- Can you tell us what YBI means and what the organization stands for?
Youth Builders Initiative (YBI) is a Community Based Organization, established in the year 2013 and formally registered with Corporate Affairs Commission for the main purpose of contributing to economic and social development of women, youths, community development and HIV/AIDS prevention in Nigeria through training, capacity building, awareness campaign and advocacy.
YBI envisions a society free of all forms of discrimination where all young people and women, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity, economic status, and religious affiliations, can fully understand their rights, responsibilities, and duties as it relates to self-discovery and nation building.
Providing sexual reproductive health and human rights education and developing the potentials of young people through capacity building, community development, Trainings, empowerment, education, and direct services.
2. Can you share with us briefly the motive behind the formation of the foundation?
The organization was formed to address the various developmental needs of young people for them to make informed and meaningful contribution to the advancement of the society. We have vibrant youth population that are ready to contribute to the development of the society but lack the requisite support and encouragement from the government. There is a need to engage young people in developmental activities and train them to be leaders, hence the formation of YBI.
3. How responsive are the youths to the HIV workshops/seminars bearing in mind that many might want to shy away from anything that has to do with HIV?
The response has been very encouraging. We have implemented HIV projects in 2 states Lagos and FCT. In Lagos, we have partnered with different HIV service organization to reach youths with HIV education and information as well as, connecting them to other HIV services like HIV treatment for people living with HIV. YBI coordinated the MTV Shuga Trained Peer Educator Project in Lagos State. The project was aimed at providing HIV prevention education and HCT drive among general Population and the Key Affected Populations/MARPs community. (January – May 2015). In Abuja, YBI partnered with the US State Department Sponsored Youth Exchange Alumni Association, to organize Peer Health Educator Trainers training in 5 communities within AMAC LGA, under the US Ambassador PEPFAR Small Grant, facilitated by YBI in 2013.
4. What projects is the organization working in presently?
Presently, YBI is working on a project called Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), the project commenced in August 2020 during the Corona Virus pandemic. The project came into play after carrying out focused group discussions with some of the community stakeholders to identify the major needs of the community, and it was agreed that we support women in the community who are petty traders with challenges in accessing loans to boost their businesses. Community members – participants and beneficiaries, were selected, trained, and equipped with start-up kits such as stationeries and passbooks.
In addition, cohorts were formed and constitution guiding each group was set as well as their executives nominated by members. Some of the objectives of forming the groups was for members to:
- to cultivate savings habit
- Have access to loan of 3 times their savings within a period of 50 weeks with a maximum of 6% interest rate for all loans
- Reduce loan from external sources due to high interest rates
- have access to two different types of loan: emergency and normal loan.
Also, Cohorts are given health talk, baseline tests such as HIV, Malaria, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index provided to groups by YBI from time to time.
5. Since the inception of the VSLA project, how many people have benefitted from it?
Since the inception of the project, in Moboluwaduro Community in Ogun State, many of the participants lives has changed for the better, and they are able to provide for their families without fear of when the next meal will be coming and the fear of paying back loans without intimidations. According to one of the participants, “It is so relieving knowing that you can access loan without problems and be able to pay back with peace of mind.”
A total number of 58 people have benefitted from the 5 established groups so far. The breakdown is as follows:
- Temidayo Group – 15 people disbursed with the sum of #526,400
- Ifelere ogo mi de Group – 10 people disbursed with the sum of #195,000
- Ifelere Group – 12 people disbursed with the sum of #414,200
- Divine Grace Group – 11 people disbursed with the sum of #427,000 and lastly,
- Alayo Group – 10 people disbursed with the sum of #315,000.
So far, a total sum of #1,351,200 (one million three hundred and fifty-one thousand two hundred naira) has been disbursed by all groups including YBI initial start-up revolving loan of #200,000 given to all groups (#40,000 per group)
6. What projects are you looking to work on in the future?
In the nearest future, we hope to establish Community Infant and Young Child Feeding Program. This will not only help reduce child mortality rate in the community of intervention, but also enable young and inexperienced mothers to develop the skills and knowledge of proper and hygienic child feeding. We also hope to work with in-school and out-of-school youths, creating programs and interventions to engage them positively.
7. Any collaboration with other non-government or government institutions within or outside?
In the past, YBI have partnered and collaborated with various organizations and government agencies, both local and international, in addressing some societal issue as it relates to youths and community development in Nigeria.
US State Department Sponsored Youth Exchange Alumni Association- Abuja
MTV SHUGA – Lagos
Lagos State AIDS Control Agency – Lagos
National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS – NYNETHA
Health Intel Solution – Lagos
International Rectal Microbicides Advocates – Chicago USA
Society for Family Health Nigeria – Lagos
8. Any plans to expand the scope or reach of the project?
Yes, we plan to expand on the current VSLA project to reach more groups. We also plan to reach more communities with the project. It has proven to be a success and we hope to replicate it in other communities. We are also looking at scaling up to other states if we have the funding and resources.
Pictures of some of the Beneficiaries of the Initiative:
YBI office: 9 Central Mosque close off Idowu Ademiluyi street Agbado, Ogun state