#31DAYSofYOUth: How We Amplified The Voices of 3000 Youth

Written by Adenike Bamigbade

August is indeed the loudest month of the year for young people… we made the whole 31 days count but what next after August?

In August 2018, young people advocated for the need to create ‘Safe Spaces for Youth’, this birthed the #NGYouthSDGsDialogue: a gathering of more than 3000 young people across 21 States in Nigeria with an aim for young people to network, exchange ideas, share stories and inspire one another.

365 days after August 12th, 2018, we not only expanded the concept of Safe Spaces but also empower young people in the process. This is the kind of advocacy we want; advocacy backed with actions and effective results.

As we celebrated another International Youth Day on August 12th, we have championed another vital cause; Transforming Education. Statistics remind us that significant transformations are still required to make education systems inclusive and accessible. In low-income countries, only 10% of people have completed higher secondary education. This means millions of youth are deprived of the tool to create a better world like Nelson Mandela quipped “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

It is impossible to amplify a voice that is not heard. There are millions of voices bridled with the powerful force of illiteracy. There are millions of changemakers with a burning passion but they do not have access to knowledge that will help channel their passions aright. They are millions of girls subjected to inhumane acts but have normalized it because they are oblivious to their human rights. They are many bully cases, but the victims are muted because ignorance has silenced them.

The call to transform education is an important clarion call and it should not end with August. It is a duty call for every young person to advocate for inclusive and equitable quality education for all so that more young people can express themselves and change the world.

We were able to actively drive the 2018 advocacy call which was towards creating safe spaces for youth through the #NGYouthSDGsDialogue. From August 8th- 14th 2019, over 3000 young people gathered across 21 states in Nigeria to develop a National Strategic Action Plan for Youth in Nigeria. The 2019 Nigeran Youth SDGs Dialogue helped boost civic spaces for youth to engage in governance issues, digital spaces for youth to interact virtually and physical spaces for diverse youth to meet, share ideas and inspire one another.


August is indeed the loudest month of the year for young people and thanks to the UN Youth Envoy, we made the whole 31 days count but what next after August?

We are creating a Strategic Action Plan for Youth from the feedback from this dialogue and we hope this would guide advocacy drive in the coming years.