Mission Accomplished !!!

A major goal for S.M.I.L.E at the 2019 International Youth Day event was to give more visibility to youth with disabilities and advocate for more developmental opportunities for them.

We are delighted that for the first time at our #YouthDayLagos event, we had 2 out of 3 panelists who are people living with disabilities – Mr Alaba Adefala, who is hearing impaired and President, Voice for the Deaf Foundation and Ms Ejiro Sharon Okotie, who is visually impaired and the Founder, Hope Inspired Foundation for Women and Youth. Their session was loaded and very educative. They shared their experiences, accomplishments, challenges and expectations.

We are also delighted we once again had persons with disabilities present at this year’s event.

Glad the youth organizations present were inspired and will be considering developing programmes that will accomodate youth with disabilities.

We are committed to inclusion and leaving no one behind!

#YouthDayLagos… Starting on a High Note

At this year’s International Youth Day event, we had the privilege of having two amazing sisters, 6 years old Temitope and 4 years old Rebecca Adefala start the event on a unique note by rendering the national anthem with the flute and sign language.

Theme : Transforming Education

Other highlights at #YouthDayLagos were the insights shared on new trends, tools and resources transforming education globally by Prince Gideon Olanrewaju, a youth activist for quality education and Chief Executive, Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi).

He emphasized access, equality, inclusion, collaboration and right to education as critical factors to improve the standard of education for all, adding that alternative learning programs are essential to bridge the gaps and low access to education in Nigeria. Technology, also, must be deployed to amplify and reach desired destinations.

Increasing Social Sector Impact

#YouthDayLagos was a platform for discussions about sustainability, collaboration, impact, visibility, digital media, technology, reporting, aligning with potential donors interests, impact storytelling, funding and a lot more, as participants who were predominantly youth with initiatives, social enterprises and youth development stakeholders gleaned from the wealth of experience of some of the industry experts, @strategy_coach , Business Development Director, Medical Credit Fund, @bukkyshonibare , Founder Girl Child Africa, Co-Founder and Deputy Chairperson, Bring Back our Girls Movement and Mr Titiloluwa Animasaun, IBM West Africa.

It was a super loaded segment for participants.

Fun and Laughter

Special thanks to our long standing partners, Comedian @spiritofsaco and @damolaismyname for thrilling our participants with their rib cracking jokes.

Networking and Knowledge Sharing Segment

A major highlight at #YouthDayLagos was the unique opportunity participants had after the sessions to share experiences, discuss what they had learnt during the program, changes and possible collaborations they were considering, as well as their action plan going forward.

Based on registration details, the breakout segment was split into the following development and focus areas – Education, Leadership and Citizenship, Women and the Girl Child, Gender Equality, Agriculture, Environment, Mental Health and Well Being, Youth Development and Entrepreneurship. This enabled participants rub minds directly with other participants working in their space.

Participants were also encouraged to align their work with a Sustainable Development Goal.

Gratitude ! Gratitude!! Gratitude!!!

Together We Achieve More

#YouthDay Lagos wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our sponsors, Altruist Realty LLC, Mrs Iyabo Anyanso-Martins, Ms Lara Alagbada, Mrs Yemi Ibrahim, Mrs Bukola Agbeniga, Mr Femi Awogbami and Mr and Mrs Tola Mobolurin

We thank our special guest, the Consular General, Burkina Faso Embassy, Mr Sougue Dauda whose presence added a special touch to the event. Our indebtedness goes to our partner of over 7 years, the United Nations Information Centre, Lagos.

Our heartfelt gratitude to our friends and volunteers, the S.M.I.L.E team and moderators – Mr Kayode Ayeni, Mr Tobi Afolabi and Ms Joy Solomon; and our partner X2D Television for the event video coverage.

Special thanks to the over 80 organizations, youth initiatives, social enterprises, and youth development stakeholders present at #YouthDay2019
We are thrilled we had attendees from seven states of the Federation – Ogun, Osun, Enugu, Oyo, Kaduna, Ebonyi and Akwa-Ibom join and the Federal Capital Territory – Abuja, join us this year at #YouthDayLagos to explore new opportunities and collaborations for their organizations.

Taking the Message Beyond the Walls of the Event

We are grateful to the press, our partner Dr Linda Iheme-Pajoel and our friends on social media for amplifying the message of this year’s International Youth Day.

Special thanks to NTA Network, Lagos Television, Television Continental, Unilag Television, Inclusive News Network, The Nation Newspaper, This Day Newspaper, and Punch News paper for amplifying #YouthDay2019message.

Let’s keep the conversation going until it yields the desired results!

Let’s do this again next year!