Wow! We are on to the 6th edition of Activate Youth Camp already. It’s almost unbelievable. Truth is that I’m beside myself with great joy and excitement. When I ponder this awesome journey that has brought me alongside amazing, selfless and readily available humans I have come to regard as true partners, I cannot but feel blessed and grateful. More than anything else, the stories of transformation taking place in the lives of volunteers and participants alike make me glow with intense pleasure on the inside.

From year to year, we have told a story that resonates with the teeming number of youths that continue to find their way to Activate Youth Camp. In 2013, we ignited the fire of knowledge, making participants know that “All that I require to succeed in life is all within me”. This eye-opening message, came complete with a slogan, “I have it in me”. The imperative of leading oneself before leading others was what we drove home in 2014. We aptly captured the essence of that message in another slogan, “Leadership is from within”. In 2015, we became preoccupied with making this understanding actionable. How do we exercise self-leadership? This quest gave birth to the “Awakening”, signifying a new consciousness that promotes a ‘doing’ culture in the wake of new knowledge. We were bold to take the cover off the face of FEAR in 2016. It became obvious that it is fear that holds us back from taking action to realize our life’s goals. We went on to identify all the fears that could hold us back from taking action. Courage became our answer to fear. To our young people, we said: be Courageous. Take action in spite of all fears. Identify the fears and face them. Did we alight on some awesome moments? Yes, we did. These amazing discoveries guided us to the next layer of truth. That we all are actually different, unique and capable of making a difference in our world. We devoted 2017 to that truth.  “Divergent” was the outcome of that thinking which allowed our participants to own their points of difference, seeing that they were authentic and were capable of contributing meaningfully to life in their own different ways. We can all make a difference. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we have. We just need to choose to make a difference in our world. To amplify this thought and make it relevant to our 200 plus Activate Youth Camp attendees, we have chosen Ingenious as our 2018 theme. We want our campers to become abundant in their thinking and thus utilise what is available to them within their immediate environment

While I can’t change Nigeria or the world alone, I will continue to partner and work with great minds to ensure our future, the youths are better Equipped, Empowered and Encouraged. Every effort counts, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem. I love this quote I came across recently. It is by Shakira:

“I believe that every single one of us, celebrity or not, has a responsibility to get involved in trying to make a difference in the world. Our generation faces many challenges, some of which were passed on to us by the past generations, but it’s up to us to find solutions today so that we don’t keep passing our problems on.
Activate Youth Camp is a platform to ensure that the next generation is equipped with the skills and resources to stand out and make the difference in their world.  At Annie’s Place Child Development Initiative, we pledge that we will not just do something, but we will do something good to ensure a greater and better tomorrow. Indeed, I am ingenious and I will make a difference.

Kikelomo Omooba