YEDI SKILLZ Holiday Camps: equipping adolescents with skills and knowledge to lead healthier lives
In Nigeria, discriminatory beliefs, practices and stereotypes about adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH), HIV, malaria, gender-based violence, and sexual abuse are prevalent in disadvantaged communities. This situation engenders inaccurate information, unhealthy lifestyles and destructive behaviours that threaten the successful transition of adolescents to adulthood. This situation is worsened by ill-equipped parents, often living in abject poverty and illiteracy, who typically lack requisite knowledge and understanding of adolescent parent-child communication on ASRH, and life-coping skills development, therefore resorting to defensiveness and denial of the need for such support for their adolescents. To address these gaps, there is a need for targeted interventions at adolescents within these communities to provide them with comprehensive and accurate information on their life and health skills, while correcting other stereotypes and misconceptions that affect the ability of adolescents to make positive life decisions}}
The SKILLZ Holiday Camp is designed to reach vulnerable adolescents from disadvantaged communities during the school holidays – a high-risk period for young people in these communities, as they often have little supervision and few opportunities for structured activities. The SHC is structured as a weeklong, intensive non-residential community-based socio-behavioural health camp to provide a positive life and health to adolescents (aged 10 – 19) equipping them with the requisite life-coping information and skills training on SRH, HIV and malaria prevention and to support them as they transition into adulthood. The camp’s learning model leverages a football-based curriculum, structured by age and gender, which builds young people’s health and life skills knowledge assets, facilitate their access to health and social services, and support their adherence to treatment and positive protective behaviours. Participants also have access to HIV testing services, counselling, referrals as well as acquire some skills for economic empowerment. The SKILLZ Holiday Camp complements YEDI’s yearlong in-school interventions.
The SHC through its unique adolescent programming fused with informal interactive sessions anchored on football metaphors, fun activities, coaching and experiential learning will seek to achieve the following:
o Improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health knowledge and behaviours
o Proffer solutions to health-related concerns and challenges affecting adolescents through safe spaces
o Engender youth self-actualization through heightened self-confidence, positive self-esteem and sense of responsibility
o Promote a culture of health-seeking behaviours and uptake of testing services to reduce the spread of diseases
o Contribute to the safer communities through recognition and elimination of sexual abuse, stigmatization and gender-based violence in communities
o Empower adolescents to make informed decisions, serve as game changers in inspiring peers
2019 CAMP STRUCTURE AND ACTIVITIES
Duration: Non-residential 5-day camps (8:00am – 4:00pm daily)
Locations: Lagos/Abuja/Ogun/Akwa Ibom
Camp Sites: Safe spaces within target communities, school pitches, sports fields, community grounds
Camp Coordinators: YEDI Master Coaches – supported by SKILLZ Coaches
Camp Capacity: Each camp convenes between 100-250 adolescents
Camp Types: Mixed or gender-specific (depending on sponsor’s choice)
Camp Graduation: Certificates are issued to all the participants who complete the camps - which culminate with a “World Cup” styled tournament open to parents and community members
Safety on Camp: Red Cross representatives are present on the campsite
Counselling/Testing: ASRH Counsellors lead one-on-one sessions with adolescents at risk
2019 CAMP LOCATIONS
Youth Empowerment & Development Initiative (YEDI) is an adolescent health and life skills development organization that educates, empowers, and inspires youth and community transformation in Nigeria using sound, proven models that get results. Launched in 2011, YEDI works in underserved communities and public schools in Lagos, Ogun, Akwa-Ibom and the Federal Capital Territory, to build young people’s life coping skills and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) knowledge assets, facilitate their access to health services, and promote their adherence to healthy behaviours. As part of Grassroot Soccer’s global network of partners and in collaboration with a variety of research institutions and funders, YEDI’s suite of curricula and programs have been informed by 27 research studies in over 20 countries. 200,000 people across its four intervention states have benefited from YEDI programs and projects, and since 2013, the SHC has empowered over 20,000 adolescents who otherwise would have been idle during the long vacation – a period where youths are most vulnerable and exposed to negative peer pressure that increases their likelihood of engaging in risky activities.
HOW YOU CAN BE A PART OF IT...
1. As a Participant: If you fall within the age brackets (11-19), then obtain a form, look for a location near you and register.
2. As a Volunteer: We are constantly seeking ways to impact young people in Nigeria. We, therefore, look for exceptional, dedicated and conscientious individuals who are passionate about positively impacting the lives of children to build a generation greater than ours and meaningfully contribute to nation-building.
3. As a Corporate Partner or Sponsor: As we target 3000 participants this year, we would like to request that you join in our effort to impact lives by sponsoring the camps in cash or kind. It takes about N6,000 (six thousand naira; about 16 US Dollars) for a young, disadvantaged child, who would have no access to any summer coaching) to participate in the camp for 5 days, with breakfast, launch, and writing materials). For cash donations, click below:
Through this Camp, each sponsor will have an opportunity to: increase its contribution to the health and development of underserved adolescents in vulnerable conditions; build its image as a socially responsible company committed to the SDGs; promote its social initiatives through traditional and social media, including YEDI’s website and publications; and increase its visibility as a social development partner.YEDI is committed to recognizing all support received in implementing this project and will provide a program report and financial narrative for all funds received towards the camps.