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Annual Report 2014

LEADERSHIP INITIATIVE FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT (LIFE)

ANNUAL REPORT

DECEMBER 2014

Office:

Suite 2, House 10, Harrison Solaja Street,

Off Ago Palace Way, Okota-Isolo

Lagos State, Nigeria

Tel: +234 902 444 1372; 802 988 6946

Email: life.nig@gmail.com

Skype: life.nigeria

CONTENTS

  • Executive Summary
  • Programme and Activities
  • Visibility and Networking
  • Fund raising and Sustainability
  • Staff training

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report documents Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment’s (LIFE) programme activities covering the period of January – December 2014. In continuation of her youth development programmes, Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment implemented activities in more communities in Itire-Ikate, Isolo and Iba/Ojo Local Council Development Area through her partnerships with development partners, youth organizations and civil society organizations. During the period under review, LIFE continued her organizational development and programme implementation by restructuring her operations under three main strategic themes namely programmes and activities, visibility and networking and fund raising and sustainability.

Through her programmes and activities strategic theme LIFE implemented 4 distinct projects reaching a total of 7032 participants from 9 communities in Ejigbo, Iba/Ojo, Isolo, Itire-Ikate and Oshodi Local Council Development Areas, through 13 community groups and 15 schools. LIFE also reached 601 participants through other services provided through project management consultancies.

Her activities through the visibility and networking strategic theme supported the organisation in forming partnerships with 6 youth serving organisations, 7 gender focused organisation and 3 health focused NGOs. LIFE also enrolled in 2 online networks and 1 national level coalition of NGOs.

To further enhance her capacity, LIFE developed 15 distinct fund raising proposals, responded to 10 requests for proposal, developed 8 concept notes and initiated partnerships with 2 embassies in Nigeria as part her fund raising and sustainability strategic theme.

Against this background LIFE looks forward to subsequent years with great optimism. The following pages provide details on LIFE’s activities for the period spanning January – December 2014.

Unegbu Abiodun-Rufus,

Executive Director,

Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment.

NARRATIVE REPORT

This year has been another exciting and fulfilling one for Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment (LIFE), we were able to reach more communities through donations from community members, LIFE board members, Itire-Ikate Local Council Development Authority and Chevron Nigeria Limited, we were able to meet new challenges, and strengthen our organisational capacity to implement programmes and impact positively on the lives of women and young girls in grassroots communities. Following herewith are brief descriptions of activities implemented.

  • PROGRAMME AND ACTIVITIES

This component of LIFE’s work focuses on programmes and activities implemented with community social structures within LIFE’s 5 thematic areas. LIFE’s operational themes comprise:

  1. Democracy and Governance
  2. Economic Empowerment
  3. Human Rights (including gender based violence)
  4. Leadership (Including Inter-Cultural Learning and Peace-building)
  5. Sexual and Reproductive Health (Including HIV/AIDS)

Our programmes and activities which aim at establishing partnerships with strategic community groups, local institutions and government agencies that impact on the health, rights and general well-being of young people, women and grassroots communities are also reported in this component. During the period under review, LIFE implemented six key activities in Itire-Ikate, Isolo and Iba/Ojo LCDAs as follows:

Street Law Project: Reporting and Documentation of Gender Based Violence

In continuation of the LIFE Board of Trustee’s funded Street Law Project, the organization conducted 5 awareness raising sessions with 8 private schools, reaching 5466 young people. During these activities, copies of the simplified Lagos State Protection from Domestic Violence Law were disseminated and legal aid clinics were conducted in the partner schools. LIFE intends to scale-up this activity by linking young people directly to justice sector service providers (Nigeria Police Force, Ministry of Justice, Office of the Public Defender etc).

Leadership Programme for Adolescents: Youth Forum to Mark Day of the African Child 2014

As part of the Chevron Nigeria Limited funded Youth Leadership Programme for Adolescents, the Cadets of Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment in partnership with Community Life Project Youth Alumni organised a youth forum to mark the Day of the African Child 2014 on June 19, 2014.

Day of the Africa Child was initiated by the Organisation of African Unity (now African Union) on June 16 1991 in honour of the thousands of black school children who took to the streets of Soweto, South Africa in 1976 marching for more half a mile to protest the inferior quality of their education and demand for the right to be taught in their own language. Hundreds of boys and girls were shot down by security forces and more were killed and injured in the protests that followed. The day of the African child also draws attention to the lives of African Children today.

The LIFE Cadets marked this day with a Youth Forum, under the theme “Youth and Security: Our Roles and Responsibilities”. The forum featured a paper presentation, quiz and discussions on the roles of youths in promoting and sustaining peace in the country and was attended by 113 participants from 4 schools and 3 Faith-based organisations.

Crosse section of youth participants at the Youth Forum to mark Day of the African Child 2014 organised by Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment in partnership with the Community Life Project Youth Alumni

Capacity Building on Strategic Planning and Peace-building for members of the Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, Iba, Ojo Town, Lagos

In continuation of her Leadership building programme for community groups and local institutions, Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment (LIFE) facilitated a one-day introduction to Strategic Planning and Peace-building session for members of the Immaculate Heart Catholic Church, Iba, Ojo Town Lagos on Saturday September 6, 2014. The workshop was implemented as part of the preparatory activities for the planned 2015 – 2019 Strategic Plan Workshop of the Church. The session which was facilitated by the Executive Director, sensitized 331 beneficiaries.

Needs Assessment on the Socio-Economic Factors Inhibiting Young People’s Access to Economic, Health, Human Rights and Leadership Skills in Itire-Ikate and Isolo LCDAs

As part of research and documentation processes for effective programme planning, Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment (LIFE) implemented a needs assessment survey in Itire-Ikate and Isolo LCDAs. The survey indicated that young people were disproportionately affected and accounted for the bulk of negative human development indicators. For example we found out that rape by family members (fathers, guardians, uncles or relatives) accounted for over 75% of sexual initiation among girls aged 10 – 15years. This human rights abuse is further worsened by the fact that these young girls had very limited knowledge of existing legal provisions for their protection (less than 20% of respondent had even heard about the law, let alone were familiar with the processes for seeking protection under the law) and they were also inhibited from seeking justice by the cultural norm that family matters should never be spoken of outside the home! LIFE intends to apply this learning in the design of effective intervention for youth development in the two LCDAs.

Advocacy on Inter-Cultural Learning and Peace-building with Stakeholder in Ejigbo Community

In continuation of Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment (LIFE) partnership with the Ejigbo Local Council Development Area authority, LIFE conducted an advocacy on inter-cultural learning and peace-building as part of the public hearing for the review of 3 bye-laws in Ejigbo.

Ejigbo was one of the communities with a significant population of internally displaced persons and where religious tensions have been high. LIFE as part of her efforts to promote inter-cultural learning and peace-building approached the LCDA authority to provide opportunity for an advocacy presentation targeted at the leaders of community groups, local institutions and faith-based organisations. This request was granted, and LIFE made her advocacy presentation on March 24, 2014. A total of 350 participants were sensitised. The session also provided linkages for LIFE to work with the Community Development Committee in Ejigbo LCDA. This partnership will be utilised to deliver other programmes in subsequent years.

Mobile HCT services for community beneficiaries in Oshodi LCDA

In continuation of her community-based Sexual and Reproductive Health Programmes, Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment provided mobile HIV Counseling and Testing services in three markets in Oshodi LCDA. The sessions sensitised beneficiaries on HIV/AIDS transmission modes and enabled them conduct personal self-assessment on their vulnerabilities. To further reinforce the awareness raising, free mobile HIV screening services were offered. A total of 650 community members were sensitized and 122 received free HCT services.

  • VISIBILITY AND NETWORKING

This component of LIFE’s work focuses on increasing the organisation’s visibility by responding to invitations to participate in project activities and networking with other development organisations and groups with goals and strategic focus aligned with LIFE’s. During the period under review LIFE out several activities using two broad approaches, namely in-person meetings and online networking.

IN-PERSON MEETINGS

As part of the in-person networking and visibility, LIFE participated in three main activities during the period under consideration. These activities were as follows:

Microsoft NGO Connection Day 2014

The ‘Microsoft NGO Connection Day’ organized by Microsoft Anglophone West Africa and Paradigm Initiative Nigeria is an ICT training, networking and information-sharing event for non-profit organizations (NGOs). The event was held on June 5, 2014 at the Ibis Hotel, Toyin Street, Ikaeja Lagos. LIFE was represented at the activity by her Admin Officer. The event was attended by over 200 participants from 44 NGOs. Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment gave a goodwill message and created awareness of her activities with representatives of NGOs present. A key output from the event was that LIFE was able to initiate partnerships with 6 youth serving NGOs.

World Hygiene Day Observance

In continuation of her partnership with the Healthy Living and Women Empowerment Initiative (HELWEI), LIFE participated in a community event to mark the World Hygiene Day. The community event which took place on Wednesday October 16, 2014, was organised by HELWEI in collaboration with the World Health Organisation centre in Lagos State. LIFE made a brief presentation on the importance of establishing healthy behaviours for better health outcomes. A total of 169 participants comprising, Police Officers Wives, Community Residents, Members of the Media and other NGOs attended the community event. We also got acquainted with 3 health focused NGOs at this event.

Conference on Gender Based Violence in Nigeria

In recognition of her efforts to promote equity and social justice for women and young girls, LIFE was invited to participate in the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) Nigeria Gender Based Violence Conference organised by the Justice for All Programme on December 4, 2014 at the De Renaissance Hotel, Alausa, Lagos. The one-day conference which had the theme “Toward a coordinated approach”, was attended by justice sector service providers (Ministry of Justice, the Lagos State Police Command and the Sexual Assault Referral Centre), NGOs, members of the media and social sector activists in Lagos. The conference enabled stakeholders to examine key challenges in access to justice for gender based violence survivors through the Lagos State DV Law 2007. A key theme reinforced at the conference was the need to strengthen community access and utilisation of the law so as to make it practical and useful to women and young girls. The conference also enabled DFID, Nigeria to show case its support for local actor working for improvement in justice services. Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment was represented at the conference by her programme manager and successfully introduced her work to 7 gender focused organisations.

Annual Summit of the Nigerian Network of NGOs (NNNGO)

Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment (LIFE) participated in the 14 Annual Conference of the Nigerian Network of NGOs (NNNGO). The conference had as its theme “CSO Legitmacy, Transparency and Accountability: The role of government and civil society”. A total of 232 participants from the 6 geo-political zones of the country, policy makers as well as representatives of business and civil society participated in the conference. LIFE initiated the process of registration with the network after the conference.

ONLINE NETWORKING

As part of her online networking, LIFE engaged with two new networks focused on equity and gender issues. The activities carried out within the period under review include:

Networking with the Young Feminist Group

In continuation of her networking and visibility actions, LIFE engaged with the Young Feminist Network (FRIDA). The network provides access to funding, training and coalition building to young feminist in Africa. LIFE participated in two online campaigns organised via twitter (# I Share and #Girl effect). These two campaigns enabled LIFE to increase her visibility and network with other organisations in the FRIDA network

Networking with Africa Women International Development Network

Within the period under consideration, LIFE also sought out and joined the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). The network provides a veritable resource on key issues affecting women and young girls globally and facilitates a coordinated response to these issues. The work of AWID is managed by a steering committee elected ever two years. Since this was the election year, LIFE also participated in the process by commenting in the online blog and voting exercise.

  • FUND RAISING AND SUSTAINABILITY

This component of LIFE’s work focuses on the organisation’s efforts to mobilize resource and implement plans towards full sustainability. During the period under review LIFE implemented activities mainly with regards to fund raising. Specific activities implemented are as follows:

Development of concept notes and proposals in respond to Request for Proposals

In continuation of her resource mobilisation activities, LIFE developed and submitted 15 distinct proposals, developed 10 proposals in response to Request For Proposals (RFPs) in response to periodic calls for applications within the last 12-months and submitted 8 concept note for programme interventions within LIFE’s thematic areas. These calls for application were sourced through online donor researches, review of periodic newsletter by online donor’s hubs (such as fundsforngos and devenet). While some of these efforts did not result in funding, they served to strengthen LIFE’s institutional capacity for fundraising as well as increased our visibility among donors working in the organisation’s thematic areas of operations. We also ended the year on a high note with encouraging responses from the Netherlands Embassy and Australian AID Direct AID Programme of the Australian Embassy. We will continue to engage with these agencies through the following year.

Provision of Consultancy Services

Also with the period under review, LIFE responded to invitations to provide consultancy services to other organisations as part of her resource mobilisation strategy. Specifically, LIFE was invited to provide technical support for the development of a 5-year strategic plan document for the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. The consultancy was delivered in a 5-day workshop held in Abuja and the fee paid was utilised by in support of her programme and activities.

Cross Section of Representatives of Participating Organisations at the Strategy Development and Capacity Building Workshop in Abuja, Nigeria on June 10, 2014

STAFF TRAINING/SEMINARS/MEETINGS

During the period under review LIFE staff participated in various capacity building efforts which included participating in seminars and workshops.

  • LIFE staff participated in a 3-day workshop on Organisational Capacity Assessment organised by Women’s Rights and Health Project in partnership with Pathfinder International Nigeria on August 13 – 15, 2014. The workshop which was residential provided staff with an opportunity to review the organisation’s efforts for growth and institutional effectiveness. The workshop also introduced staff to the application of organisational assessment tools such as the National Harmonised Organisational Assessment Tool (NHOCAT) developed by international development partners for use by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA). LIFE committed to utilising the NHOCAT to review the organsation’s progress annually.
  • Apart from the above activities implemented by Leadership Initiative for Youth Empowerment, the organisation also participated in the routine activities of the following Networks and Coalitions to further enhance the organisation in achieving desired goals:
  • Lagos State AIDS Control Agency
  • Civil Society Network on HIV in Nigeria
  • Youth Network for Reproductive Health

Against the background of these activities and successes, we thank our partners, supporters, collaborators, funders, and volunteers for their continued believe and confidence in us. We look forward to the year 2015 with a renewed sense of focus and committed and with a heath filled with hope.

Abiodun Rufus-Unegbu

Executive Director

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