The Rose of Sharon Foundation (ROSF) hosted the 8th edition of its Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) on the 30th of April 2022. It was a hybrid meeting with onsite and online participation, which provided the platform to train Nigerian youths on self-actualization as a sustainable solution for youth empowerment, development, socio-economic relevance, and survival. The meeting offered the opportunity for the youths to learn the process of becoming the best version of themselves by identifying and harnessing their individual specifics and innate abilities to enable them to create, innovate, have an edge, and stand out in their socioeconomic engagements for the long term.
The meeting was hosted by the Founder of The Rose of Sharon Foundation, Apostle Folorunso Alakija, and anchored by Dr. Ndudi Bowei, Country Manager of the Rose of Sharon Foundation. Facilitators at the program included leadership and value-based people development expert and CEO of Verbatim Communications Limited, Bidemi Mark-Mordi; a former IT Consultant, Resident Pastor and National Superintendent of KICC Nigeria, Pastor Femi Faseru and a renowned administrator and human resources professional and Managing Director of Tom Associates Limited, Mr. Temitope Jegede. The program had undergraduates, fresh graduates, job seekers, self-employed and working-class youths in attendance from across the country.
Drawing from Abraham Maslow and Kim Egel’s definition of self-actualization, ROSF Founder, Apostle Folorunso Alakija in her opening address, spoke about the process of becoming everything you are capable of and being the best version of you. She encouraged the youths to harness their innate abilities to reach their full potential and achieve purpose and fulfilment, which are the pillars for socio-economic sustainability and survival.
While speaking to the youth participants, particularly the category of undergraduates, fresh graduates and job seekers on “Identifying and Connecting the Dots for Youth Survival”, Bidemi Mark-Mordi described self-actualization as knowing who you are and becoming who you are designed to be. She stated further that the youth should endeavour to thrive because to thrive is better than to survive. She went further to define survival as the state of fact for continuing to live or exist typically, despite an accident, ordeal, or circumstance.
Speaking on “Creating an Edge in the Market Place”, while addressing the Self-employed and entrepreneurs Category of youth participants at the event, Pastor Faseru took time to explain that being self-employed means finding solutions to other people’s challenges in exchange for money or financial rewards. He highlighted that as entrepreneurs, there are some critical things to get right, which he termed, “the 7Ds of being self-employed”, which are Dream, Desire, Drive, Determination, Difference, Discipline and Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s.
During a breakout session, Mr. Jegede spoke on “Building on the existing Blocks as a Springboard for Self-Fulfilment” to the Working-Class category of youths present at the program. He stated that SELF FULFILLMENT is the attainment of hopes and ambitions through personal goals, it is reaching full potential, achieving success, and building a life that one can be proud of. He said, ‘’Doing your best work in line with your value will bring fulfilment’’. He educated the youths about the five building blocks for self-fulfilment in the workplace, which include: having a personal vision, spiritual block, relationships, working to improve yourself, and making a social contribution.
The program ended with a closing remark by Dr. Bowei who encouraged the youths to go back home and practice what they have learnt and begin to seek to utilise their specifics for innovative work. A vote of thanks and closing prayer was given by Mrs. Oloruntosin Taiwo, the national coordinator of the Rose of Sharon Foundation.
The YEP is the Rose of Sharon Foundation’s career development and capacity building program for graduates, job seekers, working-class and self-employed youths. Since 2017, the ROSF Youth Empowerment Program has served to re-orientate the minds of Nigeria’s youth, motivating them on the need to be diligent in their dealings as this will cause them to succeed in their chosen endeavours.