20 Activists Selected For the Speak Up; Stand Out Program

Twenty selected activists from Abuja, the Nation’s capital city, Lagos and Enugu states are in a conference for the Speak Up, Stand Out (SUSO) program in Abuja.

The meeting is aimed at addressing community challenges using four thematic ares such as Education, Employment, Governance, Security, and Peace.

The organisers noted that, Young Nigerians are increasingly becoming aware of the issues facing their communities in particular and Nigeria at large. While a lot of the action and speaking out have been online, little have been done on the ground to drive drive policy changes, support interventions and promote collective responsibility. This is what the Speak Up, Stand Out (SUSO) Program wants to change.

In a statement by the Communication Officer, Mr Dough Onah, The Speak Up, Stand Out program is funded by Voice under its Influencing Grant targeting organisations and networks to strengthen their lobby and advocacy capacities to amplify the voice of marginalised and discriminated groups; and is jointly implemented by the Nigeria Youth SDGs Network (NGYouthSDGs), Center For Youth Advocacy and Development (CEYAD), and Afrika Youth Movement (AYM).

With 20 activists selected across Abuja, Enugu and Lagos, the program will support them working with 500 advocates across 20 communities in the 3 states for 12 months. In addition, these 20 young Activists will work with 25 young Advocates in their communities for 12 months to create solutions to problems affecting young people around four thematic areas; Education, Employment, Governance, Security, and Peace.

In the words of the Program Lead, Adenike Bamigbade, “we want to leverage our skills to contribute to the building of a great nation. We are willing to sit at the table and bring our unique perspectives to influence our country positively. The Speak Up, Stand Out program is to aid collaboration between young people and decision-makers to address pertinent issues affecting young people. It’s an opportunity to bring our skills and capacities to join the government, private stakeholders and Nigerians to create meaningful change.”

In his remark to the activists, the Nigeria Country Director for ONE, Edwin Ikhuoria, highlighted the need for young people to lead advocacy and youth campaign.

At the training held in Abuja for the selected finalists, they underwent sessions on advocacy, digital communications, community mobilising, theory of change including one-one sessions with leading activists and advocacy organisations in Nigeria. Finally, to round up, activists pitched ideas on how they plan to transform their communities and bring social change.

Expressing their excitement towards the program, Anthony Chinweuba highlighted the need to address social issues in Nigeria one after the other. He commended the SUSO program for identifying four thematic areas (Education, Governance, Employment, Peace and Security) for the duration of the project.

The finalists will receive technical support from the team, mini-grants and communications support to amplify their work in their communities.

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