By Mariam Akande and Franklin Ohaegbu
Youths and Women Development advocate on Sunday, called on teenagers to be change agents in their communities and embraced a positive mindset to life.
They gave the advice at a community teen programme tagged, “Young and Relevant”, organised by Maximum Growth Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation(NGO).
The Convener of the initiative, Miss Ugoma Johnson, a Journalist, said the aim of the event was to inspire teenagers in Ilaje in Ebute Meta West, Lagos, to set goals for their future to be relevant in the society.
Johnson, a journalist turned food vendor, had told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that she left Journalisn profession because she still found it difficult to pay bills and have time to oversee the youth advocacy project she started in her community.
” I learnt a lot on the job but I couldn’t keep borrowing,” she said.
She said her decision to leave journalism had significantly impacted her life because she had got the time and finances she needed.
She decried the situation, where teenage pregnancy and abortion were the order of the day in some communities, with no vision and set goals for their lives.
She advised them to have a positive mindset about their future in spite of the circumstances and challenges faced.
Speaking at the event, Mrs Omobola Akingbehin, an Assistant Editor-in-Chief with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) and Vice President NAWOJ B Zone, cautioned the youths and teenagers against Vices and immoral behaviours.
She said that young girls in the community must look out for each other at all times as teenager pregnancy was on the increase.
Akingbehin said that due to lack of proper monitoring, adequate sex education and advocacy, many young girls, are now victims of rape.
She enjoined them to always speak up when they are sexually violated or molested.
“There are some parts of your body that no one is permitted to touch, please ensure that those areas are covered and protected.
“Your chest areas and your waist to the knees are the “Touch Not Zones”, for all girls and must be treated as such.
”If there is anyone that has attempted or violated you, please talk to us even if you can not talk to your parents or those around you.
”You must look out for one and another and always protect your virtues,” she said.
Also, Mrs Olayinka Adekunle, Executive Director, African Women & Youth Organisation lauded the initiative, adding that it resonated with her passion for helping youths and teenagers who are victims of human trafficking, domestic and sexual violence.
Adekunle encouraged them not to be conditioned by their environment but by the power of the mind that they can do better.
”The power to become relevant starts from the mind, so I will advice them not to be conditioned by their environment but by the power of the mind that they can do better.
”There is something inside of them that can make them impact their community positively and see the change that they want to see in the society,” she said.
Also, Miss Claire Aririahu, a writer and public speaker advised them to remain focused and set goals for themselves.
Nneka Nicholas, one of the participanty, expressed gratitude to the organiser for inspiring her amd others to be better teens and to always have positive mindsets.
Comfort Eze, another participant, said, ” I have learnt how to set goals for myself, to always have a positive mindset and not to be scared to ask for help” . (NAN)