I believe that each one works based on the insights and knowledge at his disposal. For me, growing up in a middle size family in Lagos, I had the basic exposure every young chap would have.
For many young people, the education process received across the various school cadres: early childhood education, through primary, high school and through to tertiary institution was basically knowledge accumulation and void of inspirational reflection, life skills education and the medieval societal mindset that hinders creativity and innovation.
The poor learning environment wasn’t left out as it affected the psychology of learning and development. My university education was however an exception.
As I advanced in my education, I met a number of school mates who had made wrong choices of their careers, some were opportune to have been guided while in the crux of decision or way back in high school, while others were not.
I grew much older to hear of challenges such as unemployment, underemployment, poor educational deliveries, youth uncertainties and other allied issues confronting educational development.
For me, I was faced with a career decision at the end of my high school on which path to pursue. I had not been taught any skill concerning career or its discovery, I was only schooled on academics and had little or no mastery to personal discovery. I had no vivid understanding about my life goals and vision.
My decision subsequently was not based on parental coercion or societal expectations as it is now, but on my personal discoveries (the few I had discovered).
The challenge however is: not many young people across the world are privy to these skills and guidance. This has been the bane for youth uncertainties and unemployment. The career foundation for economic relevance was not well built, and subsequently young people do not know what to do after college.
There is a wide spread of deficiency of Life Skills amongst young people. The lack of access to this vital component of education is a missing link. This is what fuels what I do.
It’s a lifework with several expressions. And working with young people is core to my destination, redesigning learning spaces, creating responsive learning environments for holistic development. Ultimately, schools need to be re-designed both in space and content to prepare students for life success, not just for examinations.
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Growing Young Breeds into the Vision
We started since 2013 with a team of volunteers across our debut project. Today, we have team members in the two aspects of our work, with young people: children & youth.
Growth has been by tireless pursuit of the vision across different phases. We are a youth-led organization, as such, most of our team members, are young people as well.
We can conclusively say, the gift of men has been a significant factor to our growth; men and women who believe in our vision, men and women who partner with it, men and women who pray and support our cause, men and women who advance and perpetuate our legacy.
On the other hand, growth as we can also note has been demanding, painstaking and sacrificing.
The Reach of Young Breed’s Practical Solutions with Communities
The focus of our work and its understanding has been a guiding rudder for our projects and initiatives. They have substantially impacted a number of young people. Some of them are:
- Youth Development Centers
- Active Growing & Intelligent People, AGIP
- Youth Development Conference Series
- Youth Development Congress
- Youth Development Boot Camp
- Virtual Youth Development Sessions
- Life Skill Education & Empowerment Day LIFESEED
- Teachers’ Development Program TDP
Lessons to Learn From Young Breed’s Peculiar Challenges
Challenges are bound to come, but resilience has been a core feedback for us. Some major challenges are lack of responsiveness from target beneficiaries/administrators, delays, bureaucracy in acceptance and approvals, contempt on presented projects/intents.
Our lessons from challenges include:
- Never to give up. When we encounter a setback, its apparently a sign that we are closer to the goal
- Leverage on those who have gone ahead.
- Our self-worth must be in place
- Life is in phases and we must grow in phases
Social Entrepreneurial Needs and Partnerships
Teamwork makes the dream work. Building more partnerships and synergy with allied social innovators and organizations is a desire to advance and strengthen the work we do. I call them purpose mates, and we are always desirous to building such networks. Both vertical, parallel and horizontal partnership is eagerly sought.
Aside partnerships, [Social entrepreneurs should get] Recognition, Responsiveness, Reward. Those are three major systems that can be strengthened for social entrepreneurs. Recognize and celebrate their work and impact, respond to their needs and request, not necessarily financially, but in kind and to requests, supports and audience, and lastly, reward service. This will boost the outlook of the social development sector. There should be less bureaucracy in our systems to allow for continuous work by social entrepreneurs. We need lots of social change agents for the change we desire as a country and as a continent.
The Future for Young Breeds
[We would move] as inspired and instructed. Once a new phase opens up couple with our own ongoing preparations and capacity building, expansion will be evident.
We look forward to such opportunities [expanding to local communities], to meet with our preparations in serving children and youth in different capacities.
Other budding projects to commence include, the Youth Development Academy, the Youth Development Workbook, formal and informal platforms for career education
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