I have been pondering on this issue for a very long time.
When i was in high school, i attended a boarding school were the student were so rough and rude.
The school had lots of bushes around and sometime the student were found in this bush. The principal always punish people found in this kind of place because it was out of bound, but the student always go there either to smoke, gamble or have sex.
I had four friends who we were so close to me and we respected each others value, but three of this my friends were smokers, were not always attending classes. Since there parent were very rich, they always pay their way into having good result.
There was this faithful day, they were smoking inside the domitory and they ask me to join them in smoking, but i refuse to smoke, so they told me that i was not man enough that is why i cant join them in smoking; on hearing this i had to join them becuase i wanted to proof to them that i was a man and i also joined them in doing all sort of bad things that almost cost me my life.
So after my encounter with the Salvation Army Facilitation Team, I realised that i have been under peer pressure and decided to fight my weaknesses.
I have been sharing my experience with other people whenever i am opportune to.
I had to stimulate my other friends towards behavioral change, they are also part of the team.
Teens and young adults in Nigeria suffer from a poor self image, they constantly compare themselves to their peers, they want to be popular, want to be older and to live in a different house, they are often vulnerable to pressure from their peers.
I am so worried about the younger people in our society who are passing through alot of dangers.

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Comment by ukeme okon on April 28, 2010 at 5:53pm
In 2005, A group of young people from The Salvation Army Facilitation Team and The Salvation Army African Regional Team came to my community for a Frontier Process.
I was playing ball when the Team approach and in the midst of the team i saw a friend of mine, which we went to the same school in the city.
We ask me to join the team but ineeded my parent consent before i could join. my parent allowed me to join the team.
I had to join the team during SALT visitation and sometime do the interpretation job. I was really motivated seeing young people from different countries, background and even languages coming to learn from the local responses. So i devoted my time because the passion was pushing me to do more for my community.
They also share their experiences with me. I had to mobilise other youth from my community to also be part of change that was about to take in the community.
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 28, 2010 at 3:51pm
Dear Ukeme,

Thanks for sharing your experience. What did the Salvation Army Facilitation Team do which brought a change in your thinking?

Warm regards,

Rituu
Comment by ukeme okon on April 28, 2010 at 3:19pm
Firstly one need to understand the consequences of taking wrong step, behavioral change does just spring up, but its a gradual process.
While i was working as a promoter with the USAID, one of my job description was to promote abstainence in high school, one of the Topics was being yourself being content and other education messages.
The programme did help this young people to think for themselve and to also reflect on their life.
There was this girl that the mother reported to the school principal, that she was always keeping late night. She later joined the group, after the summer break, shared with the rest of the group members the stories of change, after she had an encounter with some thugs, who almost rape while coming back from a night party.
So she learnt her lesson after that encounter, she is now a better girl.
Comment by rebeka sultana on April 27, 2010 at 8:06am
Dear Ukeme,

Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate that you are applying your lessons to the benifit of others. Could you please share with us what chages you see in people ( young and adult) when you share your experiences .

Best wishes from Indonesia,
Rebeka

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