Partnering with Youths for Health (PY4H) is an initiative that works towards Improving Community Health through Youth Leadership. Launched in mid-2016, the initiative will strengthen the role of youths in improving the health of their communities and encourage 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:

  • Programs that focus on youths tend to place more emphasis on improving the health of youths. This is good but it is equally important to strengthening the role of youths in improving health of members of their community including their own health. CHESIDS seeks to strengthen youth-led interventions in underserved rural or urban slum communities towards improved health outcomes. We want youths to play a more active role in identifying the problems, pressure testing it with community members and key stakeholders, leading the design of the proposed intervention and leading the execution of the proposed intervention. CHESIDS will support youths to act as social change agents.  
  • By partnering with young people, this initiative will build a pipeline of young people with relevant entry-level field experience and skills to serve in Nigeria’s development sector. This contributes to strengthening human capacity development for public health stewardship which is regrettably currently focused on re-training of mid/senior management personnel.
  • This intervention has the following attributes: it responds to the initiative and aspirations of the local community; Involves a local contribution of land, supervision, operation and management; maintained and operated by the local community; Improves basic social conditions in the community; Benefits a large number of people through high impact, quickly implemented activities; was completed within 6 months and doesn’t require additional external funds to maintain; has visible benefits for the community and is self-sustaining
  • This intervention promotes constructive inter-ethnic co-existence which is so crucial in a country experiencing conflicts fueled by ethnic and religious intolerance. The youth that led this intervention is not an indigene of the community but went ahead to propose and lead execution of the intervention primarily because he saw a need. Even the traditional rulers of the community acknowledged and lauded Eziedo and CHESIDS for promoting this constructive approach to community development that shuns ethnic/religious prejudice.
  • Nigeria’s population is currently at 182m with more than 50% under the age of 30 years. This has compelled us to focus programs at this teeming and energetic population group