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IYC: A safe space for the youths

By Rev Fr John Damian Adizie, OCD

Time has come when we shall merge action with words! A time when we shall preach less and act more! For action speaks louder than words.

We don’t need mo-re conferences but more contracts. What we need now is practice and not empty preachings, for pr-actice makes perfect. And as Bible declares, “Faith without work is dead” (Ja-mes 2:17); all the unimple-mented bills from govern-ment leaders and commu-niqués from church lead-ers are equally dead!

August 12 was indeed a historical and unforget-able day, especially for the rural young people. Youths from different parts of the states gathered at the International Youth Centre, at Maryland, Egoro Amede to celebrate their first Int-ernational Youth Day. It was a memorable day; a day the young people will live to remember.

Incidentally the theme of this year’s International youth day is “Safe Space for the youths.” The Direct-or of the Int’l Youth Emp-owerment and Rehabilit-ation Centre (IYERC), Rev. Fr. John Damian Adizie took it upon himself to cel-ebrate the rural youths. He created a conducive and safe space where the you-ng people can freely exhibit the-ir gifts and tal-ents without any constraint.

International Youth Centre is located at Egoro Amede, the out-skirts of Ekpo-ma in Esan West Local Govern-ment Area of Edo State. It is a multipurpose centre with a Missionary boarding school, an Orph-anage home, a Mental Rehabilitation Centre, with other Youth empower-ment initiatives. The cent-re was established for the liberation, rehabilitation and empowerment of all youths.

The event started with an opening Mass with pra-yer intentions for the youths all over the world. In his homily, the founder of IYERC, Rev. Fr. John Damian, encouraged the youths to start doing for themselves what the gov-ernment could not do for them: “If the government fails to celebrate you, you should celebrate yoursel-ves.

If the government fails to empower you start empowering yourselves – for heaven helps those who help themselves!” The essence of this gathering, according to him, was to create a safe space where the youths can actualize their potentialities.

The social event kicked off with keynote addresse by various participants in different languages; foll-owed by a debate bet-ween the Young Seminar-ians and Young Sisters on a topic; “Safe Space for the Youths.

The chief moderator of the debate, Prof. (Mrs) Obaze of Ambrose Alli University, expressed sat-isfaction over the perf-ormance of the youths, especially during the de-bate. Other activities in-cluded table tennis, Volley-ball, football match and a presentation of prizes and trophies to all the participants.

It also featured a cultur-al dance and dance for all. The atmosphere was full of joy and jubilation.


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