The trajectory of Junior Achievement Nigeria reaching over 1 million youths is one that has embraced diverse support of individuals, groups, and organisations. The continuous tenacity applied to impacting the lives of youths especially in a time where the pandemic brought many to economic recession is one that can best be described as apt. Our programs are helping young people recover from loss, stay updated and learn in-demand skills that could help them become more attractive to the labour market. The support of Board members such as First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Sigma Pensions, Schlumberger, Citi, Channels Television, Agile Communications, Deloitte, Aliko Dangote Foundation, and partner organizations such as Union Bank, Google, ACT Foundation, Facebook, Slum2school gave life to these programs.
JA Nigeria kicked off the year with a financial literacy program themed ‘Break Free’ – #JAPA. ‘Break free’ was tailored toward impacting the lives of young professionals on matters regarding money management. Burdened with the fact that COVID-19 affected the finances of many, we organised a program aimed at helping young people gain financial freedom. With the support of Sigma Pensions, ‘Break free’ gave insight on basic finance understanding finance concepts such as saving, pension, and investments, and strategies to live a debt-free life.
As you know, one of JA’s aims is to build a generation of digitally inclined youths. To make this happen, youths need to learn diverse strategies on how to stay safe online. Due to the pandemic, more young people embraced online activity and this led to the implementation of the Safe Online Spotlight Series with Facebook. Although Safe Online has since been implemented, the COVID-19 outbreak made the implementation even more necessary. This program seeks to help young minds stay aware of online bullies, fraud, and other internet-like dangers that could pose a threat to them while surfing the Internet. JA Nigeria is glad to have Facebook support this program that helps protect young people from online dangers.
In the light of impact and choosing to challenge diverse societal abnormalities that could serve as barriers to the successes of women, JA Nigeria celebrated International Women’s Day. An offshoot of marking the IWD 2021 was the weekly ‘Girls4Tech’ program sponsored by Mastercard. This program was designed to inspire female teenagers between the ages of 8-14 as taking STEM-related courses could encourage more girls to consider a career in STEM. Did you know that in Nigeria, only 20% of girls are enrolled in STEM-related courses? This reveals the urgency for programs like ‘Girls for Tech.’ Recall, “An equal world is an enabled world.”
Our GoogleIT Support program is on the run! Organisations are counting on young people who can think outside the box and we delight in building young people to not only think creatively but to see how their potentials can cause a global impact. This program is a 4-6 month program that aims to equip young graduates and ‘out of school’ youths with 21st century professional IT skills needed for the job market. At Junior Achievement Nigeria, we are intentional about leaving no stone unturned as regards matters that can contribute to a thriving economic environment for youths. According to a statement by Adebowale Akinbobola, one of the beneficiaries of the JA Nigeria Google IT support program, he stated; “I am looking forward to the other modules and I appreciate JA Nigeria for this opportunity. I say cheers to greater impact from JA Nigeria and also for myself”.
In 2020, JA Nigeria started the #NoStudentLeftBehind campaign to support young people in developing skills that they need to be economically independent even in trying times. We look forward to more donations; this would accelerate our goals towards ensuring that there are No Students Left Behind.
In another development, JA Nigeria implemented its Financial Literacy Day program as part of the celebration for Global Money Week. Global Money Week is a worldwide celebration held in March to empower the next generation to be confident and money-savvy global citizens. The event which is in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria was held simultaneously in select schools across the country in efforts to create a financially literate generation. Similarly, through a partnership with Prudence Foundation. Primary school students were exposed to the basics of money management through the implementation of the ‘ChaChing’ program. ChaChing uses the ‘Earn. Save. Spend. Donate.’ mantra to teach these students life-long learning about financial management.
Furthermore, in line with JA Nigeria’s mission of providing business and economic education for young people, a recycling program titled ‘Every Can Counts’ will be implemented with the support of Novelis/GZI. ‘Every Can Counts’ is an educational program for primary and secondary school students, where they will be taught and motivated to know about the meaning and value of aluminum recycling, the importance of putting recycling into practice, and how this can help them become entrepreneurs who care about a sustainable future.
JA Nigeria, however, solicits support from well-meaning Nigerians, philanthropists, and corporate organisations to partner with us to accelerate our impact by helping us raise a generation of conscientious business leaders leading a vibrant economy and ultimately help young people to own their economic future.