SI4DEV Partner, Barrister Nwamaka Osu is working on a pilot project in a school in rural Lagos using seminars and a counseling unit to reduce mental health issues, depression and drug abuse among students.

The first seminar which was on mental health, depression and drug abuse was conducted successfully at Strong Tower Academy, Ikorodu. A medical doctor and health education enthusiast, was invited to facilitate the seminar and Gbemiga Jacobs, one of the new SI4DEV volunteers was also present at the seminar.

Nwamaka reports, “After the Principal had introduced us to the students, I proceeded to talk about who we are, about si4dev and her mandate in all the 36 states of Nigeria. I then introduced the facilitator who spoke for about an hour, and then the students were allowed to ask questions and answers were provided for about 30 minutes.”

In attendance was 110 students, from the ages of 10 – 17.

After the seminar, we had about 42 students who indicated in their pre survey forms that they needed to talk to us personally about themselves, family and studies. SI4DEV partners and volunteers stayed back at the end of the seminar and listened to everyone of them, and counselled them in all the areas that they needed counselling.

The school authorities in the person of the Principal, and Vice Principal were very pleased with the seminar and pleaded that we come next time on a week day, so that the day students will also benefit from the richness of information, embedded in the seminars.

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