MY EXPERIENCE AT THE YOUTH PRE-CONFERENCE ORGANISED BY SOCIETY FOR ADOLESCENT AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S HEALTH IN NIGERIA: IDEAS WORTH SHARING TO BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS


I stated on World Health Day that I would be attending the youth pre-conference organized by Society for Adolescent and Young People's Health in Nigeria.

 The sessions were broken into;

1. Breakout Sessions 
* Advocacy and collaboration among youth-led organizations
* Running a successful social media health campaign: An African perspective
* Communicating for change: Developing and conveying a compelling message
* Leveraging on sports to reach adolescents and young people
I had to pick one of the options as they were all slated for the same time. I went with the first, a girl wanted to attend all but I couldn't split myself into four😉, luckily I got notes on the remaining three💃.

2. Plenary Panel Session
Strengthening Leadership and Mentorship for Young Professionals

3. Experience Sharing from Youth-Led Initiatives
* Adolescent sexual health and violence
* Sex education in Nigeria
* Technology, edutainment, and contraception for adolescents 

Adesegun Fatusi President SAYPHIN teaching us team building
TEAM BUILDING
People who need one another to act and achieve the desired result together; the result of their efforts surpasses the sum of their individual efforts

A team is not just a collection of individuals; it is a small number of individuals with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose with collective accountability -Jon Katzenbach

9Cs of Excellent Team
* Competence of individual members
* Clear and compelling goals
* Commitment to the common goal
* Contribution from all, benefits to all
* Conducive and supportive environment
* Collaborative spirit and alignment
* Competent Coordination
* Communication that is positive
* Conflict resolution that is effective

To achieve a great result as a team, we must LEARN and GROW together.

Team learning builds on:
1. The discipline of 'personal mastery'
2. The discipline of 'shared vision'
3. Knowledge of how to play together

Communication/Interaction approach 
There is a difference between dialogue and discussion;

Dialogue
* Free and creative exploration of complex and subtle issues
* Deep listening
* Suspending of one's views
* Thinking ''out of the box''

Discussion
* Different views are presented and defended and there is a search for the best view to support the decision that must be made at the time.

Conflict is part of the ''deal''
* Great teams are not characterized by an absence of conflict rather one of the most reliable indicators of a team that is continually learning is visible conflicts of ideas.

In great teams, conflict becomes productive
In weak teams, there is either the appearance of no conflict on the surface or there is rigid polarisation

What core values do we need to nurture Team Learning
1. Trust- Believe in others
2. Openness- Assume nothing
3. Integrity- Unite words and action
4. Creativity- Learn always
5. Commitment to a shared vision- Purpose
6. Embrace error

Seven Tips for Optimising Team Performance
1. Make the team small
2. Select a good mix of skills/knowledge and attitudes
3. Agree on roles and responsibilities
4. Establish and agree on rules of conduct
5. Create a conducive and supportive work environment
6. Invest in building team capacity and relationship
7. Foster continued engagement and accountability

''Attitudes'' is the glue that binds team and facilitates results
* Great Talent + Rotten Attitudes = Bad Team
* Great Talent + Bad Attitudes = Average Team
* Great Talent + Average Attitudes = Good Team
* Great Talent + Good Attitudes = Great Team
-Maxwell, 2001 (The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork)

A Cross section of participants at the team building class




Rhoda Robinson during the advocacy and collaboration session

ADVOCACY AND COLLABORATIONS AMONG YOUTH-LED ORGANISATION BY RHODA ROBINSON, FOUNDER HACEY HEALTH INITIATIVE.

Advocacy is the process of supporting and enabling people to:
* Express their views and concerns
* Access information and services
* Defend and promote their rights and responsibilities
* Explore choices and options

Advocacy is not limited to policymakers; it is to anyone who can effect change the e.g family head, religious leaders, etc CHANGE is the main thing.

It is really important to draft an advocacy strategy
- Goal
- Objectives
- Key activities
- Outcomes
- Time needed
- A team to work with to help achieve goals(Best partners)

Eg: A youth based advocacy will go wrong using newspapers

Advocacy strategy doesn't have to be static. it can be very flexible. Re-evaluate from time to time. Time affects your strategy.

SMART ADVOCACY 
Specific- identifying a problem, have a goal, know where you are going
Measurable- has an effect, impact, input/output/outcomes
Attainable- can it be achieved? Is it feasible? 
Relevant- connect to the people needed
Time-bound- know how long to spend on each issue
(Once one of the points is wrong all others affected.)

CONTRIBUTIONS
There are advocacy courses online
Evidence-based advocacy; have the facts right
Youth-led accountability, get your data right.
Advocacy is different from being an activist
If an organization does what you want to do, join them, add something new, build your knowledge.

COLLABORATION
Working together to achieve a shared goal
- Sharing the work
- Better resource allocation
- More people (an easier or better way to achieve goals)

When building collaboration look for organizations;
* Who have strength in your chosen field
* Share the same vision as you
* Know who you are talking to, know what they are working on
* Do your research, what has been done? Current programmes too
* Conferences are the best place to meet up with these organizations walk up to their leader or representative, give your one or two minutes elevator pitch.  

HOW TO START COMMUNITY ADVOCACY
* Just walk into the community, meet someone
* Do a proper research
* Ask questions 
* Talk to the people you are advocating for and understand their needs (don't just assume)


WHEN COLLABORATING WITH ORGANISATION FOR A COMMUNITY PROJECT
*Research on what you are interested in by checking out their current CSR projects
*Don't just look out for the money. Teamwork is key.
Your intervention is for the community so if they are not in the process; sustainability is questionable.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

1. QUE:  How can you detect Health challenges in a community early for advocacy?
    ANS: Talk with the people. You can't assume without talking with stakeholders. Understanding needs is possible only when you are on the same page with the people.

2. QUE: When accessing collaborations, what are the practical tips to get the collaborations?
    ANS: Attend conferences, have your elevator pitch ready, look for people who have the strength you do not have in collaboration not just because you are friends, your partners must share the same vision with you.


Lunch was served 😋, we all had a working lunch
RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN; AN AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE by Nehemiah Oyelekan of Academy for Health Development (AHEAD)

* It is important that you activate your social media listening skills
* The consistency of your message is important
* Managing your online relationships is very important in addressing backlash and not getting discouraged
* Campaign is effective when there is engagement from the audience.

COMMUNICATING FOR CHANGE: DEVELOPMENT AND CONVEYING A COMPELLING MESSAGE by Margaret Bolaji-Adegbola of National Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI 2)/The Challenge Initiative (TCI)

* It is not about you; it is about your audience
* Think about your audience when you are communicating
* Design a user-friendly report that is engaging and interactive
* Keep it simple for easy understanding

LEVERAGING ON SPORT TO REACH ADOLESCENTS AND YOUNG PEOPLE by John Oluwadero of Building Nations Initiative (BNI)

* Sport is one of the most unexplored areas that if well leveraged can help bring about achievement
* Finding appropriate sports for your target audience will enhance participation
* It is a useful tool in areas of health, education, and gender. 

L-R (Princess Ogunlana, Victoria Oyedepo, and Tomiwa Ajayi)




Viver Youth Viver-Let your voice be heard

If you are interested to work with Adolescent health send a mail to iaahyoungprofessionals@gmail.com  (Goodluck!)

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