Every year on August 12th, the world observes International Youth Day, a significant event that aims to shed light on various challenges faced by young people globally and spur action for their betterment.
Themed ‘Green Skills for Youth: Towards a Sustainable World’ in 2023, this year’s International Youth Day serves as a platform for governments, organisations, and individuals to join forces. Their aim is to empower youth, facilitate better access to education and healthcare, engage them in decision-making processes, and address pressing issues like unemployment, poverty, and inequality that disproportionately affect young individuals.
In alignment with this purpose, the Keshington Adebukola Adebutu Foundation (KAAF) has partnered with the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative (CYFI), a program under the U.S. Mission in Nigeria. This partnership strives to actively involve Nigerian youths in advancing areas such as good governance, economic growth, and social well-being.
KAAF, a philanthropic organisation committed to creating positive change, concentrates its efforts on education, healthcare, social welfare, and community development.
By implementing various initiatives, the foundation endeavors to foster a more inclusive society and enhance the lives of individuals and communities.
The partnership was geared towards equipping young Nigerians in Ogun State with leadership skills and proactive civic engagement strategies, in tandem with the focus of IYD 2023 which is to nurture emerging leaders who will contribute to positive change within their communities.
The CYFI, named after former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Walter Carrington, focused on nurturing emerging leaders who will contribute to positive change within their communities.
The year-long training program, which benefited 47 young Nigerians from Lagos, Oyo, and Ogun States, ended with a workshop and graduation ceremony held recently at the residence of the U.S. Consul General in Lagos. The event celebrated the accomplishments of the participants and welcomed the incoming fellows of the Carrington Fellowship.
Speaking at the event, Will Stevens, the U.S Consul General in Lagos, noted that the Carrington Fellowship represents a truly remarkable endeavor within Nigeria.
Addressing the graduates he said “Each one of you is engaged in extraordinary projects, effecting profound changes within your communities. What I observe and glean from this program is a profound transformation occurring both within yourselves and among those you collaborate with. The acquisition of exceptional skills stands out as a testament to your journey.”
“We are immensely proud of the achievements and growth demonstrated by our CYFI Fellows in the past year,” said Olusola Owonikoko, CYFI President. “Their unwavering dedication to personal and professional development resonates with our values. As we expand our reach and impact, we are excited to witness the positive change they will undoubtedly bring to their respective spheres of influence.”
During the program, the graduating fellows executed impactful projects, including initiatives like Project Digital Inclusion for Women, Project AidMoms, and the Literacy Project for Girls. These projects aimed to provide digital skills training to women entrepreneurs, empower rural health workers to reduce maternal mortality rates, and enhance literacy among girls attending public schools.