Since the beginning of this century, Africans and Africa have become a center of observations and expectations in so many areas of human development. And one facet that a lot of International communities have been showing a lot of interest is in the area of entrenching solid and uninterrupted democracy and good governance in Africa; where rule of law, massive infrastructural development, health care development, human friendly policy etc are prioritize at all level of governance. Yes, as Africa continue to take strides to become the continent of our dream, the issues of governance and leadership still remains one of the vital vehicles for attaining a more prosperous and better Africa. Interestingly, more young people who over the years have remain the bulk of the African population and the emerging leaders are showing more interest in issues of governance, leadership and development in the continent.
If you are one of such young Nigerians and Africans that share this sentiment of better democratization of the African continent, and also believe that you are one of the major stake holders in African development, then apply to participate in DESPLAY Season 5, democracy training program today. Youngstars Development Initiative (Youngstars Foundation) Nigeria, with support from the National Endowment for Democracy, NED USA, is glad to announce the call for application from young people across Africa for its foremost youth democracy and good governance program DESPLAY, beginning in January 2010. Democracy Series: Participation – Learning and Active Youths (DESPLAY) is a knowledge based and activity oriented youth program that brings together youths from different places to deepen their democracy knowledge and foster active youth participation in good governance processes. Since 2005, DESPLAY has directly trained over 300 youths from Nigeria, Ghana, and Cameroon and over 3000 youths indirectly through her peer education component called Passing-it-On (PiO).
DESPLAY Season 5 shall admit 30 youths from Nigeria and other African countries for a rich year long democracy education and networking process. A DESPLAY year comprises (3) semesters of training schedule to take place every 3 or 4 months, that is, three (3) semesters in a year. Each semester last four (4) days and has two (2) phases. Phase one (1) is the 4 days in-house training, while phase two (2) is called PiO (Passing it On) a very integral component of the project which requires each participant to transfer knowledge gained from a semester to a minimum of 25 youths before the next semester. Only those who conduct the PiO exercises are qualified to attend the next semester or participate in other DESPLAY activities.
Semester 1: Thematic focus is on “Understanding Democracy and Good Governance”; where concepts of democracy, regime types, issues of democratization in Nigeria and other Africa countries are engaged.
Semester 2: Thematic focus is on “Participation”; Exploring what participation means to young people, available strategic entry points into our democratic space, what are the available tools of engagement among others.
Semester 3: Thematic focus is on “Leadership and Aspiration”; with special emphasis on how leadership impacts modern governance. Character and ethics based leadership is explored with focus on transactional and transformational leadership models. The Personal Vision Development exercise has become an exciting addition from Season 4.
Aside from presentations from seasoned resource persons, the use of film shows, role plays, group work, reading exercises, debates, sports and community service are part of what makes a DESPLAY semester a truly learning, participatory and unforgettable experience for participants. DESPLAY Season 5 offers about 36 engaging and exciting sessions to earn the DESPLAY certificate.
Interested participants are free to apply for the funded legislative internship for 3 weeks in the National Assembly of the participants country of residence. The internship is a strategic process for educating young people on law making processes and encouraging youths to begin to contribute to law making processes. It is also meant to begin inspiring young people to aspire towards that level of governance.
This component was introduced three (3) years ago with the aim of providing participants a first hand experience of another country practicing democracy in Africa. During the learning visit, participants interact with different sectors of the country, i.e., the parliament, media, students, civil society, private sector, government, etc. The Learning Visit is usually a weeklong exercise with travel subsidy from NED – USA. Those that can afford it are also welcome. For instance, DESPLAY season 4 participants that visited Ghana did have a great opportunity to interact with President Jerry Rawlings, members of Ghana Parliament etc. And DESPLAY season 5 is sure to explore another African democracy.
Youth Day on Democracy and Leadership:
This component of DESPLAY is scheduled to happen during the 3rd Semester of Season 5. The Youth Day shall recognize ordinary Nigerians who are credible examples in their field of endeavours. DESPLAY participants shall play very active roles in the nominating and selecting of awardees. Moreso, participants of DESPLAY shall also be recognized for exceptional participation during Season 4.
During each Semester, participants shall take out time to conduct community service within the host community as a way of directly and immediately impacting its host community with the values of democratization vis-à-vis reaching out to the youths in the area. This exercise shall also go a long way in instilling the culture of community service and volunteerism among our youths.
DESPLAY Season 5 shall have funding subsidy to cover the travel cost of only 3 international participants to attend all 3 semesters in Nigeria. Please note that the travel subsidy available may not cover the full travel cost. Prospective international candidates shall be fully briefed about the available subsidy and how to qualify for it prior to final selection. However while in Nigeria, accommodation, feeding and all other costs are covered fully by the program for international participants. Foreign youth interested and who believe they can secure funding to cover their participation are very much welcome. Youngstars shall provide such with supporting documents to pursue sponsorship.
Eligibility and Application Process:
Young persons between the ages of 21-30 living in Nigeria and African countries are eligible to apply and participate. The application process is in 2 phases opens from Friday November 14th 2009 and closes on Tuesday December 15th 2009.
Phase 1: involves completing the application form and references and sending to Youngstars before the closing date. From the pool of applications, the first set of prospective participants shall be shortlisted and contacted for the second phase by Monday 11th, January 2010. All other participants shall also receive a letter not later than Friday 15th January 2010.
Phase 2: the shortlisted candidates complete another set of questions and random phone interviews are conducted from which the list is narrowed to only 25 participants who are informed via email about their final status. The final list is generated from this phase and contacted by Monday 18th, January 2010. However, an awaiting list is also generated from which candidates can be picked should any of the selected candidates is unable to attend the program.
Training Commencement date:
DESPLAY Season 5, Semester 1 is scheduled to hold from Monday 1st to Saturday 6th , February 2010 in Jos, Plateau state, the middle belt region of Nigeria. More details about venue details and other logistics shall be communicated accordingly to selected participants.
The National Endowment for Democracy – NED USA covers about 90% of the program cost, including accommodation, feeding, conference tools, transport subsidy, internship subsidy, among others. However, selected participants shall register with a token fee of N5, 000 ($40) only per semester, or N15, 000 ($120) for the entire 3 semesters. This payment is made a week before the semester to secure your space. Payment is non-refundable.
Entry closes December 15 2009.
For Further Details:
Bola +234, 8065479817, 07072000256
Peter +234 7035535876
Naa (Ghana) +233 262682776
Intl Office: Chief Botmang House, A.M. Dung Str. Sparkling Junction, Dadin Kowa
P.O. Box 515, Jos Plateau State Nigeria