The Partnering with Youths for Health (PY4H) initiative strengthens the role of youths in health and development. Launched in 2016, the initiative encourages young people to make impact on the health of disadvantaged rural or urban slum communities. In the first round, over a hundred applications were received from young people wishing to make an impact in communities located in North Central Nigerian states.
Shortlisted candidates benefit from a three day workshop where they are equipped for field work. The successful youths receive financial and technical assistance support from CHESIDS to pursue their vision for social change in their chosen urban slum or rural community. Interventions proposed by the youths are expected to demonstrate a combination of the following attributes : respond to aspirations of the local community; Involve a local contribution of any or a combination of land/supervision/operation and management; maintained and operated by the local community; Improve basic social conditions in the community; Benefit a large number of people through quickly-implemented activities; can be completed within 6 months and will not require additional external funds to maintain; will have visible benefits for the community and is self-sustaining
Interventions proposed by the youths are also expected to demonstrate unique attributes. For example, one intervention promoted peaceful inter-ethnic relationships which is so crucial in a country experiencing conflicts fueled by ethnic and religious intolerance. The youth that led a recent intervention was not an indigene of the benefiting community but went ahead to propose and lead execution of the intervention primarily because he identified a need. Even the traditional rulers of the community acknowledged and commended the youth and CHESIDS for promoting this constructive approach to community development that shuns ethnic/religious prejudice.
Direct beneficiaries of the initiative are young people aged 15 -35years who have an established relationship with underserved urban slum or rural communities and willing to lead a social change that has the potential to improve the health of community members in Nigeria’s North Central geographic zone. Indirect beneficiaries of the initiative are women, children and youths in underserved urban slum/rural communities in Nigeria’s North Central geographic zone
We consider this a unique initiative because: