“Watch what you watch, see no evil, do no evil, watch what you read garbage in, garbage out, watch the friend you keep – show me your friend and I will tell you who you are, watch places you go to and weigh the consequence of your act before it (decision making) because sex is worth waiting for and sex is done or should be done at the right time, right place’’.
Those were the concluding words of the project manager of ODSACA, Dr Dayo Adegbulu who gave the keynote address at a special valentines event organized for adolescents in Akure metropolis by the collaborative efforts of Don Bosco VCT Center and Girls to Women Research and Development Center, Akure . The SACA boss explained the link between social vices that are common among young people such as rape, drug abuse etc and the personal ineptitude of students who become victims by making wrong choices of friends and places to be. He encouraged the participants to make themselves the source of change because they are special.
Dr Adegbulu and Sir R. Ajayi
Cross section of participants at the event
Following opening prayer by Father Italo Spagnolo, the special event began with opening remarks by programme manager of Girls to women research and Development Center, Mrs Olamide Falana who welcomed the participants and encouraged them to pay rapt attention to the sessions and activities the event entails. She noted that most adolescent reproductive health problems arise form the need of young people for acceptance and love which they often seek in wrong places, in wrong activities and in wrong people, this plunges majority of these young ones into regrets and pain later in life. The 2014 valentines event is organized to teach the essence of true love as well as pass the knowledge for decision making making especially in areas of adolescent relationship building and and skills required for delaying sex.
Olamide Falana, PM, G2W giving the welcoming address
Moral decadence was the first session for the day which was taken by Sir Richard Ajayi (SKM) who gave an overview of the moral problems facing the youth today. He explained the negative effects of uptake of vices on young people which often derails their path to success. The lives of great men and women of this age were also used as examples as he noted that these men and women would not have risen to such enviable heights if they had succumbed to vices in their younger days.
Sir Richard Ajayi, PM, Don Bosco VCT Center delivering the first lecture
The second session on Myths and Misconceptions about Valentines day which sought to impart essential life skills in the students was taken by the Executive Director of Kids and Teens Resource Center, Martin-Mary Falana. The youth advocate used simulations to explain the problems young people face such as negative peer pressure, exposure to drugs and harmful substances, multiple sexual partnering, transactional sex etc. He then used various methodologies to explain the skills that can be used to resist such negative influences.
The resource person, Martin-Mary Falana during the skills building session
There was drama interlude on the theme of the day to energize participants in between session s by the students of FUTA staff secondary school and students of Don Bosco technical institute.
Students of FUTA Staff secondary school during the drama presentation
Students of Don bosco VCT Center presenting a playlet
The event also featured quiz competition to test knowledge of some of the participating schools on current affairs and facts about HIV prevention. Four schools were selected to participate in the quiz competition. Prizes were given to the three schools that excelled at the quiz competition.
The Quiz competition in progress
Presentation of gifts to Participating schools
Vote of thanks was said by Toyin Owajoba who thanked the participating schools were for their support towards the event while the participants were appreciated for their rapt attention and cooperation at the event which ended by 2.50pm.
Group photograph by staff and volunteers of Don Bosco VCT Center and Girls to Women RDC at the end of the event.