kaduna Govt Train Adolescents, Young Persons

Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna

As part of effort to ensure every young acquire the right development skills in Nigeria, the United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commenced an “Adolescents Tools Kit” training for young people in Kaduna State.

According to Dr. Idris Baba, Health Specialist, UNICEF Kaduna Field Office, the whole aim of the project is to ensure UNICEF in partnership with Kaduna State AIDS Control Agency (KADSACA), produces a crop of adolescent people that are well skilled in terms of leadership, advocacy assertiveness and other development skill every adolescent will require moving forward in his life.

“This is an adolescents piece of work we have been supporting in Kaduna state, we have been supporting this adolescents intervention for the last 4years, in 7 LGAs, Jaba, Jama’a Igabi, Lere, Chikun, Birni Gwari and Kagarko, these has been the LGAs we have been working in.

“The adolescent tool kit training that we commenced today is part of the skills building piece of work we are putting together for adolescents in Kaduna State, that will help them in deciding what best they can do with their own life moving forward beyond HIV and other space of work, we are talking about they whole adolescent phase of development.

“We are partnering with KADSACA in this project because that is where the adolescent program all began not because we want to limit ourselves to HIV, we would be looking at the whole adolescent package.

“So we are hoping that this will open up another chapter for the adolescents and young persons in Kaduna state beyond health, in education, social protection and every other sectors will have a better platform to build on.” He said.

He commended the state saying, “we appreciate the leadership of KADSACA because they have been providing the requisite policy environment for us to do the program, giving the fact that they are the one that have been in the forefront to ensuring that the people are engaged, where do we work and how do we get engaged with the community.

“Another partner we are working with, is planning and budget commission, we have been having a very robust entering point with the communities, building on the child friendly community initiative UNICEF started, so we also appreciate them.”

In his remarks, Executive Secretary, KADSACA, Dr. Baka Isah, noted that though adolescents and young persons contributes over 43% of the population but unfortunately they are not carried along in policy formulation, adding, “worst still is that most of them don’t participate in the electioneering process, yet that is the process that is used to select those expected to be leader.”

Dr. Baka, said the adolescent aged (10-19) years constitute over 43.69% of the over estimated 206,139, 589 Nigeria by 2020. These age group suffer from sexual and gender-based violence, exclusion from decision making and high incidence of HIV/AIDs and related mortality among them.

“Similarly, the crucial need to guide them on coping with stress and managing emotions; critical thinking and decision making; leadership and influence; communication and expression; problem solving managing conflict and identity and self-esteem.

“The above-mentioned issues inform the need of the adolescent kits, which is package of guidance, tools, activities and supplies for supporting adolescent age 10-19years. It is strictly design as a set of resources to strengthen country level programme, especially by promoting positive outcomes for their psychosocial wellbeing, learning relevant life skills and positive engagement with their communities.

“However, the insurance of community support systems strengthening to promote timely uptake of an interpreted package of HIV/AlDs services by pregnant woman, their infants, partners and families and also by adolescents, as well as the availability of community action platforms in which the most
vulnerable adolescents activity participate and contribute to
building resilient systems and communities, are the broader
objectives.

He therefore, thank UNICEF, for coming up with the project that will enable them be part of decision making. He charged them to devote their time and learn all lessons being impacted to by UNICEF, that will be helpful for their future.

“Cooperate and make the best use of this opportunity for your better tomorrow. Don’t miss this opportunity because you may never get it again, use your knowledge to help your younger ones and your generation.” He added.

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