By Eric Elezuo
The Rotary Youth Leadership Awards ( RYLA) , an initiative of Rotary International, has unfolded its 2019 youth camping and leadership awards programme as well as unveiled its Creed.
The unveiling took place at the Rotary Centre, Ladipo Bateye street, GRA, Ikeja, in the presence of the District 9110 Governor, Dr. Jide Akeredolu, who took the singular honour of presiding over the event and unveiling the well crafted creed.
Disclosing the programme for the awards, billed to take place at the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, Sea School, Lagos, between November 23 and December 1, 2019, the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Rotarian Abiodun Oshinibosi, revealed that the RYLA programme was instituted on May 2, 1960 during Rotary’s annual convention and ratified in 1971. Consequently, the 2019 edition is the 35th in the series.
According to Mr Oshinibosi, “the objectives of the programme entails demonstrating Rotary’s respect and concern for youth, encourage and assist young people in responsible and effective voluntary youth leadership by providing them with a valuable training experience as well as foster continued and stronger leadership skills and key ingredients for growth.
Again, the programme, he mentioned, “will provide opportunity to build communication and problem solving skills and discover strategies for becoming a dynamic leader in the youths’ various schools and communities.”
The programme has a basic curriculum focusing on three core areas of leadership, citizenship and personal development.
Rtn Oshinibosi, a Past President of Rotary Club of Omole Golden shocked the audience when he announced that the star prize for the outstanding youth will be a plot of land – the first of its kind. There will be other prizes for other youths who distinguish themselves in other categories.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the District Governor, Rtn. Jide Akeredolu, noted the “RYLA is a programme of Rotary that has gone on for many years, and every year, we bring in youths between 18 and 30 and teach them stills and the virtues we profess in Rotary. The virtues include leadership, fellowship, integrity, unity in diversity. In this edition, we are bent on identifying those who have excelled in given areas, and reward them.”
In their various responses, representatives of supporting organisations, explained their readiness to make this year’s event a grand success. Among them was the Co-Ordinator of the host institution, Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, Sea School, Lagos, Mr. Tajudeen Mustapha; Representative of the Managing Director, Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY), Mr. Sola Orimoloye.
Why LAGFERRY promised to ensure all participants arrive the Sea School safely and comfortably, the boss of the SEA school promised life-changing experience for the participants.
Other dignitaries at the event were President, Rotary Club of Ikeja South, Rtn Michael Effiong; PAG Busola Satuyi, AG Omotunde Lawson and Rotaractor Jaiyeola Constance.
The RYLA Creed was thereafter unveiled and recited in unison thus: “I am a RYLARIAN, I am committed to positively influencing my community and the world at large. I will be guided by my integrity at all times; Though there may be challenges, I will be uncompromising and trust in my “can do spirit” to excel. So help me God”. The creed was applauded by all.