Youth Leadership and Mentoring: Quick Facts
The good news is Nigeria has been experiencing a sustained period of economic growth in the last decade. The bad news is that Nigeria has also been experiencing a sustained period of jobless growth. So, while the economy has been doing well, people are still left underemployed or unemployed. This unemployment crisis has particularly hit Nigeria’s youth. With Nigeria’s population reaching 185 million and with at least half of that population considered youth, this is really a big of a problem for the most populous nation on the African Continent. According to the National Population Commission, youth is defined as an individual between the ages of 15 and 34.
So what is it that causing so many youth to be affected by this unemployment crisis? According to Brookings, there are several factors that contribute to unemployment in youth. These include the lack of education, and a high population growth rate.
So what can we do? Fortunately, there are many things we can do to help our youth overcome this obstacle. For one, we can initiate youth mentoring programmes. It is shown that deficient school curricula and poor teacher training have contributed to the failure to provide students with appropriate skills to make them employable. By initiating youth mentorship programmes, we are showing our youth that we do in fact care about their future. According to the National Mentoring Partnership, “Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have powerful positive effects on young people in a variety of personal, academic, and professional situations. Ultimately, mentoring connects a young person to personal growth and development, and social and economic opportunity. Yet one in three young people will grow up without this critical asset.”
Here are some quick facts about young adults that had a mentor in America which Nigeria can learn from:
- 55% more likely to enroll in college
- 78% more likely to volunteer regularly
- 90% are interested in becoming a mentor
- 130% more likely to hold leadership positions
We must educate and show our children that we care about them and we care for their future. Providing a mentor will not only show them that someone cares for their future, we are in turn teaching them leadership skills that will have for the rest of their lives. Let’s get involved today!
Sources:[1.] Mentoring – http://www.mentoring.org/why-mentoring/mentoring-impact/ [2.] Country Meters – http://countrymeters.info/en/Nigeria [3.] AfriGrowth Foundation – http://afrigrowth.org/programs/youth-mentoring/ [4.] Dalberg – http://www.dalberg.com