Norsaac organized a youth training program on leadership and advocacy which took place on the 9th and 10th of September 2021. This training program was held at the National Youth Authority. The specific aim of the training was to educate the youth on effective leadership at all levels and empower the youth to engage and take an active role in advocacy. Target groups for the training program included but not limited to representatives from Young female Parliamentarians, Northern Regional Youth Network and Young Urban Women’s Movement.
The theme for the first day of the training was ‘effective leadership at all levels’. The program begun with a brief introduction about Norsaac by Miss Blessila, a staff of Norsaac who spelt out the policies implemented by Norsaac. Director of National Youth Authority who is the principal speaker for the program then took over from Miss Blessila. A lot of exercises were carried out during the training program. A sociogram which is used to measure trust level was used to explain the importance of trust in leadership.
Another exercise was carried out to educate the youth on the qualities of a good leader. Each participant was made to draw an animal of their choice and state some qualities of that particular animal. The qualities and traits of these animals were then likened to the qualities of a good leader. Some animals are known to be calm, caring and brave. The positive qualities of these animals were then likened to the qualities a good leader must possess. The ultimate purpose of this exercise was to churn out smart generational leaders.
The spider web exercise was also carried out where participants formed a circle. A rope was then tied tightly to the finger of each participant, thus forming a spider web. One of the participants was then asked to move inches back. As the participant tried moving backwards, all participants felt pain in their finger. The purpose of this exercise was to demonstrate how important or critical team work is .The exercise demonstrates that young individuals should work together regardless of individual differences in other to achieve our set goals and targets.
During the program, some videos were displayed to help explain effective leadership. One involved a story of a lion and two buffaloes. The lion on one day got very hungry and wanted to feed on the buffaloes. The lion was afraid to strike because he felt he might fail. The two buffaloes were always united and this made them strong. On one day the two buffaloes had a fight. This was the right opportunity for the lion to strike. The lion struck and succeeded. The story entails of a lot of moral lessons. The lion waiting for the right time to strike symbolizes how humans should be calm and patient in whatever they do.
Another video was displayed involving two tortoises. One of them was laying upside down, having difficulties to turn. The other tortoise tried helping. Upon several attempts it succeeded in helping the other tortoise. The moral lesson of this story is that, a leader should always offer support and help to his followers in difficult times. He concluded his presentation by urging the youth to be good leaders and change agents. By doing so they turn to effect change in their societies and even nation. He mentioned that every leader is a chief servant to their people.
The theme for the training day two was ‘to empower the youth to play an active role in advocacy’. With advocacy, you first of all begin with identifying the cause you’re advocating for. You then identify the suitable tool for your advocacy campaign. He then mentioned some prominent individuals who led their people in advertising campaigns. The likes of Mahatma Ghandi, Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela and Jomo Kenyatta among others. He stressed that an advertising campaign entails of a lot sacrifices. In the course of his presentation, he used a quote by Steve Biko to explain advocacy. The quote states that, ‘the most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed’.
During the training, he discussed the purpose of advocacy. Certain factors call for the need for advocacy in our society. Advocacy campaigns enable us to hold duty bearers responsible, to empower the people, specifically the less privileged, to effect change in society. Mr. Rayan mentioned that as an advocate one must consider certain factors when carrying out an advocacy campaign. These include the context, timing, organization and risk.
Mr. Rayan encouraged that as an advocate, one must be specific in the advocacy campaign. One therefore narrows his or her focus only on the sector he/she is working on. It is also relevant to take into consideration the “SMART”. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound . For one to have a successful advocacy campaign, one must consider the “SMART “when choosing an issue for an advocacy campaign.
He further identified HIV as a problem and used the problem and solution tree to explain it. The PROBLEM TREE is a graphical representation of an existing problem, its causes and effects which aims to get a clear and shared understanding of the issue. The roots of the tree represents the causes of the issue, whiles the stem represents the existing issue and the leaves or branches represents the impact of that issue. After identifying the problem its causes and impact, you then look out for allies or partners to help tackle the issue.
The training was concluded with an exercise where all youth groups were asked to identify an issue, its causes and impact. Each youth group worked on an issue and did a presentation on that particular issue. Young Female Parliamentarians identified menstruation as an issue. That is to say the difficulties young ladies go through during their menstrual cycle, since menstruation is an involuntary action .Young Urban Women’s Movement presented on Teenage pregnancy. They identified some causes of teenage pregnancy, it’s effects and made recommendations on how to resolve the issue of teenage pregnancy in our society. Northern Regional Youth Network presented identified rape as a problem young girl’s face due certain factors. Some of these young girls are taken advantage of because of their economic conditions.
By: Group 8.