As part of its commitment to Children’s Rights, Plan International Nigeria has inaugurated a 16 member Youth Advisory Panel (YAP).
At the event in Abuja, the Country Director, Mr Charles Usie pointed out that Plan International as a global organization has renewed it’s mandate globally.
“What that mandate means is that girls and young people have become the centre of what we do now, if we want young people and girls to be at the center”.
“We need to bring them into our everyday operation in meaningful ways in such a way that they participate and enable us to make the right decisions in the kind of programmes and interventions we design.
According to him, “What we have ended up doing is to select young people across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria and put them into like a board, an advisory panel and their role going forward will be that they will advise me the country director.
Mr Usie said the panel would also advise his management team and the Plan board so as to influence the way programs are conceptualized and designed for young people and girls in Nigeria.
“In that way everything we do will have a vote of confidence, will have perspective, and will have insight of young people in Nigeria, for programs we design for them, especially for girls.
‘So Plan International is an agency that was established to advance the rights of children and seek for equality for girls especially because that’s our global mandate and one of the global modalities we put in place is a campaign which we are about to launch”.
Addressing the gathering, the Shadow Country Director, Plan International, Nigeria Miss Pelemo Nyajo, who described the move by Plan International as a big step, stressed the need for the panel to bring their expertise to bear in order to achieve positive outcomes.
”I have learned so much about leadership, you must be outspoken, share thoughts, express yourself, and Plan International is here to help you.”
On his part, the Executive Director, Yiaga, Mr. Samson Itodo urged the Advisory panel to take advantage of the opportunity given to them, in order to transform their lives, environment, and their communities.
”This should be about learning, building, and making necessary change happen while also sustaining the trust reposed on you by the younger generation”.
”YAP is not an elite group or cabal often used in our political group such that you forget the actual purpose you are called for this work”.
”So the biggest challenge young people have is that they don’t maximize opportunities for a long time, so you must be ready to play your role because on your shoulder lies the hope of the youths”, Itodo added.
Modupe Aduloju, Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Safiya Wada