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YES Alumni Update: Kaduna State, Nigeria

May 13, 2010

The YES Program doesn’t end when the students leave the United States. The second component involves students participating in alumni projects once they return to their home countries, and IRIS strives to support our students not only while they’re in the Midwest, but also once they’ve returned home.

An alumni group in Kaduna State, Nigeria, recently visited a local prison to present on pertinent issues and plant trees. Dr. Saidu Yakubu, IRIS’s West Africa coordinator, explains the project:

Alumni group in Kaduna State, Nigeria

To celebrate the 2010 GYSD, the Kaduna YES alumni decided to visit the Kaduna Prison to give talks to the inmates on HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and cultism as well as to plant trees in the yard to fight desertification.

We applied for permission from the prison’s authorities, but just before we received approval letter, there was a crisis in the prison as a result of an attempt to break out of the jail. Bulus and I were highly scrutinized by officials before we were finally granted permission to hold the program on Saturday, April 24.

The alumni activity took place at the Borstal Training Institute, where juvenile deliquents and teenagers between the ages of 16-19 years are kept.

Program period was between 12-2:15pm. Seventy youth inmates were in attendance along with the school principal, school doctor, program officer and a teacher. Eight YES alumni and a teacher were also in attendance.

Earlier on, we contributed towards the purchase of supplies (such as soaps and antiseptics) for the adult inmates at the main prison. We presented the school authorities with supplies (such as biscuits and soaps) for the teenagers, and also bought and planted trees within the juvenile home.

The inmates were really happy to see YES alumni of about their ages coming to talk and encourage them. They were surprised that youths could be part of a large organization such as the Peace and Development Initiative (PDI) and have free hand to participate in activities.

The inmates asked questions, such as:

  • How will drug abuse affect the future of a youth?
  • What are the dangers of drug abuse to the body?
  • How can one protect himself from contracting AIDS?
  • How can one know that they have contacted HIV?
  • How can fear and insecurity like is obtainable in Nigeria lead to cultism?
  • What is the Nigerian government doing to address the menace and violence related to it and efforts to take good care of the youths?

The principal of the school was very happy with the visit, presentation, donation and tree planting, and he appreciated PDI’s giant stride. He wishes the alumni success in their future endeavours and also expressed the willingness to continue to collaborate with PDI.

The YES alumni were very happy to have the opportunity to talk to and see the situation these youth inmates are in. They considered themselves very privileged to be educated and receive the opportunity to travel to the USA. They also fortunate to not be involved in any lawlessness or anything against the law of Nigeria.

The visit has rekindled in them the spirit of hardwork as well as the effort to give back to the community and continue to be good and lead by example.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. RAHAB BALA permalink
    May 25, 2010 10:18 AM

    That was a very wonderful job, am sure God will reward all of you who participated in abundance

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