Challenging misconceptions in Nigeria

2022 was a year of expansion for ACET Nigeria’s Esteem clubs. The team trained 89 new volunteer educators in the Esteem programme. 31 new Esteem clubs were set up as a result, to support teenagers in building healthy self-esteem, positive relationships, and good sexual health. This means that there are now 49 Esteem clubs in total, reaching nearly 1500 young people.

The volunteers who are trained as Esteem Club leaders usually already work with children and/or in education: many of the trainees are schoolteachers, church youth leaders or caregivers at orphanages. We often see evidence of the comprehensive Esteem training challenging misconceptions about child development and sexual health: it is encouraging that the trainees’ learning is not only impacting the Esteem Clubs but also their day-to-day interactions with children.

Esteem training in Nigeria

“I initially felt talking to young people about sex would expose them into doing it. The Esteem training has made me realise my mistakes. Young people need correct information about sex before they hear it from wrong sources and make wrong decisions. I used to think a child at 18 should be reasonable enough to naturally think and act as an adult. I discovered at the training that the brain of the 18-year-old is still developing. So, they still need guidance, directing, and encouragement.” Sarah

“I never knew that every child has his or her learning style, but now I have learned about activists, theorists, pragmatists and reflectors. My new knowledge will help me study my students and understand their preferred learning styles so that I can help them learn better and to help me teach more effectively.” Ruth

“I used to deal with children with shouting, beating and high discipline rules. The Esteem training has transformed my mindset. I now know I have to walk with a teenager first as a human being and to help them build their self-esteem - especially those who have given up on life. To guide them as they grow up by giving them the right information.” Shammah