Young women of YWCA of Nigeria participated in the recently convened National Youth Summit on Crime Prevention at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos. The event which held on14th May, 2015 with the theme: Youth development and empowerment: A Panacea for winning the war against crime in Nigeria was organized by African Youths Initiative on Crime Prevention in partnership with NIIA and the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Social Development and Special Duties.

The event brought together youths from States across the federation to raise awareness on the negative effects and consequences of participating in criminal activities. It also sought to inspire youths in committing themselves to positively developing their capacities in their various fields of endeavors as the first step towards rejecting crime and encouraging change within their immediate communities.

Director General of the NIIA, and the Special Adviser to the President on
Social Development and Special Duties Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, who hosted the event brought to fore the connection between poverty and crime, while also reiterating that poverty should not be an excuse to indulge in criminal activities.

Dr. Joe Odumakin, a human rights activist shared a documentary on how people fall victims of crime and stated that on no account should young people or any other person take law into their hands and perpetrate evil against fellow human beings. There was a consensus among young people who were participants at the event, on the need for every youth present to volunteer as a change maker in his or her environment and help in re-positioning the minds of other young people towards engaging in crime prevention as an approach to fighting crime.

Abiodun Olabode a young woman who was part of YWCA of Nigeria’s delegation to the summit stated that “the summit is an eye opener on the various levels on which crime negatively affects the society and youths in particular. It is always exciting to be in a gathering of young people, the vibrancy in which they share their ideas and solutions to problems is inspiring”.

Motivated that youths are leaders now and not just of the future, many young people in attendance acknowledged that the change they want to see begins with them and committed to actively engaging in activities that aim to improve conditions within their environment no matter how small the act maybe and hope it will eventually gain the momentum needed to create change even at policy level.