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HACEY Health begins demographic dividend boot camp in Lagos

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HACEY Health Initiative has commenced its the Media Advocacy Storytelling Boot Camp 2019 with the theme, “Spurring Investment in Young People for Demographic Dividend”.

The opening of the Boot camp was witnessed by representatives of the Africa Storytelling Development & Advocacy Initiative, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and representatives of the Ikorodu Community.

The one-week capacity training programme, holding at Kingsfield College Campus, Ikorodu, Lagos, brings together 50 young emerging creative media experts to tell stories focused on promoting investment in young people to harness the demographic dividend.

Participants at the boot camp will examine health and wellbeing, education and skills building, entrepreneurship and employment, youth participation and governance pillars of demographic dividend.

The executive director of HACEY Health Initiative, Rhoda Robinson, explained that the project would help participants acquire skills to translate available data into compelling stories on issues that affect young people.

“The event is built on the idea that well-crafted stories connect people, inspire and create change. So, at this edition, we’re training 50 young people on the use of the media to create effective social change through storytelling,” Robinson noted.

UNFPA Program Officer Dr. Amaka Haruna stated that the key issue of achieving Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without the youths who constitute a larger percentage of the population.

She said the boot camp will feature workshops and seminars tailored at thematic pillars of the demographic dividend to identify underlying issues, build teamwork and develop solutions using media as a tool for change.

CEO of Africa Storytelling Development and Advocacy Initiative, Stephen Oguntoyinbo said, “We want to create a media alliance focused on harnessing the demographic dividend.

“We have youths who’re working in the fields of film making, script-writing, photography, videography, journalism, social and online media, digital graphics and editors. They are brought together to be mentored by professionals who have been in the trade for many years”

“They will brainstorm on their responsibility as agents of change and begin to create ideas of expanding outside their comfort zone to seek opportunity for increasing youth development and how media can spark the change,” Oguntoyinbo noted.

While corroborating what other speakers have said, the Project Director, HACEY Health Initiative, Owolabi Isaiah, explained that the program would run as masterclasses and interactive sessions to promote opportunities for knowledge sharing between participants, as well as personal developments, political and economic dimensions of their various communities.

Owolabi also added that HACEY Health Initiative will be focusing on developing effective storytelling techniques among participants for global change through the various forms of media, and create dialogue for discussion on how media can be used as a toolkit of advocacy to address issues in Nigeria.

Two of the participants, Charis Alara and Lolo Cynthia expressed their joy for the opportunity to be part of the life-changing capacity developing program.

They both agreed that the Boot camp training presents them with a unique opportunity in learning key development issues and best practices that would enable them to contribute meaningfully and productively in society.


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