IFRC Education Project, Nigeria
Nigeria enjoys a large youth population, known for being inquisitive, talented and very active. But with a high school drop-out rate and widespread unemployment, many resort to risky lifestyle choices including violence, crime, prostitution and cultism.
With the support of a €100,000 donation from the Lebara Foundation, the Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) has introduced its ‘Youth as Agents of Behavioural Change’ (YABC) initiative, using peer-group education to change the views and attitudes of 12-18 year olds.
The programme aims to create change by redirecting youths towards a positive mindset, working on behavioural skills including empathy, non-violent problem solving and consensus building.
The NRC is building a network of YABC peer educators, using a ‘toolkit’ of interactive workshop sessions themed around negative societal issues. Techniques including role play, drama, demonstrations and team-building exercises are used to explore subjects including managing anger, preventing violence, active listening and empathy.
In just eight weeks, 18 young people have been trained as ‘educator trainers’, tasked with passing on what they have learnt to their peers in school. A further 240 from 48 schools have been trained as peer ‘educators’, each reaching out to ten peers. The result is a total outreach to date of 2,400 young Nigerians, ready to pass it on to many more.