Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative
Play ˖ Educate ˖ Inspire

Our Core Values

Integrity: We act with honesty, uprightness, transparency, and without compromising the truth; we strive for high moral character in all our actions. 

Innovation: We always evolve new creative ideas that can add value to life and change the world

Excellence: We give our best to the task at hand at all times; with dedication and commitment we put our heart and mind in the work to get the best.

Safety: We create and ensure a safe and trouble-free space and experience for everyone.   

Teamwork: We value cooperation, using our individual skills and providing constructive feedback to get everyone on the same page; we work collaboratively with people and organisations in order to achieve a goal.

Equality: We believe in fairness, objectivity and mutual respect; we have no room for discrimination.

Sacrifice: We take ownership and go the extra mile, placing others before self.

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WORLD MALARIA DAY 2016: YEDI Initiates a Community Clean-Up in Lagos

In commemoration of the 2016 World Malaria Day, YEDI, with the support of ExxonMobil, initiated an environmental sanitation activity in Idi-Araba community of Lagos. Tagged Clean-Up To #EndMalaria, in line with this year’s theme – End Malaria for Good – and targeted at combating the scourge of malaria through a holistic approach, the sanitation exercise which took place on Monday 25, 2016, served as a platform for mobilizing members of the community, educating and engaging them on the importance of environmental sanitation in relation to Malaria prevention; as well as raising awareness around the benefits of fighting malaria effectively.

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Since the pilot programme in 2011, YEDI has through its Grassroot Soccer and other programmes, adapted and applied highly effective development models for disadvantaged communities in Nigeria. In 2015, YEDI once again, demonstrated the effectiveness of Soccer in development and promotion of health awareness, life management skills, authentic information about HIV/AIDS, malaria education, women empowerment, gender equality, etc. In addition to the GRS model, YEDI also partnered with reputable organisations to directly reach many young people in at-risk communities with free Malaria testing and treatment, HIV Counselling and Testing, free insecticidal treated nets, as well as raised awareness and advocacy against stigma and discrimination in the communities.

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Despite global efforts to address abuse, organizations implementing HIV prevention programs still lack the capacity to identify and linkthose affectedto services. Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI) conducted a survey in Nigeria to assess disclosure of abuse, types of abuse experienced, and referrals to support services in a sport-based HIV prevention program.

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SKILLZ GIRL: Changing The Game and Creating Safe Spaces for Girls

A girls-targeted intervention, Skillz Girl combines an activities-based HIV prevention and life skills curriculum with fair play soccer and peer-led community outreach activities. Led by GRS’ community role models, Skillz Coaches, and enhanced by the unique culture developed within Skillz programs, this girl-centered initiative creates a safe space for adolescent girls  (between ages 12 and 19) to play non-competitive soccer, take action in their community, and have vital conversations about HIV and AIDS, learn about Sexual and Reproductive Health and become gane changers in their community.

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YEDI SURVEYS: Needs Assessment on HELLO LAGOS Youth Friendly Centres


The Lagos State Government, recognizing the implication of a significant youthful population engaging in high-risk sexual behaviors, established Hello Lagos as an integrated youth friendly center (YFC) in 2002. The survey was to assess the need for the Youth Friendly Centres by the youths in Agege, Ikeja and Oko-Awo communities.

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Skillz Naija: Equipping Young People With Life-Skills, Malaria & HIV/AIDS Education

Skillz Naija is a soccer-for-development curriculum that focuses on building basic life skills that help children between the ages of 11 and 16 adopt healthy behaviours and live risk free by creating a simple but powerful connection between soccer and life skills. The program helps young people have relevant and important discussion about life, take small steps to achieve their goals, stay strong when faced with challenges and protect themselves and others from diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.

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With two soccer balls, two tennis balls, a whistle, 11 cones, a Marker, flip charts, Red cards, etc, in the Coach’s bag, our team of dedicated Volunteer Coaches are already on the field delivering the GrassrootSoccer (GRS) curriculum for the Third-term in-school interventions. The GRS West Africa program, that equips children aged 11-15 with important life-skills, malaria and HIV/AIDS education, decision-making skills, and how to handle basic life’s challenges, is currently implemented in over 400 sites in Lagos, Akwa-Ibom and Ogun States and has had more than 63,000 young graduates so far. The program adapted the highly effective football-for-development model piloted by YEDI’s international NGO partner, Grassroot Soccer for Nigeria.

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“In recognition of its leading work in the field of social change through football,” YEDI was officially admitted into the streetfootballworld network in 2015. Streetfootballworld drives a global network of charitable community organisations that rally behind one common goal: changing the world through football. With headquarters in Berlin, Germany, the network has grown to over 84 organisations in 59 countries of the world. Streetfootballworld exists for one reason only: to harness the power of football for good by using it as a tool to drive social change. As an organisation that utilises football to push overarching goals of improving youth and communities and aiding health, YEDI is happy and proud to be a part of this global network.


Every year, YEDI organises a special football Holiday Camp to meaningfully engage children during the period. This year’s edition begins in August in Lagos and Akwa-Ibom and later in Ogun State. The Skillz Holiday Camp is a unique intervention program that provides a safe and meaningful experience for children who would otherwise have little to do during the holiday.  The objectives of the program are to provide a safe space for boys and girls to come play football, have fun, learn healthy habits, team-building skills, personal development and important life skills and educate all participants about prevention of endemic diseases such as Malaria and HIV. 

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From three communities in Lagos – Lekki-Ajah, Lagos Island and Ifako-Ijaiye – they all came, with mixed feelings and hanging expectations. Could this be worth the time? Could this be another scam going on in town? (Lagos is full of such and the uninitiated who swallows their gimmicks hook, line and sinker always have their fingers burnt). Could this be an opportunity for this so-called NGO to add to their figures in their bid to solicit funds? Are we just going to be used as mere statistics to fill up report spaces for their sponsors?

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My friend with HIV is 
still my friend

Over 60,000 graduates in more than 400 schools, coached by over 400 trained youth leaders, have improved ability to reduce risks, handle peer pressure, and prevent HIV and Malaria through increased education about health concerns in their communities.

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Our Coaches

Our Coaches/Peer Educators/Volunteers are Nigeria's motivated, empowered youths who are excited to foster change for a stronger Nigeria. Since 2011, YEDI has trained more than 400 Youth Coaches (volunteers) selected for their leadership, knowledge, and ability to mentor and empower youths in their communities. 

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The Kick Against Malaria
and HIV/AIDS Tournament

YEDI hosted a kick-off tournament in Akwa Ibom in partnership with ACM and ECEWS in December 2013. Amidst exciting football matches, 87 people were tested for HIV and Malaria, and demonstrations on Malaria prevention helped in preventing the disease. Another one was done in 2014 in comemoration of World Malaria Day. The one for 2015 on April 25 in Akwa Ibom and May 1 in Lagos where over 2600 youths and community members assessed the mini-clinic with services like free Malaria testing and treatment, free HIV Counselling and Testing, and other healthcare services, thanks to our funders, partners, and volunteers.

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YEDI facilitates access to HIV
and Malaria testing and treatment

Not only does YEDI promote youth empowerment in at-risk areas of Nigeria, it also facilitates access to HIV and Malaria testing and treatment at all of its community events, where Nigerians learn that those with HIV/AIDS should not be stigmatized. Our Lagos AIDS Walk, now an annual tradition, has only grown since 2011 in support of those with HIV/AIDS and seeking testing and treatment.

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This is Michael Aderemi. He goes to Behrman Junior High School in Mushin, Lagos, where he lives with his parents. He is 12 years old and he loves to play football.

“My Camp Coach Bobby, taught us many things about malaria, especially about using the bed net to protect myself from mosquito bite, and the importance of taking malaria pills in case I do get ill with malaria.”

Countdown to Skillz Holiday Camp

The Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI) is a local, Nigerian-run NGO that empowers, educates, and inspires youth and communities using proven models or ideas modified for the Nigerian context.

YEDI was founded in 2011 to pilot the West Africa Grassroot Soccer model, a football-for-development program developed more than 10 years ago in Southern Africa to reduce HIV incidence rates and stigma. The pilot was an immediate success and since then, over 55,000 young people have benefited from it. YEDI is expanding its programs to increase opportunities for youth and target additional challenges they face.

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YEDI’s committed development professionals capitalize on proven programs rather than experiment. YEDI generates results through tried and tested approaches that work.

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                                 Skillz Naija Practice In Session 

Urban achievers
Pursuing Productive Livelihoods in Nigeria

Globally, research has shown that a young person will be three times more likely to be unemployed than an average adult and predict that if not urgently dealt with, economic protest will worsen. In Nigeria, “Youth unemployment” is one of the biggest economic problems. Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative developed a program “Urban Achievers” aimed at engaging, encouraging and providing necessary skills needed for the job market.

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Grassroot Soccer Nigeria
A Soccer-for-development Initiative

Grassroot Soccer Nigeria: Over 55,000 graduates in more than 400 schools, coached by over 400 trained youth leaders, have improved ability to reduce risks, handle peer pressure, prevent HIV and malaria and other endemic diseases as well as learn about Sexual and Reproductive Health through increased education about health concerns in their communities. Participants also access free malaria testing and treatment, HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) and referrals where necessary.    

YEDI works with local partners, program participants, and coaches, who drive the GRS program in Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Ogun States in Nigeria to identify additional models to meet other prevalent needs of youth.

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– keep up with YEDI
News Archive  

March 10, 2016

January 28, 2016