YEDI helping Nigeria youths rise to health challenges
Founded in 2011, YEDI (Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative) is a Nigerian non-governmental organisation that supports children and young people aged 10 to 24, who are particularly impacted by the health, social and economic difficulties facing the inhabitants of Africa’s most populous country.
Football is the most popular sport in Nigeria and the NGO has sought, since its foundation, to use the beautiful game to get key health-prevention messages across to young people, raising their awareness in particular of the AIDS epidemic afflicting the country.
Nigeria’s young people are especially vulnerable to AIDS and other diseases such as malaria and polio. Thanks to programmes tailored to different sections of society, football provides an entertaining and effective means of informing people about the kind of behaviour that they and others should be adopting.
Since the foundation of YEDI in 2011, 200,000 young people have participated in the association’s programmes, which incorporate prevention messages about malaria, polio, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The Skillz Girl programme seeks to engage with young women aged 13 to 19. In playing football and taking part in other physical activities, they learn to make the right health and physical well-being choices, while also boosting their self-confidence and their assertiveness in relations with others.
Youth unemployment is another major challenge facing Nigeria, and YEDI is supporting students and young adults in their efforts to integrate better into society.
• Culled from FIFA.
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