It is with great pleasure and much humility that I write today as the outgoing President of our great alumni body.
It has been a year long of amazing success, challenges, dilemmas and above all, significant learning. There is a saying that; you are as good as your team, which is similar to the African Ubuntu spirit. I have had an amazing team, outstanding individuals who shared in the bigger vision for our esteemed alumni body.
From an insider perspective, there's so much more that can be achieved with a united front. Our alumni body carries alot of treasure in terms of human resources that I'm optimistic the change Nigeria deserves can come from us. Hence, our plan as outgoing excos is to fully support the incoming executives to ensure they maximize the available potentials to take this alumni body to greater heights.
I can not talk about the success of our tenure without giving accolades to the alumni members who had strong faith in our leadership, from the beginning till the end of our tenure. They were there with words, directions, networks, emotional and financial support, respect and so much more. This, I can attribute our success to majorly too. This support shaped me as a human being in the sense that; you have no idea how much your compassionate support makes a difference in nation building. I have seen how the support has helped us give our best as an executive council entrusted with the leadership of this alumni body.
During our tenure, with the support of alumni members, we were able to record some successful events and collaborations. We continued a project started by the previous excos; the online masterclass series. We added some more activities spread across the geopolitical zones. We collaborated more with the MWF alumni association of Nigeria and the YALI network state hubs.
For the past one year, along with our physical activities, we have leveraged on using the digital platform to offer a more cost effective impact through virtual sessions.
We have organized online masterclasses, with participants from all over Nigeria and some African countries. We have consistently had a participation of over 200 persons, with more wanting to join but unable to due to the participants number constraint of the whatsapp platform.
We have offered masterclasses on topics like 1) Sexual and gender based violence, 2)Project management (facilitated by the founder, Youth hub Africa, Rotimi Olawale), 3)Grant and application writing (facilitated by the popular international social media influencer Brenda, also known as MomentswithBren on social media), 4)Depression and work life balance(facilitated by Elizabeth Pam, a Psychosocial researcher at International Criminal Court, Hague),
5)Climate change and sustainable living (facilitated by Olumide Idowu, ED of ICCDI Africa, a global climate change advocate), Importance of physical wellbeing(by Dr Sylvia Kama),
6)Developing business ideas and project creation (facilitated by Imafidon Ayemere, a business consultant).
We have organized twitter chats on international days like Intl day of Education, Intl Womens day, with speakers from Across Africa and experts in various development sectors. A Twitter chat was also organized to guide prospective applicants on the YALI RLC application.
We have organized physical activities across different regions in the country, to minimize monopolization of our activities in only one region. These include;
On World cancer day, we organized a secondary school outreach in Lagos, where a panel session and question and answer session was used to address myths and facts about cancer.
On Intl Mother Language day, a secondary school outreach was organized in the South east(Enugu state), to encourage the inclusion of the Igbo language in the teaching pedagogy to prevent the extinction of our local languages.
We joined a year long campaign against drug abuse, organized by a foundation called Food and Gene's initiative. This campaign involves a year long social media campaign, street conferences in some states, creating awareness on the dangers of drug abuse and treatment options.
We organized a mental health training in Abuja, in collaboration with the YALI face to face hub in Abuja. This was aimed at addressing myths and facts about mental health and enhancing wellbeing.
We also organized a seminar in 2 states(Lagos and Abuja) for teachers, parents and care givers on identifying warning signs of teenage drug use. This was done with the support of the American corners in both states.
On Intl blood donor day, members were encouraged to donate blood. A collaboration was done in Abuja with Jela Development Initiative for a blood drive.
Capacity building of alumni members in Oyo state and Lagos state was supported by securing a discounted fee for alumni to enrol in a Language school to learn French, Spanish or German to aid work in Humanitarian sector.
On intl youth day, an event was organized in Lagos, with 3 key speakers discussing the role of youths in enhancing innovations in education. This was done with support of the American corner.
We joined the 1st largest youth movement in Nigeria on Climate Action, through a social media campaign.
A Yali learns event was organized in Enugu on Organizing community action, which was followed by an introduction of YALI and all the 3 arms, how to submit applications and encouraging attendees to also explore the YALI online courses.
We recently just concluded a mental health training in Abuja, in collaboration with Lysi Regimen (a psychological centre), ILERA Health Initiative and PADEAP UK to train 24 community workers on lay counselling and mental health first aid. This training brings mental health professionals from the UK and Nigeria, to train the participants on offering basic psychosocial support, creating mental health awareness and referrals at the grassroots level and to be able to set up mental health support groups in their communities. Some of the modules in this training included understanding mental health, understanding depression, anxiety and substance misuse, suicide prevention, introduction to lay counselling and Psychological first aid. The trainees are expected to execute mental health projects in their communities, under the supervision of mentors they will be assigned.
We have fully participated in events organized by other YALI arms like the MWF Nourish project in the south east, the MWF education project in Abuja, the YALI summit organized by the YALI Hub in Abuja. We have also actively participated in setting up a YALI hub in Kano state. This has seen an improved synergy in our activities.
To get a more detailed and visual representation of the activities of the past one year, You can follow our social media pages Instagram: @yalirlcalumning Twitter: @yalirlcalumning Medium: @yalirlcalumning.
On behalf of my entire team and all alumni members, I want to once again congratulate the newly elected executives of YALI RLC Nigeria Alumni Chapter. We wish you the very best, a successful tenure and our full support.
To the IEC, Chaired by Achionye Chigozirim Esq., welldone for an election conducted well. Major thank you for your volunteer service. This is to wishing you and your team all the best and success in your future endeavours.