Anchor International Outreach Ministry has launched a youth academy where training and research on young people could be carried out.
The academy named, Anchor International Youths & Teens Work Academy (AIYTA) was launched on May 22 at the West Africa Theological Seminary, Ipaja, Lagos.
President and Chairman Board of Trustees of the not-for-profit ministry, Dr. Bolarinwa Omotosho noted at the launch that “the academy is the first of its kind in Nigeria.”
He added that the academy “will provide relevant materials for youth life study. It will also serve as a platform where ideas could be generated to meet the growing emotional needs of young people.”
Apart from offering professional training and research, Bolarinwa said the body will also serve as a catalyst for productive youth initiatives.
Essence of the academy
The academy will guide those who subscribe to it on how to handle young people that are traumatized.
“It will provide guidance and counselling tools for mitigating the high rate of school dropouts.
“It will serve as a platform for advocacy against abuse of internet and use of pornography among young people. We will also pursue the Stand To End Rape advocacy vigorously through the academy. Child Sexual Abuse and unemployment issues among young people in Nigeria will get our attention in the academy, “Bolarinwa said.
One of the achieved visions of the academy is to break classroom boundaries. This will enable students to learn by defining and solving real-life problems within their community. This will be achieved through critical thinking and practical knowledge experiment.
He emphasized that the ongoing Girl–Child Education scholarship Initiative project of the ministry will continue. He however stressed that beneficiaries of the initiative will be limited to girls who are indigent and orphans in Junior Secondary School 1& 2.
Students of the academy
Students of the academy are professionals who are interested in developing their competence in supporting young people.
They include youth workers, social workers, guidance counsellors, school chaplains, pastors, occupational therapists, mental health workers, school teachers, administrators, etc.
At the inaugural session, they shared testimonies of the importance of being engaged in practical learning and critical thinking. They also expressed delight at the full-tuition scholarship opportunity provided by the (AIYTA) board of trustees.
Objectives of AIYTA
Dr. Omotosho pointed out that, the main objective of AIYTA is to equip the professionals working with young people. “It is to train them to give access to safe, affordable and sustainable services in partnership with key stakeholders in the adolescence and youth work in Nigeria.”
The academy’s activities according to him “will cover areas of mental health, gender-based issues, Abuse, addictions and HIV/AIDS. Areas of social injustices, advocacy, capacity building, networking, entrepreneurship, and Research and Journal Publication will also be covered.
Dr. Omotosho stated that the academy will be a research centre for scholars to promote the well-being of young people.
He said “the academy will pursue its mission through scholarly research. It will provide information and guidance for parenting, educational practice, and vocational training.
“AIYTA will offer a huge choice of a practical learning internship opportunity to students. This will be achieved through partner institutions. Both local and international Student Exchange Programme opportunities (ISEP) will be explored.
The courses at the academy range from sociology, Counseling, entrepreneurship, Social justice, social development, and fundraising courses. They include:
1. Child and Youth Abuse: Psychological, Sociological Effects, and Solutions
2. Youth and Teen Workers as Marital Counselors
3. The Empowerment of Nigeria Teens and Youths
4. Financing Child, Teen and Youth Work Today: Practice and Technique
5. Abuse of Internet and Social Media among teens and youths.
The team of the faculty and adjunct coaches include; Dr. Bolarinwa Michael Omotosho, Dr. Oluranti Samuel, Dr. Tunde Ode, and Mrs. Priscillia Omotosho (Dmin in view) among others.
At the inaugural training, the resource persons were able to connect the students to their communities through positive, hands-on experiences and meaningfully practical class engagement.
Dr. Omotosho said that they hope to impact the students through different formal and informal academic curriculum.
They will also introduce them to international and local internship student exchange programmes (ISEP) opportunities available through the academy’s partner institution.
Bolarinwa disclosed that the academy will host the first non-governmental Africa Adolescence and Youth Work Network Congress in Nigeria (AYWN) come December 2021. The congress will be a two-day youth workshop. Scholars and people versed in youth life will be available to present soul-stirring papers.
Anchor International Youths & Teens Work Academy (AIYTA) is an indigenous non-profit making professional training and research academy. Its field is mainly that of adolescents and youth development studies.
The Centre is meant to be a leading national organization committed to the promotion of the development of young people through research, technical assistance, advocacy, and capacity building.