Page 1

HearttTa Hear Tallk A quarterly publication of Kids & Teens Resource Centre

Oct.-Dec. 2012, E-mail:,

Oluwasanmi Joseph Prof. erson, Board of Trustee K&TRC Chairp

13 MARCH 2013 Abstract Submissions Open Scholarship Applications Open Workshop/Skills Building Applications Open

01 OCTOBER 2013 Late Breaker Submissions Open

13 JUNE 2013 Abstract Submission Closes Scholarship Applications Close Workshop/Skills Building Applications Close

22 NOVEMBER 2013 Pre-Conference Registration Closes Delegates may only register on -site at the conference from 7 December 2013

See Pages 7,8&9



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m A brief compeeynsdoiufar m muprenndutiu f ceojo rifeth A bo Di e iv ec r rector Ex , fa lana o s y Fa aru y e -M n tin r ar –M jo e th of ive Director

na, Execut –Martin-Mary Fala

CONFERENCE ON SOCIAL WORK & HIV/AIDS CONFERENCE 2013 @ CHICAGO Boston College Graduate School of Social Work will conduct the 25th Annual National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS during May 23-26, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. The theme of the conference will be “Re-thinking HIV/AIDS: What's ahead for social work?

Unravelling a journey of a decade


1 0 Anniversary th

KI D S &


Drug and its Abuse

see page 12-13

2012 20 0 2 -



See Pages 4,5&6







Habits: A way of life see page 15

Paying The Price: Research Shows That Global Fund Processes Neglect Youth Especially Young Girls

see page 10

Kids & Teens Resource Centre ...Securing the future for young people



Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012

Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012

contents Editorial


Ondo State: 13 Kola Ogunmola Street, Behind Ijapo Field, Ijapo Estate, Akure, Ondo State., +234-8098606915, +2347045453450

Our Vision K&TRC envisions a "secured future" where young people are empowered to contribute to the sustainable development of their communities.

Ekiti State: 19, Orire Hospital Lane, Adebayo, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State., +234-8098606915, +2347045453450

Our Mission Our mission is to create an enabling environment for equipping young people with knowledge and skills appropriate for self-actualization and development.

henever an anniversary is being celebrated anywhere in the world there is always the opportunity to tell success stories and tales of not so good times as well. This gives the public an inkling of how the journey has fared with the celebrant and the significance of the anniversary being celebrated. The Kids and Teens Resource Centre (K&TRC) has gone through various phases of changes, development and good progress yet also with a good dose of unpleasant times to help balance the experience gaining process. In this anniversary edition, the Executive Director, shares his personal experience in a decade of touching lives both young and old. This anniversary edition is all about ways through which young people can improve on their lives as future leaders and avoid habits that could lead them into living a live that would turn into a liability to the society. It takes the reader through steps that could be followed to break bad habits even as adults. What to look out for in young people that are addicted to drugs and ways to help them live a drug free existence. The social media and the Internet has become a trend amongst young people, and it heralds a world of opportunity for them yet not without its negative repercussions, in this edition young people are warned of the negative effects of the social media and the Internet while also highlighting ways through which its opportunities can be harnessed. The K&TRC magazine's anniversary edition is put together to keep the reader turning the pages till the end; with a centre-spread of pictures from the 10th anniversary celebration. Hope it holds your attention till the end and long enough till the next edition. –Consulting Editor, Timilehin Osunde


Paying The Price: Research Shows That Global Fund Processes Neglect Youth Especially Young Girls

14 Body Image

see page 10

Interview Unravelling a journey of a decade •4-5

Issues Drug and its Abuse •12-13

Habits Habits: A way of life •15

Reports The Kids & Teens Resource Centre after a decade of supporting, promoting and advocating for best practices towards improved children and young people development in the country, organized a four day event to commemorate ten years of development work •7

Sights of Kids & Teens Resource Centre 10th Anniversary –Consulting Editor, Timilehin Osunde

Photographs of the events


Editorial Team Publisher: K&TRC Executive Director: MARTIN-MARY FALANA Editorial Consultant: MAYOWA ADENIRAN Consulting Editor: TIMILEHIN OSUNDE Managing Editor:TOPE ABOYEWA(Topman)


Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012


Unravelling a

Decade Journey of a

For a decade of building dreams and advocating for a safer, better tomorrow for today's young people and children, the Kids and Teens Resource Centre have touched thousands of lives with their numerous projects of bringing health facilities to rural area and affordable education to rural, less privileged Ondo and Ekiti State; Martin-Mary Falana, spoke on the journey so far with MAYOWA ADENIRAN and TIMILEHIN OSUNDE in this interview.


he journey so far has been largely to the glory of God and a team of inspiring

staff. There were times when resources were not available and we still had to

run the office. What has kept Kids & Teens Resource Centre going in the last

decade has been our passion for service to humanity that has been exhibited by the people working with the organization. The level of commitment by the staff and volunteers has kept us going. The story started with about six persons volunteering at the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN) office, they came up with the zeal to contribute to the society, we discovered that issues such as rape, child abuse, child rights act, gangsterism, substance abuse, HIV & AIDS etc, among young people were not being dealt with adequately in our immediate environment; we also saw the level of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on the increase. We discovered some factors that were responsible for young people not achieving their full potentials and the need to curb these factors through the empowerment of young people with information and basic resources. So we came together as young people then to see what we could do to support the effort of the government and all other stakeholders as well as donor

MARTIN-MARY FALANA, Executive Director, K&TRC

agencies and communities in ensuring that there is a secured future for young people. In doing this we aimed to empower other young people, so that they would also be able to contribute to the development of the community.

The journey started in 2002, December 12, in a small office in the PPFN building; with Nike Ahmed, Dotun Fadakinni, Michael Adeyeye, Eyitayo Fabunmi, and a host of others who were also motivated to serve humanity including Adetoun Ogundare and Jumoke Ogundare. One person that was also with us is Late Kemi Faleye. She really tried financially for the organization when we started. Others are progressing in their different careers and they come in once in a while. ORGANIZATION'S STRUCTURE We have a 5-person Board of Trustees that have been the governing council headed by Prof. Joseph Oluwasanmi, who is the medical director of JoeJane medical centre in Ekiti state. Others are Alhaja Rashidat Olushola Agbaje, Prof. Tony Elujoba, Mrs. Caroline Fadakinni and myself as the secretary of the Board and they all ensure the organization follows due process in all its activities. These members of Board have served as a means of support and encouragement to the organization. ORGANISATIONAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT We offer in-house training for staff to build their capacity regularly. This helps them to improve on the skills as a development worker in the sector and aids the proper representation of the organization. The organization ensures that the staffs' time is occupied with one learning programme or the other, we invite other organizations that have expertise in relative fields to share knowledge and information with us, we also endeavour to travel on exchanges in order to learn of best practices and we also ensure we participate actively at international and local conferences.


Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012

Interview PARTNERSHIPS AND PROJECTS IN TEN YEARS In all of these, we have had periods of no support also periods of immense assistance; for instance, ACTION-AID Nigeria came to our aid in 2005, when we were picked as one of the partners they wanted to work with in Ondo state on a poverty eradication programme, it was tagged Partnership Against Poverty (PAP). ACTION-AID Nigeria took us under their wings and helped us re-strategize our mode of operation through what they called "visioning exercise", using PADEF- Participatory and Organizational Assessment and Development Framework for our organisation. We improved overtime with the policies that were put in place under PADEF, and for six years, we partnered with ACTION-AID. This partnership turned out to be a learning process that created windows of opportunities at the long run in the development sector. Presently in Ekiti State, we have the support of PACT Nigeria under the USAID REACH project; PACT Nigeria has been partnering with us in Ekiti state for like 2years now and we are still on the project presently. We began with reaching out to about 300 Vulnerable Children (VCs) but presently have about 1,200 VCs on our list in Ekiti state with the aid of Pact Nigeria. The support we get from PACT Nigeria goes beyond finance, they have greatly contributed to the institutional development of Kids & Teens Resource Centre (K&TRC), and this really assisted us in so many ways, one of which is meeting other donor requirements. The Society for Family Health (SFH) has also been supporting K&TRC technically overtime; we have also been working with them in the area of social mobilization which has also resulted in our development as an organisation. We have been beneficiaries of the European Union (EU) MPP6 project in the Niger-Delta, which is the micro project programme in the six Niger-Delta states. We were also privileged to be part of those implementing the nine states which is the MPP9 under the EU commission. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also came to our aid recently, with other people in the Basket Fund to support our governance sector in promoting good governance and ensuring free and fair election in our society through civic and voters' education that we provided for young people in our respective communities. We have been working also with the UNICEF under the National Reproductive Health HIV&AIDS Care and Support programme in the rural communities and the Federal Ministry of Health as well a s the Federal Ministry of Education under the programme Family Life and HIV education; the UNICEF programme targets youth corps members (NYSC) to reach secondary school students and K&TRC has been part of the programme since inception to date with four of our staff as active participants presently training youth corps members, who will in turn train students. We often offer support to the trained youth corps members, as an organization giving them logistics that they need on the field, we also monitor them regularly. In our relations with other organizations, we try to ensure partnership with them in several programmes. We collaborate with other

"It took my mother's encouragement to make me recall all the staff back after a week; there are times when the organisation will owe staff salary and it will give me great concern but because of the transparency that we practice in the organisation� organizations such as Emmanuel World Children Foundation, Better Living Foundation, Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) and a host of others. K&TRC have been able to contribute our own quota to the society through our school projects with the support of several donor agencies; we have at least four health centres in rural areas and civic centres that have been built. We have a project under water and sanitation through the establishment of CHASE Club - Children Hygiene and Sanitation Education in the communities where we work and this is to promote hygiene and sanitation practices among children. By doing this, we are also looking at the means to reduce absenteeism rate drastically in schools, because if poverty is to be eradicated we need to do all the things that will make us achieve retention of pupils in schools, so that if they attain a certain level of their academic career in life, they will be better people in the future. Due to the summation that they have to deal with several health issues and they are sick, it sometimes leads to them becoming drop-outs due to their being absent when they ought to be writing examinations. The building of classrooms projects for schools was established when it was discovered that majority of the children have to walk long distances before they can access schools close to their communities. The schools' building project is solely aimed at bridging the distance by bringing the schools close to them and this is done in collaboration with the state government, because it is not feasible to employ and pay teachers as well, so we partner with the Ministry of Education at the state level such that we get a letter of commitment from them to take over the school, then we will support the community in building the school and we have close to 19 schools that we have built in Ondo state.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES At K&TRC, we particularly target young people and children because we want to catch them at an age when certain ideologies can be inculcated into them. At a young age, the human mind can be shaped to fit a certain mould before they become adults; we have also discovered that majority of the problems the world is facing presently, children and young people are the most affected and if we must avoid the catastrophe that may occur in the nearest future, we must encourage the society to invest in children and young people. They are highly energetic and idealistic at that age range, with a high sense of commitment to whatever they want to do. Hence, rather than leave these young people to channel the energy negatively , K&TRC is working towards helping young people to use their energy productively and to contribute to the society positively as a means to curbing anti-social acts amongst young people. EXPERIENCES We have had our good and unpleasant experiences too in the last ten years; I can remember a major incidence in our former office, when we resumed one morning to discover that all our equipments had been stolen including the louvers in the windows, it was so sad that I had to tell all the staff to go home as the future looked bleak without any way forward. At that time, we were just about 4years and when that happened, it just seemed like the organisation had come to the end of its journey. If not for the passion, that would have been the end of the organization because all the data and information we had gathered over the years had gone with the computers and printers that had been stolen. It took my mother's encouragement to make me recall all the staff back after a week; there are times when the organization will owe staff salary and it will give me great concern but because of the transparency that we practice in the organization, everybody knows when there is no money and when there is, it also reflects. THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR As the Executive Director, there is a system in place that ensures the practice of transparency and accountability in all our activities including the financial management of the organization. There have also been periods when there was a dearth in funding and projects which I pray never happens again; in all of these the staffs have been wonderful and outstanding. Ten years have not been an easy journey, international organizations that are providing funding for this sector, usually look out for the best to offer aids to, not those that would collect the money and not work with it; and so in order to achieve relevance in this sector, we have been ensuring that we do what we call the Standard Operating Procedure, we maintain standards in ensuring also that our staff from time to time are trained and are also given the opportunity to advance in their career when the occasion arises. There are staffs that joined K&TRC as first degree holders who have also bagged their second degree in the process and are still working with us. As an individual, my career was in the engineering sector, I studied electrical-electronics engineering, in my 2nd degree, I studied Mathematics in the University, while I did Continued on Page 6


Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012



Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012

Unravelling a journey of a decade Continued from Page 5

Computer science at my post-graduate level which has no relevance whatsoever with what I am doing presently especially in the health sector; I am practically what can be referred to as a public health specialist which was born as a result of passion and interest. I have come to realize overtime, that in a lot of instances, what you study in school does not matter, passion and attaining fulfillment in what you do is the important part and these are the factors that have driven everyone at K&TRC. RECOGNITION AND AWARDS We have also noticed that HIV&AIDS is like 10% of what we do yet it has been the area that has gotten for the organisation some of the most prestigious awards. It is on the hospices of HIV&AIDS that the organisation has gotten opportunities of attending international conferences and workshops across the globe; we have been working with Ondo State Agency for the Control of AIDS (ODSACA) for the past 10years, since the inception of the agency and the very first excellence award they gave out 2years ago was to K&TRC. As a meritorious award on the work we have been doing on HIV & AIDS in the state especially amongst young people. National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA's) support has been something close to a miracle; it came at a period when we were not able to get the support of the State agency to expand our work on HIV& AIDS and upon NACA giving us support, we were able to expand to about 40 communities in Ondo and Ekiti states. This support has also given us the opportunity of meeting and networking with other organizations, who were also beneficiaries of NACA's aid at the national level. In our ten years of working in the development sector, HIV&AIDS has given K&TRC the most recognition, we have enjoyed the immense support of the Ondo State Agency for AIDS (ODSACA) and other state agencies like Ekiti, Adamawa, Delta, Kwara and others, they have been wonderful in their partnering with us in all the activities we have done in the area of HIV&AIDS especially with young people in the rural communities and in the tertiary institutions. All of these go a long way to encourage us, knowing the government recognizes our efforts and the impact of our projects are being felt in the rural communities and among young people in the states.


EXPOSURE At the international level, we have done our share of appearances; there is no continent we have not been represented as an organization, we have attended conferences on HIV&AIDS, STIs, Volunteerism with the Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO); we were in India for study tour and we were there learning the process of volunteering amongst other organizations over there. We have also attended all the International AIDS Conferences that have taken place since we established and I have always ensured that there is active participation of the members in the attendance of these conferences and workshops around Africa as well as Nigeria. We do not attend conferences as an organization to listen alone; we also endeavour to contribute our quota through our presentations of abstracts of our success stories of projects we have worked on. We also

attend conferences to offer trainings and capacity building for participants at these conferences on HIV counselling and testing, which is one of the areas of our work. The last AIDS conference in Washington D.C. USA, we shared ways to make energizers and ice-breakers during trainings. FINAL WORDS AND APPRECIATION We cannot work in isolation because our activities are carried out in the jurisdiction of the government, so we have to rely on the support they give us through the creation of an enabling environment for us to be able to work. Although we do not get financial support for our projects from the government, the international donor agencies have been giving us support to be able to make all these services available to the various communities. The reason we do not solicit for funds from government is because most of our projects serve as advocacy tools in these communities, so they can learn that without government funds

dev elopment can be achieved. Hence, if they eventually get government support as a community they would be able to use the same participatory methodology to achieve a level of success; in this way we build the capacity of these communities in which we carry out these projects so that they would be able to engage their duty bearers. Reason being that in our society, there is a gap between the right bearers and the duty bearers, there is a huge disconnect between the duty bearers (the elected) and the people (electorate), majority of those in government when voted into office decide to forget those at the grass-root that had voted them in. So because of this gap, there is a need to create a bridge and this is what we at K&TRC do. We take them through civic empowerment by teaching them their rights and in their knowing it, they would be able to constructively demand for their rights through dialogues. It is unfortunate that people suffer in a country that is blessed with so many natural resources. K&TRC is looking towards a future that government policies would be implemented. Nigeria as a country has been known to be at the

front-line of signing treaties and various laws but the enforcement of such is usually a different issue entirely. The process takes a lot of time at the 2nd tier of government which slows the development progress as a country. I just want to say at this point that government should take more steps in ensuring that the policies in place are well implemented. If they can create a safety net that will involve the civil societies and the rural communities to ensure that these policies are domesticated and implemented; the law enforcement agencies also have a major role to play in all of these, because for instance, if somebody rapes a young girl and nothing is done, it would repeat itself. But if there are disciplinary measures that are enforced; it will go a long way to checkmate the incidence of child molestation and rape in our society. International organizations should also come to the understanding that even organizations that are local usually use participatory, methodology to take the grass-root communities on the best practice in the way they think problems can be solved. Due to the fact that donor agencies provide funding, they most times insist that their methods which are not indigenized be used and this usually results in low level of success because it is not generated by the people experiencing the problems. Donor agencies need to keep an open-to-idea policy in which a platform for proffering peculiar solutions to peculiar problem is created upon. In doing so it will give room for sustainability as this seems to create a sense of ownership amongst members of these communities. By the grace of God, we are looking forward to many more years of advancing positively and also having our own property that will have all the facilities that we need, including the youth friendly centre, where young people can walk in and get enlightened and informed. Information is power, it takes them to the next level and by the time they are informed, they are no longer deformed, (they become reformed), and that is the society we want to see. I want to thank Prof. Joseph Oluwasanmi, Mrs.Caroline Fadakini, Prof. Tony Elujoba, Alhaja Shola Agbaje; I have been lucky to have a wife who has been immensely supportive in spite of her running her own organization, Girls to Women Resource Development Centre and we exchange technical support. I also want to thank my two girls, Dapo and Dimeji. STAFF Tope Aboyewa, my coordinator and senior programmes officer of the organization (longest stayed), Higher -ground (Head of the Ekiti office), Finny Olaiya Abidemi, Yinka Adetula, Funke and Morenike; all of my staff have been wonderful, putting in extra time when the need arises without demanding for extra pay. Their level of commitment has been my source of strength. Bola, Femi, Roseline, Mary, Tosin (Ekiti state), Abiodun, IK, Kunle and YS. I also thank Mr. Bayo, Mr. Emmanuel and Mr. Ope, these are our pilots that work with us when we visit the rural areas. Dr. Nnenna, Insight Lagos, MAP media, Mayowa Joel, Oba Oladapo and my one and only Mr. Timi Owolabi -an independent consultant, Mr. Ayo Ipinmoye and our various donor agencies; the media, PUNCH, Guardian, I want to use this medium to thank everyone that has partnered with K&TRC in the last ten years.

ars Celebrating ten yeie of changing stor s


he Kids & Teens Resource Centre after a decade of supporting, promoting and advocating for best practices towards improved children and young people development in the country, organized a four day event to commemorate ten years of development work. The anniversary celebration which started with a thanksgiving service on the Sunday, 9th December 2012, a media briefing on the 10th at the organisation's office; there was a Children Funfair at the Event 'r' Us centre in Ado-Ekiti, as well as a public lecture and presentation of awards to partners and other dignitaries, which marked the grand-finale to the event. The media briefing was held to relay to the members of the press the activities lined up to celebrate the 10th anniversary while also using it a s an avenue to tell the organisation's story of how it has fared in the last one decade of development activities. The public lecture also gave K&TRC the opportunity to appreciate all their highly esteemed stakeholders and partners while also strengthening the existing relationship that has lasted for ten years or less than. Media outfits like The Ekiti State Radiovision and television Corporation (EKTV), The National Television Authority, Progress FM, The Mirror, Ekiti NOW to mention a few were all present at the four-day event. The State president, National Union of Journalists (NUJ), gave the welcome address at the event after a brief introduction of guests by the compere, Adesunloro Gbenga. Executive Director of K&TRC, Falana, Martin-Mary gave a brief recount of the organisation's journey of ten years and its achievement so far during the Press briefing, with special recognition to the efforts of PACT-Nigeria as a key partner with the organisation in its Ekiti State office. He noted areas of infrastructural development, capacity building of staff, effective MER system as well as improved financial system, and quality comprehensive support to about 1300 children and caregivers across various communities in Ekiti state. He also highlighted areas of intervention based on the individual needs of each child in areas of psycho-social support, health, education, shelter and care, nutrition, and household economic strengthening, as some of the areas K&TRC as an organisation has benefitted through its robust relationship with PACT-Nigeria over the last three years; while affirming his strong belief that the partnership will continue even beyond the life of the project. The Children Funfair which featured over 800 people included vulnerable Children, Parents, teachers, representative of various government ministries and agencies and partner Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) in attendance. Caregivers and community volunteers were transported to the venue of the event. Cultural dance competitions, drawing competition, quiz debates, talent hunts, a beauty pageant and lots of other activities took place at the venue of the event to mark the anniversary. Dignitaries present at the funfair included the representative of the Ekiti state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Social Development and Gender Empowerment. Representative of the Commissioner Ekiti State Ministry of Education, K&TRC ambassador, Mini Miss Ekiti, Executive Directors and representatives of various non-governmental organisations and networks, Traditional rulers, partners, Proprietors and teachers of participating schools, and the media. The funfair also featured goodwill messages, Cultural dance, presentation of prizes, and the economic empowerment of caregivers. Cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, Bouncing castle, sky walk and other exciting play materials were provided at the venue to enhance fun for the children. The final day of the celebration which started with the registration of guests, took place at the Babafunke Ajasin Hall, in Akure, Ondo State on December 12, 2012. The event featured a public lecture by Dr. Princess Olufemi-Kayode on, "The Girl Child: Menace of Teenage pregnancy", wherein she highlighted the factors responsible for such occurrences among teenagers in the Nigerian society and ways through which it can be reduced. The last day of the anniversary celebration gave the organisation an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate by giving out awards, to all the individuals, agencies and organisations that have helped it achieve success and live the dream of changing lives in the last ten years. The documentary cataloguing K&TRC's journey in the last ten years was also featured alongside other side attractions that was used to entertain the guests at the final day of celebrating a success journey of putting smiles on


The Sights of Kids & Teens 10th Anniversary

The Sights of Kids & Teens 10th Anniversary

Social Media Icons

Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012

Advocacy Platform



research just conducted by the AIDS Accountability International revealed that young people and other sexual minorities are being excluded from the country coordinating mechanisms in some countries which has resulted in uneven representation of their interest at the country level and these include the discrimination on sexual minorities in South Africa and other neighbouring countries. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tu b e r c u l o s i s a n d M a l a r i a i s a n international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria and is one of the world's largest funders of HIV/TB and malaria, totalling 864 grants, worth US$21.9 billion.1 The distribution of this money, approximately half (over US$10 billion) has been granted to African governments, is decided by committees at national level called Country Coordinating Mechanisms (CCMs), and it is these committees that researchers at AIDS Accountability International think are neglecting the needs of youths and sexual minorities. These decision-making committees are supposed to be made up of representatives of government ministries, nongovernmental organizations, affected communities (including women, girls and LGBT), the private sector, technical specialists and academic institutions. They are at the centre of the Global Fund's commitment to country ownership and are


supposed to demonstrate inclusive and participatory decision-making as they select which projects and organizations get the massive amounts of funding available from the Global Fund. “While most felt that their needs were sufficiently advocated for on behalf of youth NGOs or other civil society groups, many did say that having young girls physically sitting on the CCM might be beneficial,” Ms Oberth said, “That said, there seemed to be a lack of awareness that having young people sit on CCMs is actually mandated by the Global Fund, as the guidelines for CCM composition state that 'The Global Fund encourages CCMs to preferably include young people themselves through representatives of organizations established and led by young people.” “The fact that non-members are rating the performance, representation and thus accountability to these marginalized groups better than the people on the committee speaks to a need for civil society to be better informed what is really happening on the inside” said Phillipa Tucker, Executive Director of AAI and author of the quantitative survey report. Martin-Mary Falana, the Executive Director of Kids & Teens Resource Centre concurred to this fact and called on African leaders to embrace meaningful involvement of the marginalized communities in their countries. "I am not campaigning for just people who will seat to make the number complete, but people who can contribute constructively to make good representation of their constituencies - MartinMary said. Quality of representation is paramount to the criteria for the selection of the members of such coordinating body in any country. Recommendations: LGBT: As a result of the legal, cultural and political challenges surrounding participation and advocacy for LGBT populations on CCMs in Southern Africa, a number of respondents in different countries agree that a public health approach is the best way to begin breaking down these barriers. AAI recommends that data collection for most-at-risk populations can help to disaggregate the needs of sub-populations, creating a more nuanced response and assisting

public health officials to use a public health lens in doing their work. It is AAI's recommendation that a public health approach be taken first, in order to work toward the end goal of an effective human rights discourse. Youth: Inclusion of young people as CCM representatives is recommended. While it not conceivably reasonable that all affected constituencies should physically sit around the CCM table, young people – especially young girls – are an expressed focus of the Global Fund in terms of representation. To this end, AAI recommends that CCMs make use of the Global Fund guideline, i.e. allocate a seat for youth representation within its membership. Accountability: The research indicates that much needs to be done on Southern African CCMs and if civil society is able to understand the commitments made, the expectations of all stakeholders, and able to hold them accountable by engaging with the issues. This requires stakeholders to build capacity in civil society, as well as with CCM members (who have demonstrated a willingness to improve the situation) so that they can begin to advocate for these highly necessary changes to better represent the needs of marginalized people. AIDS Accountability International (AAI) was established in 2005 with the mission to follow up on commitments to the AIDS epidemic made by governments, businesses and civil society. Still today, there is a widespread lack of advocacy tools for key actors to hold leaders accountable for the rollout of policy, program implementation and performance impact. AAI believes that leaders should be informed. This is achieved through our research and advocacy, which holds ineffective leadership accountable whilst applauding those who live up to their promises.

Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012



The times have changed, gone are the years when young people would have to write long winding letters in clear, proper English and send it across wide geographical locations through the snail mail (postal service) to keep in touch with friends and family. They get to wait for days and in some cases weeks before a reply gets back to them. The generation of young people that exist in the society today do not have to go through that long, winding, and slow process of sending messages and information. Technology has made the process an easy and instant one. Welcome media convergence. Media convergence, simply put is the synergy of traditional forms of media such as the radio, television and newspaper with computer technology which resulted in the creation of the Internet. Young people now use these new forms of media for more than sending messages and simply staying in touch with their friends; they're also a means to make school and career connections. An average young person sees the Internet as an excellent way to interact with friends and classmates and some would even say it's equally good for getting information on class assignments and social events, or to form study groups and collaborate with peers. A lot of schools now use websites, short messaging and other forms of the social media as notice boards and as an avenue to keep the parents abreast of events and happenings rather than send the conventional handdelivered notes. The social media is now a hub where young people meet new friends cutting across geographical boundaries, connect with old ones defying time and space, and exchange information that would have taken time and energy to access. When it comes to the impact of social media, the Internet and other traditional ways of sourcing for information (printed books, radio etc.) on their education, students have ranked the Internet and social media on top, with the response that it has a "big effect." Printed books, Television, newspapers, radio, movies and magazines come after in that succession. Young people in Nigerian tertiary institutions now make use of said laptop computers in the classroom for notetaking, followed by smart phones, audio recorders, to record lectures as this allows them listen again and take salient notes that were missed during the actual class. With the advent of these new forms of media comes along the attendant issues. The various networking sites that abound such as Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, 2go, LinkedIn, Yahoo messenger etc, has created various communities where young people meet to interact, learn and share information. Gone is the era where the hardest desire to resist was peer pressure as it seems that these days the hardest desires to resist seem to be social networking sites, people are more likely to give in to the desire of social media. The psychological effect of losing a media gadget with young people has been recorded as been akin to showing withdrawal symptoms in addicts. In other words, the use of new media technology has the ability to rewire the mental make-up of a regular user. A University of Chicago study found that checking Facebook or Twitter is more alluring for some young people than paying attention to the opposite sex for those immersed in the Internet age, as this new way of life for young people has created a yearning to interact through tweets, photos and comments as the most difficult stimulants to turn down. For some, it's like having a window in a house; and never trying to look out of it. So there's this feeling that it's there, and it has to be looked at. A feeling that cannot be ignored or avoided. For a lot of young people the Internet is so constant, easy and immediate. There's an emerging notion of 'fear of missing out' that's a draw for a lot of social media and Internet users, a powerful impulse that gives a false sense of belonging and acceptance according to psychologists. These days, one asks the parent of the average Nigerian teenager in urban communities what their child gets up to in the evenings after school, and one can be sure to be told that their sons or daughters are probably typing away on their cell-phones, on one of the world's largest social network –

Facebook or 2go. And it comes as no surprise. A recent survey conducted by UNICEF in partnership with the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, MXit (another social networking site), and the University of Cape Town, revealed that 30 per cent of MXit users admitted to spending most of their after-school time socialising on the platform. 25,876 South African youths recently took part in the survey, which looked at how young people interact on the social media platform. This survey is a component of a global campaign undertaken by UNICEF to raise awareness around the optimal and safe use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), entitled the Digital Citizenship and Safety Project. The project seeks to address the impact ICTs are having on children's experiences and how widespread ICT-access is affecting their lifestyle. The rise of the mobile internet in our society today, shows that more people, especially youths, are using social networks as key tools in their identity formation which has largely created a mobile youth culture in the society. The urge to own mobile phones, laptops and other communication devices have assumed more importance than other basic necessities. Africa is currently the world's fastest growing market for mobile communications and access to information technology is essential for economic, social, cultural and political development in today's world. Mobile technology, the internet and social networks can make vital information more accessible to children as well as and to create platforms for discussion and participation on matters that affect them, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). UNICEF believes that ICTs have the potential to empower children and young people – particularly in the developing world – but access should be accompanied by education and regulation to ensure that these young people's safety is not compromised. As recent research, 'an offshoot of recent incidents,' have shown that a lot of young people chat with strangers on the internet and social media networks with a large percentage of young people receiving and accepting friendship requests from people they have never met. A lot of course use the platforms to keep in touch with friends, colleagues, classmates and family members. Despite the world of opportunities that exist with the advent of the convergence of media, the high risks associated with users' interacting with strangers, highlights the need for parents, organisations working with children and peer-groups to engage with young people about the potential risks of the digital world and how to avoid them. Recently in the news is the murder of Cynthia ..., a post graduate student who was killed by some young men she met on a social networking site, this created a ripple effect as other young persons used the occurrence as an opportunity to come out and tell their stories of how they've been harassed, swindled, raped and even escaped death in the hands of people they met on social networking sites. Children and teenagers are incredibly adept at figuring out new technologies. And while they may have technical knowledge, they are not always aware of some of the implications of using the technology. This is why platforms should be created for ensuring that young people not only benefit from innovation, but they are safe from anyone seeking to exploit them through these avenues, the issue of safe usage of the Internet and social networking sites should be areas in which stakeholders should endeavour to start looking into. As the change in times and technology have also created new problems that need to be dealt with. Social media and mobile phones have also made young people vulnerable to new means of exploitation, bullying or victimisation. It has created a lot of anti-social

Social Media Icons behaviours such as; poor conversational skills, lack of courtesy, low attention span, poor use of language, poor writing skills, etc. Other areas in which new media has created negative effects are little or no family time, eating disorders and unhealthy habits in young people, poor organisational skills and narcissistic tendencies, etc. A major social network site that has been able manage regulation of activities on its page is MXit; in 2010 UNICEF teamed up with MXit to create the Red Card – a free portal on child rights with safety guidelines informing young people when they are being inappropriately groomed – that has been added by over 51,000 MXit users to date. MXit created this portal to ensure the safety of its users by moderating chat rooms; creating age restrictions on content and features; making the reporting of abuse simple; and working with the necessary authorities whenever necessary. Despite the regional disparity in access to mobile internet in Nigeria, youths in rural areas are not benefitting from the wealth of information and services internet access brings as much as their urban peers, they tend to live in a different world entirely except for a privileged few, a large percentage of youths in rural areas do not have access to traditional media talk less of new media which is the rave now with young people; the word out is if you're not on at least two social networking sites as a young person... you're not cool and would probably be seen as anti-social. Yet there is need for one to find a balance between using these new forms of media and having a life by connecting with reality and one's environment so as not to get lost in the crowd. As with time, chances are that an evolution would occur in technology and another newer form of media would emerge and one would be faced with the issues of personal resources, and how often one wants to repost the same information -- first as a status update, then as a tweet, then as a tumbl (tumblette?) or even as a 'giggle, depending on what new name is given to the latest technology with the passage of time. Although for now, as a young person one is largely faced with an issue of finding which online community feels like home as each site has its own cultural norms and language use, for example the expectations for customizable yahoo messenger, in which users are allowed to create animations of themselves with available resources, are profoundly different from the expectations for the standardized Twitter. Do you want fast or slow? Individuality or community mind? Anonymity or reciprocal relationships? That would depend on your motive behind the use of these wide variety of social networking sites courtesy of media convergence as a young person, yet beyond chatting, making new friends, surfing the internet for games, music and movies; one cannot help but take advantage of the immense world of information and opportunities that abound in cyberspace and this can only be the major reason why as a young person aimed at improving on one's education should enjoy the world of media convergence in the 21st century.



Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012


Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012

Drugs and its Abuse

Drugs and its



or she may fall asleep at work or school.

problems with memory and body movement, mood swings, and

LSD, which stands for lysergic acid diethylamide is a

Depressant drugs are very dangerous if taken with alcohol and

violent behaviour.

hallucinogenic drug. It changes the way you sense the world

certain other drugs. Very large doses of depressant drugs can

When used in larger doses, methamphetamines can cause

around you. It is odourless, colourless, and tasteless and can be

stop your breathing and kill you.

dangerously high body temperature, confusion, convulsions (uncontrollable jerking body movements), and even death.

painted onto small squares of paper that people lick or swallow.

•Ecstasy is both a hallucinogenic and a stimulant drug. It makes

Hallucinogens are sometimes called acid, sugar cubes, white

users experience a rush of good feelings (a high) and makes

• Inhalants produce a quick feeling of being drunk — followed

lightning, dose, tripping, blotter. LSD is atimes on paper that is

someone's feelings much more intense, whether they're good or

by sleepiness, staggering, dizziness, and confusion. Long-time

licked or swallowed. Capsules and liquids are also swallowed.

bad. The drug's effects usually last up to 6 hours.

users get headaches, nosebleeds, and sometimes lose their


Ecstasy increases heart rate and can cause dry mouth, clenched

sense of smell. Inhalants decrease oxygen to the brain and can cause brain damage.

Methamphetamines are stimulants. Stimulants are a type of

teeth, blurred vision, chills, sweating, or nausea. It can make

drug that speed up your brain. They are produced as pills,

some users feel anxious, confused, and paranoid, like someone

Although inhalants can be found around the house, they're so

powders, or chunky crystals called ice. The crystal form,

is trying to hurt them or is plotting against them. Ecstasy may

bad for you that using them, even one time, can kill you.

nicknamed crystal meth, is a popular drug, especially with

cause direct damage to brain cells that are involved in thinking

young adults and for those who frequently go to dance clubs and

and memory.


individual. It is usually introduced by friends and peers, and the

mixed into foods; or brewed as a tea.

parties. They are sometimes called speed, uppers, meth, crystal

If a person takes Ecstasy, his or her body can dangerously

Drugs are chemicals that change the way a person's body works

need to belong to a group would propel an average youth to


meth, chalk, ice, glass, Christmas tree, crank (when injected).

overheat during dancing or other physical activities, which can

and also helps correct the dysfunction of the human system.

accept what is introduced. The constant use of such over time

Cocaine is a white powder that comes from the dried leaves of

Methamphetamines are swallowed, inhaled, smoked, or

lead to muscle breakdown, kidney, liver and heart damage, and

You've probably heard that drugs are bad for you, but what does

becomes abuse and the crave for it as a result of the effect

the coca plant that is found in South America. Crack cocaine is a

injected into a vein.

even death. Taking the drug can cause seizures, brain swelling and permanent brain damage.

that mean and why are they bad? Medicines are legal drugs that

desired thereof leads to an addiction.

form of the drug that gives a very quick, intense high. Crack is


are prescribed for us when we are sick, meaning doctors are


made by cooking cocaine powder with baking soda, then

Inhalants are substances that are sniffed or huffed to give the

•Heroin gives you a burst or rush of good feelings, and users feel

allowed to prescribe them for patients, and pharmacy stores can

Illegal drugs aren't good for anyone, but they are particularly

breaking it into small pieces called rocks. It got its name because

user an immediate rush, or high. They include glues, paint

"high" and relaxed. This may be followed by drowsiness and feeling sick to the stomach.

sell them to people. If you've ever been sick and had to take

bad for a kid or teen whose body is still growing. Illegal drugs can

it crackles when it is heated and smoked. Crack cocaine looks

thinners, dry cleaning fluids, gasoline, felt-tip marker fluid, hair

medicine, you already know about some kind of drugs that exist.

damage the brain, heart, and other important organs. Cocaine,

like white or tan pellets (sort of like gerbil or dry cat food). Both

spray, deodorants, spray paint, and whipped cream dispensers

Many people who are addicted to heroin inject the drug into a

The experimentation of drugs occur amongst young people for

for instance, can cause a heart attack — even in a kid or teen.

cocaine and crack are very addictive — and very, very

(whippets). They are sometimes called whippets, poppers,

vein using needles. They may inject the drug several times a day.

many different reasons, first trials are usually out of curiosity,

While using drugs, people are also less able to do well in school,

dangerous. It is sometimes called: Coke, Rock, Snow, Blow,

snappers, rush, bolt, bullet. These are inhaled directly from the

Over time, the needle marks, sometimes called tracks, can

with time it becomes a means of having a good time, because

sports, and other activities. It's often harder to think clearly and

White, Toot, Nose candy, Base, Flake, Powder, Basa, and Smack

container (called sniffing or snorting), from a plastic bag, or by

become permanent scars.

friends are doing it and there's the need to feel a sense of

make good decisions. People can do unreasonable or dangerous

Cocaine is inhaled or snorted through the nose or injected into a

holding an inhalant-soaked rag to the mouth (called huffing).

Often, heroin addicts will share needles, which can lead to

belonging, some other young persons indulge in drugs to

things that could hurt them — or other people — when they use

vein and crack is smoked in a pipe.


infection with dangerous germs like hepatitis B or C or HIV, the

improve on their mental prowess as well as athletic



This is another legal substance found in cough syrups and

virus that causes AIDS.

performance or to even ease other problems, such as stress,


Tranquilizers and other depressants calm nerves and relax

lozenges used to treat sore throats; it's now prevalent amongst

Heroin is a very addictive drug and many people find it

anxiety, or depression.

Sometimes kids and teens try drugs to fit in with a group of

muscles. They are bright-coloured capsules or tablets that are

young people especially females as they now make use of cough

extremely difficult to stop using it — even after using heroin for

A lot of times, drug use don't automatically lead to abuse, and

friends. Or they might be curious or just bored. Someone may

legally available through a doctor's prescription for medical

syrups indiscriminately without prescriptions or any cough

just the first or second time. Heroin users constantly crave their

there is no specific point at which drug use moves from casual to

use illegal drugs for many reasons, but often because they help

reasons, but can be illegally abused. They are known as

ailment. Some young people have been known to drink like 3

next dose. If you take an overdose of heroin, it can stop your breathing and kill you.

problematic. It varies by individual. Drug abuse and addiction is

the person escape from reality for a while. A drug might —

downers, goofballs, barbs, blue devils, yellow jackets, ludes.

bottles of cough syrup in a day so as to induce the feeling of

less about the amount of substance consumed or the frequency,

temporarily — make someone who is sad or upset feel better or

Depressants are swallowed like normal pills.

artificial excitement.

•When you use LSD, your senses of space, distance, and time

and more to do with the consequences of drug use. In other

forget about problems. But this escape lasts only until the drug



become altered. People say they "hear" colours or "see" sounds,

words, when it becomes a constant activity and one craves for

wears off. Drugs don't solve problems, of course. And using

Ecstasy (3, 4-methylenedioxy-N-methamphetamine, or

• Marijuana makes it hard to keep track of time and

but effects are unpredictable. Once you go on an "acid trip," you

the effect without any medical need for it or a prescription from

drugs often causes other problems on top of the problems the

MDMA) is a drug that is illegally made; it also known in different

concentrate. People who use it have difficulty with memory and

can't get off till the drug's done with you — in about 12 hours!

a medical practitioner, then it can be qualified as drug abuse.

person had in the first place. Somebody who uses drugs can

names such as; XTC, X, Adam, E, Roll, A, 007. Ecstasy is

find it hard to solve problems and learn. Marijuana raises your

Strange feelings and strong emotions are typical. LSD can cause

As with many other conditions and diseases, vulnerability to

become dependent on them, or addicted. This means that the

a stimulant drug that can cause hallucinations. It is known as a

heart rate and blood pressure. Some people get red eyes or dry

"bad trips" — users experience panic, confusion, sadness, and scary images.

addiction differs from person to person, depending on the

person's body becomes so accustomed to having this drug that

designer drug because it is created for the purpose of making

mouths or become sleepy or very hungry. The drug can also

genes, mental health, family and social environment as all of

he or she can't function well without it. Once someone is

someone feel high. The drug is popular with teens and young

make some people paranoid (feeling like someone is out to hurt

Bad reactions can occur even with the first use and a user may

these factors play a role in what qualifies as addiction.

addicted, it's very hard to stop taking drugs. Stopping can cause

adults who go to clubs, concerts, or "rave parties."

them or is plotting against them). It can also sometimes cause

have flashbacks, where a person experiences the feelings of a bad trip even after the drug wears off.

Risk factors that increase one's vulnerability include:

withdrawal symptoms, such as vomiting (throwing up),

Users think the drug will make them feel good and enable them


•Family history of addiction

sweating, and tremors (shaking). These sick feelings continue

to keep going for days without rest. But people who use Ecstasy

Marijuana is as tough on your lungs as cigarettes — steady users

LSD affects judgment and behaviour may get out of control. The

•Abuse, neglect, or other traumatic experience in childhood

until the person's body gets adjusted to being drug free again.

don't realize how dangerous this drug actually is.

suffer coughs, wheezing, frequent colds, and respiratory

user may find himself or herself in a dangerous situation.

•Mental disorder such as depression and anxiety


Ecstasy has become one of the most common illegal drugs sold

(airway and lung) infections, like bronchitis. Sometimes blunts

Physical changes include dilated pupils, increased heart rate

•Early use of drugs

Cigarettes and alcohol are two other kinds of legal drugs. (In

on the streets. In the last few years, Ecstasy has sent many young

are filled with drugs like PCP (also called angel dust) or crack

and blood pressure, trembling and shaking, sweating, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite.

•Method of administration – smoking or injecting a drug may

nigeria, adults 18 and older can buy cigarettes and those 21 and

people to emergency rooms in some countries because of its

cocaine in addition to marijuana and can be very dangerous

increase its addictive potential

older can buy alcohol.) But smoking and excessive drinking are

dangerous side effects. Ecstasy can be swallowed (pill or tablet)

when smoked.

•Swallowed or snorted (also called bumping)

Addiction can be defined as a complex disorder characterized

not healthy for even adults and are off limits for kid and

or snorted (powder) and it's known to have killed it's users.

• Cocaine is a stimulant, which means that it produces a fast,

methamphetamines give the user an intense high. Injections create a quick but strong, intense high, called a rush or a flash.

by compulsive drug use while each drug produces different



intense feeling of power and energy. Then it wears off (crack

physical effects, all abused substances share one thing in


Heroin comes from the opium poppy, a flower that grows in

wears off very quickly) and the user feels depressed and nervous

Methamphetamines, like regular amphetamines, also take

common: repeated use can alter the way the brain looks and

Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the across the

Asia, Mexico, and South America. Pure heroin is a white powder

and craves more of the drug to feel good again.

away appetite. It is a dangerous strategy sometimes used by people trying to lose weight quickly.

functions. It has become a predominant activity amongst youths

country, in fact some ethnic groups use the fresh leaves for soup.

that tastes really bad. Some heroin is dark brown, and black tar

Cocaine is so addictive that someone can get hooked after trying

and teenagers in our society to experiment with drugs and make

It is made from the shredded leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers of

heroin is either sticky or hard and looks like roofing tar. It

it just once.

Methamphetamines give someone the ability to stay awake and

use of it constantly without prescription, so much that the crave

the hemp (Cannabis sativa) plant. It looks like green, brown, or

belongs to a group of pain-relieving drugs called narcotics.

Snorting cocaine can damage the septum between the nostrils,

do continuous activity with less need for sleep. They pump up a

for the effect on their body system has created a compulsive

gray dried parsley.

Although certain narcotics such as codeine and morphine are

causing a hole in the middle of the nose. Cocaine makes your

person's heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. They also

need for the use. The urge to feel good creates this complex

Marijuana is a mind-altering drug and is considered a

legal if prescribed (given) by doctors to treat pain, such as when

heart beat faster and your blood pressure and body temperature

cause irregular heartbeats, sweating, headaches, blurred vision, dry mouth, hot flashes, and dizziness.

disorder which blurs the fine line between regular use, abuse

hallucinogen if taken in large amounts.

someone has surgery or breaks a bone, heroin is an illegal

go up. It can make a person's heart beat abnormally. Cocaine is

and addiction. Very few users are able to recognize when they

Sometimes called, weed, grass, pot, chronic, joint, blunt, herb,

narcotic because it is has dangerous side effects and is very

so dangerous that using it just once can make you have a heart

People who abuse methamphetamines feel high and full of

have crossed that line.

cannabis, hashish, or Mary Jane. Marijuana is smoked in the

addictive. It also known as horse, smack, big H, black tar,

attack or stroke and can kill you.

energy. They think the drug will allow their bodies to keep going

For a lot of young drug users, it continues into their adult life, as

form of a hand-rolled cigarette (called a joint or a nail), in a pipe,

caballo (Spanish), 8-ball (heroin mixed with crack cocaine),

• Depressants are addictive and withdrawal symptoms include

and going. But methamphetamines are very damaging to the

the use gradually increases over time. Gradually, getting and

or water pipe (also known as a bong); it is sometimes smoked

junk, TNT. Heroin is usually injected or smoked. Purer forms of

anxiety, sleeplessness, and seizures. Someone who takes them

body and brain, especially with repeated use. Long-term use of

using the drug becomes more and more important with the

after being placed inside of hollowed-out cigars called blunts;

heroin are inhaled.

may have slurred speech and an inability to concentrate, and he

methamphetamines can cause brain damage that causes


How to tell if someone is using drugs? If someone is using drugs, you might notice changes in how the person looks or acts. Here are some of those signs, but it's important to remember that depression or another problem could be causing these changes. Somebody using drugs might: •Lose interest in school work •Change friends (to hang out with kids who use drugs) •Become moody, negative, cranky, or worried all the time •Have trouble concentrating •Sleep a lot (maybe even in class) •Get in fights •Have red or puffy eyes •Lose or gain weight •Cough a lot •Have a runny nose all of the time and sniffs a lot. The abuse of drugs eventually leads to a lot of negative effects and in some unfortunate cases; death. There are of course ways through which one could help such persons but it would also take a certain amount of time and resource. And so if you think someone is using drugs, the best thing to do is to tell an adult that you trust. This could be a parent, other relatives, a teacher, or school counselor. The person might need professional help to stop using drugs. A grownup can help the person find the treatment needed to stop using drugs. Another way young people can help each other is by choosing not to try or use drugs and live a drug abuse free life.



Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012

Body Image By: Agiaye Okhue Elizabeth


ow do you feel about yourself; do you have worries about what your body looks like? Such influence on one's selfesteem often arises from media projections, friends, family and the environment. The moment one is able to note that your perception of your body should not be sharpened be certain stereotypic factors then it is time to accept and appreciate what you are and be proud of yourself. The human body is forever changing, and with it your perception, emotions, imagination and physical sensation. Your body is very sensitive to changes in mood, environment and physical experiences; it is not based on physical features but more on psychological variants and can easily influence your self-esteem. Self-esteem is not in-born but gained with time and maturity, alongside other factors such as the family, peer-group, the environment, school, etc. This a lot of times results in young people, especially girls often feeling conscious and awkward about their appearance. Some even go as far as feeling left out and unwanted, this sometimes eventually leads to some all forms of negative actions towards them. Some would sometimes result to exhibiting anti-social character. However, we need to be aware that we are all different people with different body sizes and images, for different reasons. We cannot have the same body images and we do not have to be super skinny to be accepted. To deal with this issue of low self-esteem and the way we see our body as young people which is phase everyone passes through in life, we should understand that every individual is beautiful in their own unique way and so we should imbibe the attitude of positive thinking and confidence for strong self-esteem. Whatever shape or size your body takes is what you should treasure and love. Communicate with your body daily; •Listen to your body •Eat when hungry •Be realistic about your body size, because you are likely to be shaped based on your genetics, in other words the way your parents look. •Exercise regularly in a desired way •Work towards self acceptance and self figures •Learn to like and love your looks.


TAKE A STAND Learn to take a stand on your body image, because your body image is how you think, how you look and how it makes you feel. It is what you think about yourself that influences your attitude towards everything. Make positive your everyday changes and feel your best at all time. You can make these changes about yourself, the friends you relate with, the environment and the world at large by simply taking a stand with some simple practical steps. •Be Kind •Educate yourself •Get help if you need it •Be active BE KIND Being kind to yourself and your friends will make you feel good. You can make it a duty to encourage yourself and friends who might be worried about their body image. For instance telling your friend about someone who has a particular type of eyeballs or hairy arms may not make her sad because but you might have succeeded in encouraging your friend to have a negative attitude towards certain body types. EDUCATE YOURSELF Knowledge is a powerful tool to deal with your fears, doubt and other limiting factors and will help deal with your anxieties as well. Get to know the facts about your body as this will help the way you think and feel about yourself. FIND HELP You need to talk to someone about your doubts and possible fears. If you or your friend has issues with your self-esteem or doubts and fears about certain things; or you have questions you find awkward when you ask adults, "DON'T DO ANYTHING", but get help from suitable and reliable personnel or organisation. Kids & Teens Resource Centre (K&TRC) is one place you can find help for your disturbing fears. In an organisation such as K&TRC, you get detailed adequate information and supervised counselling in a friendly environment, which would help you deal with your doubts in a positive way. Think K&TRC;Get Resourced! KIDS & TEENS RESOURCE CENTRE has offices in Abuja and Ekiti with partners across Nigeria, with head office at No. 13 Kola Ogunmola Street, Ijapo Estate Akure, Ondo state. With their web address:

Kids&Teens Oct-Dec 2012


Habit: A WAY OF LIFE Every human being, has been scientifically identified as having his own DNA makeup which is different from the next person’s, this has been proven to result in a variety of characteristics exhibited in each individual; one of which has been tagged habits, a characteristic which every human being has the tendency of displaying either the good aspect or the bad.


ost of us as humans especially as young people have little rituals that we perform on a daily basis, which either makes us feel more comfortable in an awkward situation or it sometimes helps us keep record of important tasks for the day. Some examples of these could be: we check the lights, windows and doors of the house in a particular order before going to bed at night, writing to-dolist to guide us through our daily activities, chewing finger nails, picking nose cavities, etc. Failure to do some of these things creates a feeling of being incomplete or even a sense of loss. With some of us, it may even be that we like taking a particular route to school, sitting with the same people in the same part of the class and when that doesn’t happen due to certain circumstances, we feel like “fish out of water”. While these habits comfort and reassure us, sometimes they can become intrusive, annoying or even disturbing to us if the compulsion to carry it out is so strong we cannot settle, unless we have completed a task in a certain way or walked through a particular route to school. This is when it can be called our little habits or rituals, obsessions or compulsions. WHAT IS AN HABIT? According to the Webster Pocket Dictionary of the English Language; habit is defined as a customary behaviour pattern; an addiction; a special manner. Habit again can be described as a mental rut created by the mechanical repetition of a task. The tyres of a vehicle travelling on a muddy road would always make a distinct impression. Similarly, the repetition of a task makes an impression on the mind. The more we repeat a task, the deeper, the impression becomes. Every habit thus gets firmly imprinted on the mind. Habits play a very crucial part in human life especially with young persons as thiseventually would help shape the type of adult they develop into. The personality of a personis determined by their habits and it has been categorised largely into two areas. The good and bad habits. Habits are basically acts whichhumans indulge in to satisfy their needs. Thesehabits are developed or learnt from differentsources. Good habits by societal evaluation, makes a person gentle, genial and sociable while bad habits tend to deform and disfigure apersonality. In the Nigerian society, our various traditions and cultures have made it important thateveryone is aware of the importance of habits in our daily lives and an exhibition of bad habits are frowned at by all and sundry. Children and teenagers are particularly vulnerableto easily imbibe good or bad habits. They constantly imitate the habits of people they come in contactwith

especially on a daily basis as a result of their impressionable minds which soaks up information like a sponge. The reason why parents are warned a lot of times to be mindful of their activities around their wards and school teachers are expected to conduct themselves in a certain manner. To make children and teenagers cultivate well mannered, cultured and good habits, it is necessary that adults present an example of an ideal conduct before them so that they can follow in such footsteps and enrich their lives with inspiration and enthusiasm. And this would result in responsible citizens in the society in the future. Bad habits are diverse in nature and each society tends to share practically the same yardstick for measuring acceptable habits as well as unacceptable ones, despite their varying traditions, culture and ethnicity. One may want to ask; how can one say that I am conducting myself in a reprehensible and disorderly manner? It is easy and selfevident. You know that by waking up regularly, exercising the body regularly, having health-giving eating habits, and



habit can be uprooted by persistently working against it. Just as performing a task again and again creates a habit, performing an opposite task again and again eliminates it. If your mind forces you towards the old habit, gently but firmly divert it towards the positive habit you want to imbibe instead. It is always easy to go back to old habits and therefore the mind gets effortlessly inclined towards them. The formation of a new habit is therefore very difficult initially. However, with repeated performance, it takes roots and becomes a part of one's nature. The refinement of gross and perverse tendencies in a person's personality or bad manners in his conduct is possible only by long-term practice and unwavering determination. Every self confident person, if he or she wishes, can dramatically change for the better his or her mentality and outward conduct through regular practice. Everyone has been given the free will to choose between good and bad, we have all also been fashioned with our conscious as well as societal norms and traditions to guide us all in deciding how we choose to live daily, hence it is imperative that one settles for habits that would make living easier as young people.

Cross section of Fiwasaye Girls Student for handwashing

taking a good rest to keep the body vibrant and healthy. It becomes the burden duty of mature and responsible members of society to be vigilant against imbibing such ruinous habits and guide and inspire young people by personal example to grow into healthy, responsible and good citizens of the society. In a nutshell, habits that you feel require changing can be tackled by discipline as well as the will power to change such. No force in a human body is stronger than one’s will power. One must therefore cultivate the habits of listening to your own mind and following it rather that any others directive. Changing your lifestyle and environment can inch you closer day by day to the habits that you really long to acquire. Finally your habits have to change as long as you know that they are not making you a better and proud person. A lot of young people wish to change their bad habits in order to improve their character, traits and personality. However, they also tend to complain that they find it well nigh impossible to uproot their deeply ingrained bad habits. This is not always true, although it is of course, difficult to uproot bad habits, but it is not impossible. If a person is determined and musters the requisite will power, it can certainly yield good success. The personal development speaker, Jim Rohn, once said, “All disciplines affect each other. Every new discipline affects all of our other disciplines. Every new discipline that we impose on ourselves will affect the rest of our personal performance in a positive way.” Unfortunately, this also works the other way. Every lack of discipline (or bad habit essentially) affects the rest of your habits and disciplines and will alter anyone’s performance in a negative way. Good habits lead to good manners which create the environment to make good friends and helps as young people to develop positively, it is therefore only natural for one to look to inculcating habits that would enable one grow into a better person. TYPES OF GOOD HABITS Developing good habits is the basic of personal development and growth, these are largely habits that all of us should use but we sometimes forget in the rush of every day activity and they also help us break unhealthy, antisocial ones; as not all habits that we have are good. Here is a summary of some good habits that would help one live an appreciable live: COURTESYING, WASHING HANDS, CLEANING UP AFTER ONE’S SELF, SHUTTING DOORS BEHIND YOU, RETURNING BORROWED ITEMS; to mention a few. TYPES OF BAD HABITS Compared with most animals, we humans engage in a host of behaviours that are inimical to ourselves and our kind. We lie, cheat and steal, carve ornamentations into our own bodies (tattoo), gamble, and abuse drugs, disobey rules and laws that have been created to make our lives easier to mention a few. For a lot of us, it has become a way of living and ingrained in our sub-conscious, more or less a habit. And because society has an acceptable standard for such activities, they are listed as bad habits. It has been advised that it is better one does not imbibe these traits, than learning them and making attempts to unlearn such, as it’s usually a difficult but not impossible task. Such habits are: Lying, Violence, Stealing, Nose Picking, Gambling, Nail Biting, Cheating, Bullying.

By: Agiaye Okhue Elizabeth