Lagos Nigeria, July 2018 – The 6th edition of the annual summer holiday camps organized by Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI), a nonprofit focused on adolescent health, kicks off on Monday, July 30, 2018, in Lagos, Abuja, Akwa Ibom and Ogun. Tagged ‘SKILLZ Holiday Camps’, the youth-focused, health-themed camp will engage the energy, mind and creativity of 4,000 adolescents across select communities through fun, sports and educational activities to support their transition into healthy adults.

According to YEDI’s Executive Director – Oje Ivagba, the SKILLZ Camps, organized since 2013, offers adolescents in disadvantaged communities a fun-filled learning immersion on health and life skills during the summer holiday. “The summer holidays are high-risk periods for youth, as they often have little supervision and few opportunities for structured learning activities. To accelerate the reach of our programs in building healthy youth and communities, YEDI has consistently convened this weeklong, intensive, non-residential community-based behavioural change health camps, to offer adolescents the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and Malaria prevention and life coping skill”. He also noted that participants would have access to voluntary HIV testing and counselling services.

On her part, YEDI’s Head of Programs – Tomisin Ojo – noted that the SKILLZ Holiday Camps complement YEDI’s year-long in-school and out-of-school interventions and facilitates linkages to specialized health support for at-risk adolescents. “The camps provide participants a safe space to learn healthy habits and important life skills, using football, games, and other fun activities in an interactive environment,” she noted. She added that the participants would also be empowered with soft skills and craft training for economic empowerment.

According to Tomisin, the camps will run for 8hours per day for 5 days at each location and participants will experience a series of exciting activities that will engage them for the whole day which will be handled by trained volunteers who will serve as Coaches. “Some of the activities include physical exercises, bed-net demonstrations, talent hunt and exhibition; quiz competition; and a football tournament aimed at advancing fair play,” she noted, adding that locations and specific dates were available on YEDI’s website – www.yedi.ng.

The SKILLZ Holiday Camp is sponsored by ExxonMobil, Common Goal and M.A.C AIDS Fund. The program deploys a sport-themed curriculum adapted from Grassroot Soccer South Africa, which combines football drills, games and other physical activities, with health education curriculum delivery, vital discussions and biomedical interventions, like HIV testing and counselling, in a safe, fun and interactive environment.

 

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