The youths of today are the leaders of tomorrow. As such, it is of utmost importance to empower and equip them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and opportunities to reach their full potential.
In this article, I will explore the NIPR Model (Nurturing, Involvement, Partnership, and Resilience) and how it can be a powerful framework for empowering young people.
Nurturing a supportive environment is the first step towards empowering the youth. It involves providing them with a safe and empathetic space where they can express themselves, receive guidance, and build self-confidence. By fostering a culture of positivity and emotional intelligence, we can help young people develop a strong sense of self-worth and resilience.
Furthermore, nurturing also entails promoting holistic development. This includes encouraging the acquisition of relevant skills, knowledge, and values that will enable young people to navigate the challenges of the future effectively. By prioritizing both academic and non-academic education, we can empower youth to become well-rounded individuals.
Active involvement of young people in decision-making processes is vital to their empowerment. By engaging them in meaningful discussions and activities, we can tap into their creativity, unique perspectives, and innovative ideas. This inclusion ensures that their voices are heard and considered, ultimately fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.
Creating platforms such as youth councils, forums, and mentorship programmes allows young people to actively participate in shaping policies, programmes, and initiatives directly affecting their lives and communities.
By involving the youth in leadership roles, we provide them with the opportunity to develop essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork.
Partnerships between government, non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, and communities are crucial for empowering the youth.
By working collaboratively, we can pool resources, expertise, and networks to create comprehensive programmes that address the needs and aspirations of young people.
Partnerships also facilitate access to opportunities, including internships, scholarships, and vocational training, which play a significant role in enhancing the employability and entrepreneurial spirit of the youth.
Furthermore, engaging private sector organizations can lead to mentorship, internship, and job placement initiatives, bridging the gap between education and employment.
Resilience is a crucial quality for young people to develop, enabling them to overcome setbacks and challenges. By nurturing resilience, we equip them with the ability to adapt, bounce back from failures, and persist in pursuing their goals.
This can be achieved by providing mentorship, coaching, and counseling services to foster emotional well-being and mental toughness.
Moreover, resilience can be fostered through exposure to positive role models and success stories. These examples inspire and motivate young people to overcome obstacles, fulfil their potential, and become agents of change in their communities.
In conclusion, empowering the youth is an investment in our collective future. The NIPR Model provides a practical framework for NURTURING, INVOLVING, PARTNERING, and building RESILIENCE in young people. NIPR MODEL.
Through these strategies, we can equip them with the necessary skills, knowledge, and opportunities to become future leaders, innovators, and positive influencers in society.
Let us work together to create a world where the youth can thrive and contribute to a greater tomorrow.
*Afolabi Olajuwon is Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Fellow, Institute of Management Consultant, Researcher, resource person at the International Institute of Journalism, Abuja.