Spaces for Change is proud to launch its I WILL STAY (IWS) campaign!!! IWS targets young people who are at-risk of engaging in delinquent and negative behavior, with wrap-around supportive services, experience-sharing and strategic mentoring provided freely by S4C Youth Advocates. Using a combination of direct experience-sharing, counseling, public advocacy, video-viewing, blogging, web-based conferencing and coaching on emotional intelligence, IWS will work to reach young people in time to prevent their involvement in harmful social behaviours that lead to frustration, crime, delinquency and illegal migration.
Every year, thousands of Nigerian youth leave the country illegally in search of the proverbial “greener pastures”. Further compounding this situation is that unemployment rate in Nigeria has risen astronomically. The inability to meet the formal visa requirements of their choice destination countries force them to attempt the dangerous crossing of the Sahara Desert or swim through the stormy seas to Europe, often in rickety trucks or unseaworthy boats. Many of these young travellers never get to the destinations alive!
33 year old, Joe Agafie has experienced this ordeal. He survived the 24 day-long crossing of the Sahara desert into Libya where he lived for 18 months. He lived to tell of the deaths of his fellow passengers when they attempted to cross Mediterranean from Libya to Italy. On his way back to Nigeria, his life was again spared - through some sort of divine intervention–from the bullets and daggers of Touareg rebels that attacked and held them captive for three whole days, after robbing them of them of all their belongings.
This shocking video: Dead Young Bodies Litter Sahara Desert with a voiceover recorded in one of Nigeria’s native tongues, features corpses of Nigerian youths littering the Sahara desert. During his trip, JoeOnyeisi saw several fresh graves that dot the Sahara landscape, including numerous skeletons of young desert crossers.
Behind the illegal migration is a “desert crossing racket” that lure, cajole and push desperate young people into this dangerous trap. They specialize in facilitating travels to Europe and other western countries through the deserts and stormy seas, at very prohibitive costs. Youth living in slum areas are vulnerable, and are always easy targets for crossers. The poor social, housing and environmental conditions in the areas in which they live increase their vulnerability to these merchants of illegal migration.
IWS proposes to move from slum to slum, city to city across Nigeria to educate youths on the misconceptions that underlie “greener pastures abroad” as well as the risks associated with illegal migration.
IWS serves as a catalyst for change, and is geared toward ensuring target groups are happy, engaged, contented and successful in their homes, communities and schools. Young people can emerge from such exposure with increased self-esteem, better information about illegal migration risks, discover their untapped skills and gain better knowledge about their communities and effective leadership. IWS’ main goal is to inspire vulnerable young people say to themselves: I WILL STAY AND MAKE IT IN NAIJA!!
IWS CAMPAIGN NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT.
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