SASSBUC expansion to other parts of Nigeria included Ibadan in the Southwest and Warri in the mid-western parts where 2 co-ordinators were appointed. The Ibadan and Warri co-ordinators, Louise Omoyine and Ochuko Ediru both recruited participants to the programme who registered and duly attended sessions scheduled bi-weekly in May, June, July and August 2020.
Despite the partial lockdown and the need for social distancing, co-ordinators took extraordinary care to ensure that sessions took place as scheduled while adhering to local restrictions. Participants were treated to introductory sessions where an overview of the programme was discussed with its objectives to avert human trafficking through communal meetings and the building of human capital using a foundational approach.
Subsequent meetings focused on the current mindset of participants and the need for change in spite of the strong influences of the youth culture within the local community. Participants were encouraged to think and reflect on their current values and practice of time management, team building, attitudes, integrity, optimism and creativity. Discussion were varied on the building of such values and its effect on the individual to thrive, flourish and achieve despite the external forces and the pervading culture they may find themselves in. Further sessions concentrated on exploring the concept of human capital and its positive influence on human prosperity and exposure to opportunities, its absence leading to a vicious cycle of poverty, crime, premature death and stagnation of whole economies.
The fourth session offered the opportunity for each co-ordinator to invite a community role to engage and enthuse the participants on growing their confidence, self-esteem, skills and future prospects. It was an insightful experience for the participants to listen to the stories of each role model as they navigated through life to achieve their goals in the face of adversities and sheer determination. Each participant was enabled to see a rough road to light at the end of the tunnel, a hope for the future and the realisation of their dreams through the lens of the role models’ various journeys.
The latter sessions gave rise to the opportunity for each participant to do a SWOT analysis of their personalities by identifying their strengths and weaknesses and exchanging ideas on how to overcome weaknesses in moving them forward to becoming exemplary individuals. It was reiterated that the activity is one that they should perform periodically to help them achieve set goals and make big life-changing decisions. The final meetings were scheduled to help each participant set SMART targets, reflect on the programme and continually source opportunities and means to achieve their life goals.
Warri (Jeddo) and Co-ordinator profile
Jeddo is a community in Okpe Kingdom in Delta State, Nigeria situated close to major towns like Effurun, Warri City, and headquartered in Orerokpe. The community like every other community in Delta State, is in need of infrastructures like good roads, electricity, safe drinking water, healthcare centres and good schools. The Jeddo community is a welcoming environment to non-indigenes and they have always strived to maintain peace and order. Unfortunately, life in the community in general and as is common in Nigeria, there is a huge disparity between the rich and poor, youths being the hardest hit.
The co-ordinator, Ochuko Kesiena Ediru, a native of Urhoboland from Kokori, in Delta State is a single mother of three boys. She was enrolled on a Diploma in Nnamdi Azikwe University but could not complete because of certain circumstances. Not giving up on her dreams, she is determined to overcome hurdles in her pathway. She has a passion for cooking and writing, works as a caterer and interested in youth development. Her desire is to utilise her resources to support fragile communities like Jeddo in Warri through youth intervention programmes.
Ochuko’s observations capture a serious concern among youths in Jeddo and the wider area of Warri that they are mostly interested in online scams and other get rich quick schemes at the detriment of their secondary school education. Prevalent among boys, it is fast becoming popular and socially acceptable to defraud successfully and flaunt proceeds publicly. It is the trend that Ochuko wishes to arrest through the SASSBUC programme.
Benbo, Ibadan and Co-ordinator profile
Benbo is a fairly large area in South West Ibadan local authority It actually lies between two local government areas: Apata and Ibadan South West local government areas. It is located about a kilometre from an agricultural institute (Institute for Agricultural Research and Training-IAR&T) with no fewer than a dozen secondary schools.
Benbo is actually highly populated with its population comprising of a blend of the well-educated and a high number of underserved semi-illiterates with various values ranging from belief in hard work to day dreamers who believe in the supernatural to lift them out of their misfortunes. However, the most worrisome scenario today is the rapid increase in the youths who depend on and are seemingly succeeding in internet fraud (aka 419). Unfortunately, this group constitute youngsters who are often drug users and sellers, taking advantage of constant demand of soft and hard drugs which in turn brings in a steady stream of cash. With this relatively free cash, they frequently get high with on substances, the girls then believe that the only way to survive and share is to serve kerb-crawlers. The speed with which this is increasing is quite alarming and worrisome. The whole community suffers from deploring values among its youth population leading to a peak in petty crime, prostitution, truancy and a devalued education.
Intervention programmes such as SASSBUC is expected to arrest the growing societal menace which is gradually eating into the fabric of many fragile communities in Nigeria.
Louis Omoyine, the Ibadan co-ordinator is a married father of 4 children and a hotel manager. Born in Ibadan, he holds a Higher Diploma in Building Technology and a Master’s in Psychology from the University of Ibadan. He has worked for many years with youths, helping orphans to raise funds and organising musical and theatrical events for youths. Louis is very passionate about youths in the immediate community and hopes to do his bid to arrest the growing menace of substance misuse, online scams and prostitution. As soon as Louis was contacted about co-ordinating the programme, he knew it was something to plug into.
Participants and their targets
As SASSBUC’s ultimate objective remains setting targets for participants, co-ordinators made it a priority at the plenary sessions. It is a known fact that setting goals trigger new attitudes, guides, realigns focus and helps sustain a momentum in life. In addition, it boosts self-esteem in the goal setter who is infused with a renewed sense of purpose while gathering all resources to attain the set target. According to goal–setting theory, goals affect performance through four causal mechanisms (Latham 2004) as identified below:
- Goals serve as a directive function
- Goals have an energising function
- Goals affect persistence
- Goals affect action indirectly by leading arousal, discovery and relevant knowledge and strategies which increase the chances for success (Locke & Latham 2002)
It is the expectation that SASSBUC participants continue to think about their goals and pull all resources to achieve them. SASSBUC co-ordinators are also expected to continue to engage with participants towards the achievement of their targets. A certificate of attendance will be issued in due course to all participants across 3 the towns. A video of one of the sessions in Warri can be found here