• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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IMPACT 2022: Igniting the potential in youths

IMPACT 2022: Igniting the potential in youths

A new wave of revival has broken out in Deeper Life with the recently concluded Global Youth Convocation (GYC) tagged, IMPACT 2022.

Convened by William Folorunsho Kumuyi, the general superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Impact 2022 created the platform for the youth members of the church in response to their yearnings for all-round success in life.

Beyond the spiritual atmosphere created by IMPACT 2022, the programme broke some ceilings that seemed to limit the youth as the veil of exclusivity was taken away as one journalist posted on his Facebook wall, “Religious folks want Baba Kumuyi to continue with the gospel of exclusivity but God had the last say.”

According to him, Church leaders who care about the future should initiate the changes they want to see while still alive. “Nigeria’s church leaders have so much to learn from Pastor W.F. Kumuyi,” the media practitioner further said.

The Convocation did not only address the socio-economic needs of the youth, it created an avenue for the convener to touch every facet of the challenges facing the youth.

There were prayers to pull down strongholds in the lives of the young people that have been hindrances in their lives and activities. The seminar sessions also touched on the very essence of aspiring young adults.

“It is not enough to organise a programme; it is important that the event meets the needs of the target audience. Most of the feedback we have received from young adults and professionals suggest that the programme was timely and an answer to their prayers. It was an avenue of rekindling spiritual fire and the passion of young people to fulfil their purpose,” Daniel Bamigbayan, president, Youth Professional Forum (YPF), said.

Apart from creating an avenue to rekindle the spiritual fire and passion of young people to fulfil their purpose, IMPACT 2022 also identified with the increasing rate of unemployment and the resultant youth restiveness across states in Nigeria, and urged both the Federal and State government to mainstream youth development initiatives, fund and implement more youth-focused intervention programmes to bridge Nigeria’s unemployment gap.

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The youth convocation among other things posits that repositioning the youth population is pivotal to the growth and development of the nation and the world at large. These were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the convocation, which urged the government to equip the youth population with appropriate secular education, soft and life skills to prepare them for positive engagement in formulating and implementing policies meant for their social category.

Accordingly, Impact 2022 posits that fundamental issues affecting teenagers, campus students and young adults are to be prioritised by the government and other stakeholders. Therefore, the communiqué advocates that a comprehensive youth policy is developed to address issues specific to the various categories of the youth population.

Furthermore, the communiqué highlighted that the transformation agenda must characterise outcomes of Impact and similar global youth-focused initiatives to address the ills in the world of the youth.

“The void in the social life of youths must be addressed by entrenching civic, moral and ethical values in the educational curriculum. Governments of nations should prioritise the identified youth-specific targets in the Agenda 2030 while the global community should specifically focus on youth in future global agenda,” the communiqué read in part.

The convocation acknowledged and appreciates the vision, passion and commitment of the convener and prayed for greater grace for him to continue driving the vision of redemption and re-orientation of the youth.

William Kumuyi, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry and convener, Impact 2022, in his response to the youth said, “God will not give up on you,” urging them to follow in his footsteps.

Samuel Edoumiekumo, vice-chancellor (VC), Niger Delta University, Bayelsa and chairman, committee of vice-chancellors, urged the convener to make Impact an annual event to sustain the gains of the first edition. According to him, periodic events, like Impact 2022, should be encouraged as a platform for re-engaging the youth, re-focusing their latent talents and energies towards giving the youth population a voice.

Ibukun Awosika, the former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria plc, said the beginning of a journey does not define the end. She posited that the environment will always try to condition the mind to do things contrary to God’s plan for man. “It is not about the journey, but how you finish,” Awosika emphasised

Awosika, who spoke on ‘Leadership and Godliness’ on the final day of the Global Youth Convocation, said leadership as a concept has been tied to titles; but that is not what it should be. According to her, leadership is the attributes of the individual lives manifested to those around him/her.

The convener, Kumuyi was assisted by international youth influencers, industry leaders, and other resource persons to address the youth on various social, economic, spiritual and other aspects of life. Present at the Convocation were Dunsin Oyekan, singer and worship leader; Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, a Nigerian entrepreneur, co-founder of Andela and former managing director of Flutterwave, and Ibukun Awosika, Nigerian business woman, motivational speaker and former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria.

The Convocation equally acknowledged a number of government initiatives devoted to youth, such as Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YOU-WIN), Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP), the SURE-P Technical Vocational Education, Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS), as well as N-Power, Government Economic Empowerment Program (GEEP), and the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT).

Issues negatively affecting the youth identified by the Convocation

As a proactive measure to respond to the yearnings of the youth in preparation towards nation-building, the Convocation identified some issues that are negatively affecting the youth population:

The neglect of the youth, a critical and considerably predominant social demographic, and non-implementation of various policies propounded by governments and other entities;

The rapidly increasing instances of deviant culture among the youth, decline in positive social role models;

Treatment of youth as a monolithic entity without disaggregation according to age, educational and professional classification by various government policies;

The accelerated loss of moral values and decline in ethical standards in society, global economic crisis and high rates of youth unemployment, and social media distorted worldviews, leading to high moral decadence, anti-social and criminal acts, and dysfunctional societies;

Inadequate platforms for the youth to express themselves in wholesome ways which make many to recourse to various anti-social and anti-state behaviour.

Recommendations made by the Convocation:

The convocation posits that repositioning the youth is pivotal to the growth and development of the country and the world at large. Hence, the following recommendations were put forward:

Fundamental issues affecting teenagers, campus students and young adults be prioritised by government and other stakeholders;

A comprehensive youth policy be developed to address issues specific to the various categories of youth;

Transformation agenda must characterise this and similar global youth-focused initiatives to address the ills in the world of youths;

The void in the social life of youths must be addressed by entrenching civic, moral and ethical values in the educational curriculum;

Governments of nations should prioritise the identified youth-specific targets in the Agenda 2030 while the global community should specifically focus on youths in future global agenda;

The government at all levels should mainstream youth development initiatives, fund and implement more youth-focused intervention programmes;

Youths should be equipped with appropriate secular education, soft and life skills to prepare them for positive engagement in formulating and implementing policies meant for their social category.

Periodic events, like Impact 2022, should be encouraged as a platform for re-engaging the youth, re-focusing their latent talents and energies, and so as to give them a voice.

The first announcement on the Youth Convocation was made by Pastor Kumuyi in a letter to members of his Church, entitled ‘Invitation to the Global Youth Convocation,’ wherein he stated: “This year, I am prioritising young people.”

Giving insight into the event, he further stated: “IMPACT is a 5-day global youth convocation where international youth influencers, industry leaders and gospel artistes will join me to address fundamental issues affecting teenagers, campus students and young adults. The rapidly increasing instances of deviant culture among youths, decline in positive societal role models and the need for transformative invitation is at the heart of this global programme.”